parents and cell phones

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    I absoulutely hate (HATE) when my father talks on his cell phone for hours on sunday. First of all,85% of the week he never sees us, and on Shabbos he rests. on sunday, our “family day” all parents can think of is there work or their friends? Not that i mean to be very disrispectful, but teenagers are known for being opsessed with cell phones but what about the parents? Before you talk on the phone for an hour straight, think about your kid and your wife too. Thanks in advance.


    First off Teenof13 you bring up a very good topic and my heart goes out for you. This happens to be a pet peeve of my own and maybe I can offer you a few suggestions.

    1- Talk to your parents. I don’t know what your Sunday routine is like, but if you happen to have off from school/yeshiva then this is a day when Parents and kids can take advantage of time spent together and to be able to do activities that can not be done on Shabbos or Yom Tov. Talk with respect and kovod and be clear what you would like to be doing with them. (IE: Spending quality time together by walking, eating breakfast, or some other social activity. Maybe even learn a little together, but in a loose heimish fashion)

    2- Understand that they are looking for downtime as well and this is something that relaxes them. So instead of asking them to give up the phone all together, ask them to block out a part of the day to be free with family.

    3- Speak with your mom and organize some family social time.

    4- Take advantage of Shabbos (especially the 3 meals) as well. I don’t know how much time you spend at home, but if you are the type that goes out a lot, dedicate time for family and when they see your efforts they might do the same.

    5- Keep on trying

    6- Remember this feeling when you are a parent as well so that you don’t make the same mistake.

    As for all of us grownups out here, take a note and give your family some time. Fathers should think that maybe this is their kid writing this and see if there is a way to get closer with your kids. If your kids are distant, well guess what it’s not going to fix itself and doubtfully they will be the ones who break the ice. Mothers who are waiting with their kids for busses and carpool, hang up and talk to your kids. When they come home from school, hang up and say hi, ask how their day was and make them feel interested that you care enough to see how they are doing. Plus remember a phone is a convenience device, which means you can shut it off!


    teenof13. good post! Let us all take the mussar and spend more of our available time with the children.



    You bring up some good points. One idea is that the correct “family day” should be Shabbos Kodesh. The Shabbos Seudas is an important time for family interaction.



    I feel for you. However have you spoken to your father directly about it (in a respectful way of course)? Maybe he never realized that it bothers you.

    Also, maybe he needs to take care of work related things on Sundays and doesn’t really have a choice.

    One thing I am 100% sure about is that you are waaaaay more important to him than his friends, his work and his cell phone. He may not show it but I’m sure its true.


    To JosephF-Shabbos may be important as family time, but on Shabbos can my father go bike riding wiht my family? Can he help me with school related stuff? can i talk to him about anything i want? What about the 70 yr old guy that comes over almost every meal? What about when he naps? So cell phones do drive me crazy and even if it is work relateded, do you need to use the phone for 64 (yes 64) minuets? Dont think so.


    josephF-on shabbos my father cant play sports (yes i’m a girl) w/me, and he cant help mw with school stuff or talk to me abt stuff ur not supposed to talk about on shabbos. Second, we nearly always have a non-frum guy of 60 eating every single meal… Thirdly he kind of NAPS.


    whoops didn’t mean to write same thing twice


    teenof13 – can your mother speak to him about this? if not, set a time (30 minutes)with him to discuss something VERY important. Ask him to leave the cell phone off for 1/2 hour just for you. talk about life and anything for 20 minutes and the last ten minutes, tell him how wonderful it was that you had this time with him and how it bothers you when he reaches for the cell call. tell him you feel like second best to whomever is calling (even though you know that you aren’t) and ask him if you can do this more often.


    MODERATING PANEL NOTE: An email was sent to you. Please read it.



    Dear teenof13,

    It is quite clear that you are not trying to be very disrispectful- only a little disrespectful. You did not bring up any good points and this was not a good post. I do not feel for you and my heart does not go out for you.

    Your father has a lot of responsibilities. He has a family to run and a mortgage to worry about. I’ll bet most of his average day is spent dealing with getting the proper funds to put food on YOUR plate and pay for YOUR prust clothing. Perhaps he has other family members who require physical care. He has a job that he must professionally maintain and yet he must find time to learn. The list can go on and on depending on the man. All you do is sit at home and complain. Give the poor man a break. If you want to speak to him, you are going to have to make an appointment. I’m sure he won’t turn you down. He loves you very much; having children isn’t just for social status.

    Judging by the fact that you don’t have proper respect for your father, it would similarly follow that you have little social tact. You should read “How to win friends and influence others” by Dale Carnegie. However, that doesn’t help for now so I will give you a boost by providing you with a sample of what you might want to say.

    “Excuse me, Dad. Can I speak with you when you finish this conversation.”

    “Do you think perhaps you will have time today to talk about what happened with my friend Chanie/ play a game of scrabble/ study for be’ur tefilla with me?”

    “Oh. How about tomorrow night?”

    “Well, how about Wednesday night?”

    “What about next Sunday?”

    And if something comes up and he is forced to reschedule for another time? Please don’t mention it. Your mind cannot comprehend how bad he feels about it.

    Most importantly, however, is the point that you really don’t hate your father. I think that mdlevine should apologize to you for influencing you to write that letter.

    mdlevine clearly had a chip on his shoulder and independent of anything you wrote on the tznius thread, wanted such a letter to be written. Mdlevine, grasping onto a slight mention of frustration that could have simply had to do with the mood you were in at the time, used you to do his bidding, exaggerated your point and influenced you to express yourself the way you did above. Once that was done, you felt the need to defend your position.

    Although he most likely will not back down just as you didn’t back down, you should know that someone out there understands.

    anon for this

    NOW are you happy,

    The OP never said she hates her father; she said she hates when her father spends so much time on his phone. Obviously she loves him, or she wouldn’t care to spend time with him. Personally I think it’s very mature of her (especially given that she’s 13) to vent her feelings on this forum & get some helpful advice about how to make her points in a respectful way. This allows her to express her negative feelings anonymously without offending or embarrasing her father so she can communicate with him constructively later.

    I think the previous posters who suggested that she discuss this with her father in a respectful way, or bring it up at the end of a conversation, made good points in a way that Dale Carnegie would.

    I’m not sure what posts by mdlevine you are referring to–neither of his posts seemed negative to me, and I’m not sure what letter you’re referring.


    the mdlevine post that i refer to in my genius essay appears here:

    I am guessing that you are standing up for her because the poor thing is thirteen. When it comes to emes and a clear void where kibbud av should be, I have NO mercy.

    I do not think that discussing this on YWN makes her mature. Furthermore, her maturity has nothing to do with her love for her father which I never contested to begin with if you read the last part of my brilliance.


    Mr./Mrs. Happy,

    The individual in question was asking for advice. Slapping a potch in ponim like you did just now won’t help. Perhaps your suggestions for starting a conversation is enough, while pointing out the fact that kibud av is important. Simple.

    As a parent, I would be quite concerned if my child perceived me in this manner. If you read Rabbi Horowitz’s columns on a regular basis, this kind of stuff is what starts kids on “at risk” problems.

    From your diatribe, it seems that standard equipment in your house may be a pegboard with a whip & paddle.


    “Now are you Happy” seems to be contrary to what you really are. And I’m telling you point blank that while you have no mercy for someone who is 13 and lacks proper k’vud av….I would like you to show us where she is lacking. This issue about parents ignoring their kids is not new and something that Gedolim have been talking about a lot. So yes the father may have all of those “responsibilities”, but his kids take spot #1. Plus to say that she should make an appointment….well I guess there is no better way to say to your child that “I love you” then to say “I will see if I can squeeze you in @3:00 next week”. Kids need acceptance and nurturing and when they see that times with children is prioritized lower on the list they feel less loved (and this is a justified reaction)

    Next why on earth do you feel it is productive to attack a poster like this. Do you think that she is going to say…”Wow I never thought of it that way and I better change my attitude?” You obviously read a lot more into her post than most of us did and I’m glad you stated that you disagree. Thank you for you opinion and so far you are the exception since I would think that most of us here disagree with you.

    Next the “K’vud Av” card….I love when that gets pulled out. On one hand it’s one of the factors that guarantees a person of long life. It also is a trump card for parents who don’t want to take responsibility for their actions or do the right thing, so they pull it out as if to remove all negativity from themselves and putting it squarely on the victim. I have dealt with so many kids at risk who got the “Kovod” card. If you or any one would like to teach their children Kovod, then do it by example. Instead of putting down those who disagree with you (and then going on to find possibilities that would make them unworthy I guess being dan l’kav rah) maybe show more respect for people in general and then you may get some back in return. Kids have to learn how to do mitzvohs not be dictated how to do it.


    OUCH! NOW are you happy. That hurts.

    ” I’ll bet most of his average day is spent dealing with getting the proper funds to put food on YOUR plate and pay for YOUR prust clothing.” This is no way to talk to a 13 year old girl or to any person.

    teeenof13: I didn’t get a chance to see much of my Dad – may he rest in peace – either. He was working all day and when he was home he was busy making business phone calls. When I was your age (gosh that sounds old!) cell phones were a new novelty, more of a luxury so he’d tie up the house phone which upset my family too. Be happy we have cell phones today. 🙂 I did get to bond with my Dad in my own way. I would try to bring up conversations that I thought would interest him any time we did get to have a moment together. Try talking to him about things that would interest the both of you. He’ll see you as an adult and he’ll actually enjoy conversing with you. Some fathers aren’t as nurturing as mothers can be and sometimes they just need a little help in forming or perfecting a relationship with their child. Maybe set a date with him. Tell him you would love it if you could go out, just you and him and you can tell him how you feel. I just want you to know that this does not mean that you are not loved by your Dad.


    Many of us get preoccupied with their routine that they forget why they even have the routine. be it work or leisure.

    I for one have hakoras hatov to teenof13 with her post – both in the other section and then opening up here for more discussion. I have been guilty of this myself as I am sure many have.

    If I had a daughter or 13, I would be checking to see if they posted it, but my older girls are 14 and 12, so… unless they collaborated…

    I took away two wins tonight alone from this thread (and I am sure other folks have also had wins from this thread):

    1) I was out with my eldest and the cell phone rang. I looked and when I saw it was not from my wife, I did not take the call. Later in the evening, I returned the call.

    2) I was reading the “crocs” thread (by the way I wear the Crocs RX Silver cloud (in basic black – very comfortable) when my second daughter needed assistance. I was about to tell her to “hold on, I’ll be there in a minute” when this thread came to mind – I stopped reading and helped her in what she needed.

    teenof13, I am sure that you know you are loved as I am sure my kids know that I love them. the issue is not with the knowledge it is with the display. My Brocha for you as helped to open eyes of some of us, may you also be a beneficiary of this thread.

    Think BIG

    I agree with all the critisism against “now are you happy.” Probably the only true statement you said is “I do not feel for you and my heart does not go out for you.”

    Just imagine it was your 13 year old posting this. I wouldnt blame her, as she obviously would not get understanding from you, her parent.

    Teenof13, the above recomendations may help you. In addition, you may try to write a respectful but sincere letter to your father and share with him how you feel. sometimes seeing things on paper drives home the message more. It may also help you to sort out your feelings. Finally, you can always ask your father in Heaven for help, He always listens and hears, and no tefillah is ever wasted.

    The worst thing you can do is let these negative feelings fester inside yourself. negative emotions can cause all sorts of negative reactions which you want to avoid. Try to keep upbeat, despite the situation, work your feelings out but with the aim to do the best you can, not just to vent.

    Good Luck!


    Dear Think BIG,

    A 13 year old daughter of mine would never write this. I am very confident for a few reasons.

    1)My daughter would have the midah of emes and I contend the the letter writer has been influenced to give up this midah that she had at birth- either by her role models or by mdlevine.

    2)If you will add that I being the father would in the this case be guilty of such neglect as charged by this nice girl then she- my daughter- would never even consider writing such a letter for I would find out and beat her until her mother jumped in front of her and pleaded that enough is enough.


    NOW are you happy is 100% right.


    “…for I would find out and beat her until her mother jumped in front of her and pleaded…” these words have NO place in this website nor in any Jewish based information vehicle! your attacks on me, I could not care about. your condoning, nay your advocating of beating a child, a 13 year-old girl is beyond all reasons of normal behavior.


    Mdlevine as well as others: I think that we have reached the point were we can safely say that Now are you happy is a person who is just looking to cause trouble. Whether he/she has too much time on his/her hands or a control issue that they can express in a public forum that will keep their true identity private. I think it’s time to just ignore their posts until they no longer receieve the attention or fun out of it.


    To the original message:

    Perhaps you can give your father a call on his cellphone one sunday. This way you can be sure he will answer, and you can let him know how you feel.

    Think BIG

    Now are you happy, I agree with Bentzy that you should be ignored but because I pity your family, I will just say this: I am sure (i hope at least) that you were just trying to be funny with your #2. But even so, you need help. serious help. even joking about such matters shows you have serious issues. There are people out there who could help you. get help fast

    af al pi cain

    Any teenager who is the victim of a parent who beats them as described above, should not be afraid to reach out for help in the community. There are people who can help, such as M.A.S.K. hotline. They should not be afraid of their abuser’s privacy or status–if a child is being physically abused they should speak out and try to protect themselves from further abuse.

    mesivta aliyah

    can we agree that now its a equal problem?

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