My very close friend "April" was having a difficult time with her 13 year old daughter "Sophie's" attitude.
Since I teach 13 year old's, she didn't have to explain much for me to understand what she meant. Goodness yes, I do love middle schoolers very much for their hefty servings of wit, resilience, and unpredictability but I also know that it all comes with some assorted side dishes.
The dismissive shrugs.
The exasperated eye rolls.
The occasional hisses and mumblings.
Years in the classroom have made me quite fluent in middle-schoolese.
So the story goes that one evening April had reached her tolerance limit regarding attitude and decided to dole out a consequence to Sophie.... she took her cell phone away.
This measure elicited very little reaction or remorse from Sophie.
As a result, to take it up a parent power notch, April decided to cancel the entire cell phone plan.....over and out.
Later, when April called AT&T to take care of business, the customer representative dutifully asked April why she was cancelling her account.
April explained that her daughter was giving her attitude and the situation called for a significant consequence. The representative responded with an empathetic, "I understand."
The representative continued..."But you don't need to cancel the entire plan, just suspend it. " April learned that at no cost to her, she could pause the service, save a little money, and teach her lovely, talented daughter that respect is not an option.
But apparently an interruption in your cell phone plan is.
Do you suppose that AT&T had been fielding a plethora of cancellation requests from exhausted parents looking for that magical punishment that would make their teens less...uh...that way?
I'm thinking that's exactly what happened.Hence, the suspend-your-own-account plan was born.
Good call....on so many levels.