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3.14.2011

When does trust mean "only until I change my mind"?

Since last May Tio has a phone of his own. He was given it as long as he used it with certain restrictions such as only a couple of hours a day, no taking it to school, no prank calls and staying within the limits of our calling scheme. Over time he broke every one of these and then some and had to earn his way back to phone privileges. Most recently, due to some inappropriate behavior, I was force to restrict his contacts to only certain friends and family. I put a lock code on so he couldn't add names to his list.

Tish kept telling me I'm wasting my time - that he's too irresponsible to be trusted at his age. I kept working at it. I tried reasoning, logic, arguing, compromise, starting over and earning points. They all had limited success reaching only as far as he wanted to. Once he'd decided it didn't work for him, he'd break the rules. Today I checked the contacts and he'd cracked my code (not too hard) and added back all the contacts I took out. So much for trust and compromise. Tish was right.

(When asked what the lesson was in all of this, his first answer was "you make lousy codes?" - always the humorist, is Grampy's little boy)

I'm not angry or frustrated or even sympathetic to him feeling isolated. I don't care anymore if he can't contact his friends outside of school - which was the whole reason I advocated for him to have it in the first place. This time he lost more than the phone. He lost my trust. I'm not sure he understands just how big that is.