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.