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My Kids Have No Phone Skills

Before I even started kindergarten I was taught to answer the phone: “McNeal residence.”

“May I ask who’s calling?”

“This is she.”

It seems so archaic now that we have caller ID and texting. My kids almost never answer the phone. It drives my husband crazy, but since he’s been working from home all summer he’s grown to appreciate my reliance on caller ID and subsequent avoidance of the phone.

It started when I was struggling with napping babies and I turned the ringers off. Can you understand the rocking, the swaying, the delicate dance that is getting your baby in the crib without waking them up? The military-inspired shoulder crawl out of their room is all for nothing if that phone rings and wakes them up from their nap.

 

Now my kids are older and I’ve turned the ringers back on (in most rooms). But I didn’t initially want my preschoolers answering the phone. They can’t read Caller ID. They don’t know who I’m trying to avoid. They don’t know that 80% of my phone calls during the day are phone solicitors or people who want me to babysit. So I taught them not to. It doesn’t bother them at all for the phone to ring and ring and ring, unanswered.

I’ve got teens and tweens now and virtually all the incoming calls (that aren’t solicitors) are for them. But they don’t really love talking on the phone. They hardly even understand the concept. They’d rather text. It’s so much more efficient. They know where there friends are and what they are doing because of Facebook and Instagram. They’ll never get that numb ear from holding the phone against their shoulder for long calls with their friends while the phone cord loses its curl by being stretched to the max.

It’s kind of a problem. Even though casual phone calls are losing out to quick texts, I still think it’s a life skill that my kids need so I’m making a mental note—on my iPhone—to drill some basic phone skill into them. It is still, I think, a component of common courtesy. But who knows? Maybe phone skills will go the way of fancy waltz skills that were so invaluable in Jane Austen’s time.

Is it old-fashioned? Are phone manners becoming archaic? What thinkest thou?

More of my Babbles.

Read more from Kacy at Every Day I Write the Book.
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