The Big Lesson I Learned After Buying My Kid His First Cell Phone

I bought my son his first cell phone. How kids reacted to it — and how I reacted to their comments — taught me a big lesson.

by Mark Shatz
Originally Published: 

Like many, I’ve taken the infamous walk of shame. It usually started with beer, followed by shots of something, and ended with less than epic decision-making. The next morning, shame shuffling to the Waffle House, Walgreens, and home.

I went to college for eight years, and I took many hikes — shame, guilt, and disgust. It was always my bad, and I’m responsible for my saunters into self-destructive emotional landmines. Sadly, I’m also to blame for my son’s first walk of shame after I bought him his first cell phone.

I thought owning a phone was a privilege. A perk that a child got because an employed parent used part of their paycheck to buy a thoughtful gift for their offspring. I didn’t realize that owning a phone is a birthright.

This story was submitted by a Fatherly reader. Opinions expressed in the story do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Fatherly as a publication. The fact that we’re printing the story does, however, reflect a belief that it is an interesting and worthwhile read

pornMark Shatz is a single-dad, psychologist, and author of Comedy Writing Secrets (3rd ed). His favorite pastime is watching his teenage son outsmart “proven” parenting techniques.

This article was originally published on