14/08/2014 16:47 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Surviving Teenagers: The New Phone

Surviving Teenagers: The new phone

I am talking to my son. He is looking at his phone.

"Because what I can't work out," I say, "is whether to be brave and tell her."

"No," says my son, looking down.

"I feel I should tell her," I say, "obviously. But I can't really be sure how she'll react."

"No," says my son.

"If it comes out wrong," I say, "it'll sound as though I'm accusing her of being a bad mother."

"Mmm," says my son.

"And you can't do that," I say. "You can't ever criticise the way someone's bringing up their child. It causes huge rows. It breaks up friendships."

"No," says my son.

There's a pause. My son looks up. "What?" he says.

"Have you heard anything I've just said?"

"It's a new phone," he says. "I'm just getting used to it."

Well, I think to myself wearily, I should know by now that I can't compete with a new phone. Phones do everything these days – send emails, text, tweet, take photos, tell you what the weather's like. They can even phone people.

"So what have you discovered?" I say.


"What's so brilliant about your new phone that you can't listen to a word your mother's saying?"

He looks up. He blinks. He's a million miles away. I'd have more chance of getting a response, I think, as I stomp off in a huff, if I found my old Nokia and texted him.