Thursday, March 08, 2012


It's a bit odd in this day and age to have no idea what your twelve year old is up to. We're so used to either having them at home or being able to text them even if they are only at the local shop or their granny's house round the corner just to ask how how they are doing.

This week Charlotte is away on a residential course with her school where they have been instructed not to bring mobiles. The kids, who at 12 are already used to phones, were all in a grump and a panic at the thought of not being able to listen to their favourite music for a week or text their friends (this is amusing given they are all there with them anyway!) But I have to say I liked the idea of their being weaned off them for a bit. What I hadn't expected was the benefit to myself too. I am far from a helicopter parent but I am so used to being able to check she's ok and to ask what she's doing, I'm sure it is good for me to have no idea who she's sharing a dorm with, what she's eating, what activities she's participating in.

I guess it also gives me a minimal glimpse of how life was for my own parents. I travelled across Europe alone on a train at 18. I was away most of the summer. I moved to France for a year at 19. And both times I probably phoned home once a week for less than five minutes at most! I'm not sure many parents could imagine that these days.

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