Apparently I’m some kind of child-depriving social life impeder

Reason #1978 why I’m a bad mother today

I don’t let my son have a smartphone. He’s 12, but we’ve always felt that if he wants a cellphone he has to be able to pay for it somehow. Therefor it would be prudent of him to get some kind of a job to pay for it. Since he’s shown no inclination towards job-getting, no phone for him.

And I’m depriving him. According to one person (who commented on a comment I made when a parent asked whether or not they should get their 8 yr old the latest IPhone), I’m a child depriving social life impeder (spell check says impeder isn’t a word but I say it is. So there.) who will permanently destroy my son’s chance at EVER having a social life. Also, he’s going to grow up bitter and resentful because we didn’t get him his own cellphone at the age of 9 when “most if not all” kids have one.

I don’t think having to EARN a thing is such a bad thing, really. It’s not like he doesn’t have access to the internet across various platforms (Wii U, tablet, Husband’s phone, our laptop) at home. Email is a thing, you know. Maybe not a very POPULAR thing these days, but it’s a thing. And if he wants to email a classmate, he is certainly free to do so.

My son has, whether due to his autism or because I’m not much of a social person myself and he learned it by watching me, never really had much of what you’d call a social life. Getting him to go play outside by himself and find kids to play with (they’re there. I swear) has always been a bit of a struggle. He’s never called anybody on the phone (he’s not big on phone conversations because he can’t see your face) or been asked to anybody’s house. When he’s at school he mostly hangs out by himself or with his “girlfriend” S and even then, they mostly just use their computers to communicate with each other via a classroom messageboard that’s monitored by the school.

My son is not your average kid, no matter how much I wish sometimes he was. If he was a “normal” kid, I might worry more about his lack of social life. But since he’s autistic, I don’t worry about it too much. I know that autistic kids often have these same kinds of issues and continue to have these issues well into adulthood and beyond. I don’t know if he just doesn’t CARE if he has friends or not or what the deal is, honestly. But until he comes to me and complains that he’s lonely and has no friends…I’m at a loss as to what to do here. As long as he seems like he’s fine, I have to assume that he IS fine. Right? I mean..I don’t know. I’m not much of a socializer myself so I wouldn’t know what to do if he DID come to me and complain he was lonely and had no friends. I wouldn’t know where to go, where to take him to FIND friends. So there’s that too.

I get that the way we parent may seem…I don’t know..unusual. But we’re doing the best we can with the resources we have at our disposal.



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