Thursday, August 05, 2010

The telephone, conquered

My boy has always hated talking on the phone. He'll talk if forced (or if it's his grandparents on the other end) but mostly he avoids the phone. He won't answer it unless commanded to, and even then he gets this scared look on his 13-year-old face that would be hysterical if it wasn't so maddening. If the phone rings when the kids are home alone, he makes his sister answer it (which she only does after screening). His younger sister.

Make a call? Forget it.

That is, till he joined Boy Scouts.

I knew that Boy Scouts was going to be a good thing for my kid, but I didn't think it was going to solve his phone problem. But in our troop at least, the phone is the major tool for passing on information on events. This was a problem for the kid for a while, because sometimes he just needed to call people and he didn't want to. His fear of the phone was so bad that he almost skipped a highly anticipated camping trip to avoid calling one of the adult leaders with a simple question. He tried to convince me (and himself) that he really didn't want to go to winter camp after all. When I asked, stunned, if he was going to skip camp because he was afraid to make a phone call, he tried to deny it. Till he started crying. He made the call; he went to camp. But still he hated it. So we looked for more opportunities to have him make calls. But we couldn't come up with too many. We aren't big phone users either.

Then he was promoted to assistant patrol leader and his phone use increased. His superior would call with some piece of information, and delegate my kid to pass it on to the rest of the boys. Terror mixed with drudgery... but he did it. He didn't have a choice!

Now he is a patrol leader getting ready for summer camp. He's had to make a lot of phone calls over the past couple of weeks. Today, he made his last one before camp: calling a first-timer to see if he is all set to go. After he got off the phone, he turned to me and said, "making phone calls isn't so hard after all."

Music to my ears.


wayside wanderer said...

Ah, that is great! My almost 15 year old is a Boy Scout and it has been a great experience for him. I don't like making phone calls either.

Kerri said...

I so relate, I hate, hate the phone. Everybody in our family hates phones except my husband. Facebook me, email me, write me a letter, but DON"T MAKE ME USE THE PHONE!!

Becky said...

I can so relate! I was 15 and broke down in tears over having to call my aunt. To this day, I don't even like to call very much unless I absolutely have to. I was so relieved when pizza places started having online ordering. LOL!