Dear Dish-It: I Need a Phone
I need a phone! But my dad won’t spend an extra hundred for me, even though that’s the least he could do, since he never does anything with me and he lives on the computer, literally. What should I do?!
Sounds like you’ve got two separate issues: wanting a cell phone and wanting your dad to spend more time with you. It’s really important that you separate the two issues and get it straight in your mind that one has nothing to do with the other. I agree that your dad should want to spend more time with his daughter and less time online, but that doesn’t mean he owes it to you to buy you a phone. So, if you’re gonna solve either of these problems, you’re going to have to tackle each one separately.
First off, let’s talk about your dad and the fact that you seem like you want him to a) pay more attention to you and b) spend more time doing things with you and less time tapping away at the computer. Sometimes the thing that works best in situations like this is asking your dad to give you a specific date and time when he’ll unglue himself from the screen and do something fun with his daughter. Mark the date down on your calendar and make sure your dad agrees to stick to it – no matter what!
Now let’s deal with the phone issue. Pinpoint the exact reasons your dad doesn’t want you having a cell (remember, he doesn’t owe you anything, so there must be another reason why he doesn’t want to get you one). Is he worried you’ll spend time chatting or texting instead of doing homework? Does he want to track who’s calling you to make sure you stay out of trouble? Does he think it costs too much and he’ll end up paying for your talk time? Once you know his concerns, try to reach an agreement. Maybe you’ll only turn your cell on when you’re out (mention that he’ll always be able to reach you), talk for a set amount of time per day or let him monitor who you’ve been talking to. If you’re willing to compromise, your dad might come around. It’s possible, though, that he just can’t fit it into his budget right now. If that’s the case, have patience and, for now, enjoy the feeling of not being connected 24-7.
With so much bad stuff going on at home, it’s no wonder you feel like running away. But trust, me, running away is NOT the answer. Instead, you could try finding things to do that will keep you busy and out of the house. It might be a good idea to join an after-school club or activity to take your mind off things. This way, you'll boost your self-esteem and feel tons better doing it. You'll meet new friends and won't feel so down about your dad.
Talking About It
Honesty is always the best policy, and in order to get help and make the situation better for yourself, you need to get things off your chest rather than leave it all bottled up. Can you talk to your mom about what’s happening? You should also seek professional help. Please see a counselor at your school or ask your doctor to refer you to one who can help you feel more secure. In fact, talking to any adult you feel you can trust will be helpful. An adult will be able to tell you who to turn to next for help.
Get Help Now
The Abuse Victim Hotline is 100% confidential and free: 1-877-448-8678. There’s also There's also Childhelp USA at (800) 4-A-CHILD ( 422-4453). Please don't be too shy or embarrassed to get help. I know it takes guts, but once you're working this out the right way, you'll feel so much better. No one will judge you, and this is in no way your fault!
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