February 22, 2018

Phone Etiquette and Kids

By Julie Samrick

My oldest son is at his Grandma and Grandpa’s this week, nearly 1,000 miles away.  In nearly 10 years, we’ve never been apart for more than 3 days, but he jumped at the chance to go.  He’s been an only child with them, lavished with attention, not having to compromise with 3 younger siblings. Needless to say, they’re all having a fantastic time.


But I am missing him even more than I imagined. It’s partly because it seems like we haven’t talked to him once, even though we have a phone chat every single night after dinner.


This is a pretty accurate composite of how all of our phone conversations have gone:


Me: How are you?

Son: Fine

Me: What did you have for dinner?

Son: Chicken

Me: What did you do today?

Son: Swam


This goes on and on.  His voice is as flat as mine is engaging.  At first I wondered if he was watching TV every time we talked, or distracted somehow.  But this happens every time.


Maybe he’s just miserable?  I wondered.  Could he be turning mopey already? Isn’t he a little young for that?


While I created all sorts of grand reasons in my mind, it finally dawned on me that since he rarely talks on the phone to anyone, he just simply doesn’t have phone etiquette yet. All those times relatives call to talk, I really should have been passing the phone along to him more often.


As my in-laws, my husband, and I try to figure out together how to Skype so we can see his little face and expressions, and the days keep ticking by, I’m thinking about the all the phone etiquette schooling he’s got in store when he gets home.  


In the meantime, I’m definitely becoming better at asking questions that can’t possibly have one word replies.  


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