Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My daughter is 13 and recently got a cell phone. I was worried about all the time and money she would waste texting friends, but it turns out that the biggest problem I've had is her texting MY best friend, Kelly.
My daughter and Kelly's daughter have been friends since preschool and our families are very close, but I find myself bristling when Kelly tells me that she talked about personal issues and school problems with my daughter via text.
It's not that I'm jealous because I do believe "it takes a village" so to speak, and I'm not worried that Kelly will give bad advice or lead my daughter astray...but it just somehow feels like Kelly is over-stepping her bounds.
I'm not sure what to do, if anything. Does this seem odd or is this just the way it is now? Her daughter doesn't have a phone so the flip side of this issue doesn't really it apply.
Just a Square
Dear Just a Square,
Firstly, congrats on holding out to age 13 for the cell phone. My kid is five and can already sniff out an iPad within a distance of three feet. (The olfactory sense must be genetic. I have it for shopping malls.)
As for your question, this does seem to be an odd situation in which you've found yourself. It's times like these that I (first google, and then) envy the Luddites of the world.
It's certainly wonderful that your daughter feels comfortable enough with your text-happy BFF to chat. But a few things about the arrangement furrow my bushy brows a bit. Namely, I wonder why, if Kelly's own daughter doesn't have a cell phone, Kelly feels so comfortable texting your daughter so freely. In trying to imagine what I would do in that type of situation, I arrive at a few possibilities, but none of them are keep the status quo. In other words, I would imagine that Kelly, as a mother and friend, would notice that your daughter is reaching out for some reason, and then work to bring you into that discourse. Is this, by chance, what she was trying to do when she told you about the exchanges?
Like you, I sincerely doubt there's anything sinister going on here, but I do think the whole thing needs to be reigned in a bit. How you go about that will depend on what outcome you'd like to see, but I think it should start with a chat between you and Fast-Fingers-Kelly. I think it's very noble of you to say you aren't jealous, but I can't imagine not feeling a sting of pain with the revelation that my kid feels more comfortable opening up to someone other than her mother. Be honest with Kelly about your conflicted emotions, and as a team, I'm sure you can come up with a solution. Maybe Kelly promises to give you a heads-up whenever a significant issue arises, and you can work to touch on that discreetly with your daughter on your own. You could also set restricted times for sending and receiving texts. Whatever the methods, I think honesty and your daughter's well-being should guide you effectively, KWIM?
Photo Credit: jeff_kontur.
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