If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know that Kalisha is perpetually obsessed with cell phones. She loves her cell phone, as does every
'teenager' and most adults, but the problem is that she constantly wants to change to a different model or go back to an old phone type or SOMETHING.
She purchased an I-phone a year ago, then decided it 'moved too fast' for her and she wanted an NV3 w/ a keyboard. She sold the I-phone to her niece, bought the new one on E-bay and was happy until about a month ago.
She decided she really did like the I-Phone and wanted another one. We went round and round about this....cost too much, if she used my upgrade, she would be locked into 24 month contract, etc. etc. When I pressed her for the 'real reason' she wanted one again, she admitted it was because everyone else (nieces and sisters) has one. OK, I deal with concrete reasons much better than I deal with goofy reasons.
I told her she had to wait until I returned from the writing conference in IL. I expected a zillion texts over 5 days, asking if I had decided yet. I gave definite instructions to not call or text me; I would call her each evening.
She did a really good job at refraining from texting me. Now on the day I was coming home, she kicked it up a notch and called several times wanting to know when I would be home. Part of that (I prefer to think it was the larger part) was because she was missing me; the other part was so we could discuss the I-Phone purchase a little longer.
She was allowed to purchase one. Then she wanted the protective case for it. Always concerned about cost ..me, not Kalisha.....she looked at the Otter Box which covers all the plug-in holes, etc, and the one which is protective, but one step down. It came as a bundle with car charger, etc. I told her that in 10 years of owning a phone, she has never dropped one in water or the toilet. She agreed and bought the less expensive one. After a week, she was sending me e-mails showing OtterBoxes on e-bay.
What the heck? I thought this was settled and you were happy with the one you chose.
"Well," she said, "You talked me into it. I really wanted the OtterBox."
I looked at her incredulously. " I talked you into it?? I did not."
After we discussed the fact that she had 14 days to trade her new one in and get the one she wanted, I said I would think about it.
What bothered me more than the whole phone case thing was what she said about me talking her into it. I realized that I probably do convince her of things, but in an insidious way. My tone of voice, my body language and my persuasive words probably make her choose my way or my choices. Oh crap! One more thing to consider when I say something.
I asked her if I had convinced her to have her hair cut, because even though she likes it short, she told me she wants to let it grow long again. She hesitated, but decided that she had made that decision. However, it was my suggestion. She can't comb through the back by the nape of her neck and ends up with a 'rat's nest' underneath her hair when it is long.
So-o-o the question I have been wrestling with is this: I want Kalisha to be able to make her own decisions and be as independent as she can be, BUT when do I step in and persuade her to make the better decision? With some things, it is okay to let her suffer natural consequences, but I am not willing to let that happen when it involves her health, money, or some of her 'friends.'
Some days I absolutely hate thinking about it, so I guess I will pray for wisdom and as soon as God bestows some on me, I will let you know.