Cell phones

scottrell(10AFl)February 9, 2009

My daughter Michelle recently turned 10 years old, she is in the fourth grade. I had a little time alone with her today. She told me that she was jealous of the new cell phone DH just bought for me. She also said she is the only one in her class that does not have a cell phone of her own! What? The only one? These children text, take pictures of themselves, e-mail those pictures and have access to the Web. How do parents control what they are exposed too? We have our computer in the main living area right off the kitchen, I always know what my kids are doing on the computer.

Don't even get me started on the expesne! I would much rather put a little money in the bank for the kids education, than a cell phone bill. I live in South East Florida, in one of the top three Counties for forclosure in the entire United States.

Please, please tell me that I am not the only one who thinks it is totally inappropriate for children this young to have a cell phone!

I can understand if parents are working and have one of those phones that only allow them to call certain #'s.

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gardenmom2(IN Zone 6)

My daughter, too, is 10and in fourth grade and that is all she has been campaigning for her birthday in a couple weeks. Our stand is no way. The expense, the responsibility and it is just not necessary for a CHILD of 10. Kids these days think that they hae to have everything and dont understand the texting, pictures, etc. issues. Not only is their safety at risk, but also what about the inapropriate things sent to them. NO WAY. I hear but everyone else has one, all the time and I don'tcare. I am not changing my mind. Thanks for letting me rant. Nichol

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 9:18PM
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My son just turned 18 and got his first cell phone about a year ago. It's one of those cheap ones that you buy minutes with a card. We don't have a lot of material things. No cable TV, no home computer with internet (I'm on my work laptop now). When we do watch TV we have only local stations. People at work think were crazy but at the end of the day the kids come home from school, they do there homework and then go outside and play.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 9:19PM
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No cell phone for the 13 yr old, He's the "only one is school without a cell phone" poor boy!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 9:55PM
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My 18 y/o just got pay as you go phone that he pays for. I saw no need for a cell phone until he was out alone and driving and I know he'll rack a nice bill up if I add him to my plan(learned from the first kid)so he pays his own.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 10:04PM
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jaleeisa(6b Oklahoma)

My 15 yr old has one, but she's on a pay as you go thing and she has to earn the money from us to pay for it until she gets a job in a few months. She does extra chores and babysits. When/if she runs out of minutes, she's out until her next "payday". She can't download, use the web and it doesn't have a camera. It's just a phone with texting.

I made my older boys do the same. Once they started working, that was the first things they wanted. They had to do a buy your minutes phone until they were old enough to get their own account and their own bill, which they were legally responsible for. That way they could do what they wanted on it and I didn't have to watchdog it so much.

If any of the older three got/gets grounded, I get the phone. If they make bad grades, I get the phone. If I find them doing something inappropriate, I get the phone.

My 11 & 9 yr olds will be done the same way when I feel they're mature enough to have a phone. They're good kids, and complain at times I'm hard on them, but my older two boys are grown, on their own and thankful now that they weren't just handed everything. I know who my kids talk to, spend time with and what they're up to. I even have a myspace and a myyearbook to keep an eye on what's going on. My kids still at home are required to make sure that I have their passwords for social sites, emails, etc. I very, very rarely have felt the need to use that information. The one time I did, I stopped a child predator and turned him in to the police.

Call me over-bearing, but I protect my children and expect a certain manner of behavior and manners from them. They don't fail me in that. They might not like me all of the time, but I'm a parent that cares and is involved. Unfortunately, there are too few parents who are raising their children the way many of us were raised.

Kathy ~ My $0.02

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 11:12PM
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bigred(z8 Ark.)

Bravo for all the parents answering this post.

My kids were pre-everything...computers,cell,phaones,i-pods,etc. so it never was an issue in my house. You had a roof over your head,food in your stomach and clothes on your back. Both went to work as soon as it was legal for them to do soand learned to pay for their own extras. Their first cars were raggedy but got them to and from. The only luxury was an Atari when it first came out and I confess,I wanted it as much as the kids....LOL


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 6:39AM
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gardenmom2(IN Zone 6)

ATARI I miss my atari. It was the best. Kathy I just wanted to say BRAVO. Wayto go. Stick to your guns. I wish more parents realized that the job was parenting and not being best friends. Another rant of mine is Nint. DS. I have nothing against them, but so many parents spend a lot of hard earned money and give them to young kids which is fine, but then when they bring them to school, I have recess duty and I am constantly scared to death of them getting dropped, stolen, etc and being held responsible. They are expensive and if my chidlren had one, it would def. not be goin to school in the first grade. That is probably a touch subject, but it is just my op from a school standpoint. I have nothing against the players, just not at school for ho much they cost.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 7:31AM
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I have two girls ten and twelve. The ten year old is in 4th grade and elementary school for another 2 years. She wants a cell phone - my answer no way she doesn't need one. The 12 year is in 7th grade and old has one. She's had one for almost a year. She walks to and from jr high. I did get her one due to the fact that she walks and there are so many wierdos out there. She calls me when she gets out of school and lets me know shes on her way home. Yes she is very open with me about all. The computer is in the kitchen and I know whats going on.

The 10 year old will probably get one when she gets to jr high also.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 7:42AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I have heard of more than one teen/young person that ran up hundreds of $$ of cell phone bills due to excessive use over what was allowed in the package. The most recent was $500. I was not someone that I know personally, but was a family member of a friend...sigh. So sad...so irresponsible, as the phone companies don't forgive, or write off such things I've been told.

I will relate to you what a GD of a friend did years ago when she was in high school. She deliberately refused to wear any brand name stuff....you know, all the stuff most young folks want and think they need. She refused to follow the crowd and instead had her very own unique No Name style. I really thought that was special that she was not just a 'follower' of trendy things. btw...She was very intelligent, and her parents could well afford to buy her the best of the best. She just did not want it.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 8:07AM
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jaleeisa(6b Oklahoma)

Thank you for all the kind words. I agree that my job first and foremost is to be a parent and teach my children values and that you earn what you have. We do have gaming systems, a couple in fact, along with computers (2) and games for them. But homework and chores are done first, then 30 minutes of time ONLY on one of the games. Time for research on the computer is given, but if you've asked for research or homework time on the computer, I'd better not catch you doing anything else. Though my older kids I did let them IM while doing homework, but by that time the sense that homework or research must be the focus was ingrained.

I let my older children, including my daughter, have the buy your minutes cell for the same reason as Linda. My children walked to school, and Tiffy still does, until they could buy their first car. It's a safety precaution. It also allows her to remind me when she's going to be late for one reason or another. But I can't see the reason for a child who does not walk to school to have, at a very young age, a cell phone that they take to school. My 11 yr old knows that despite what his friends have or don't, their parents don't make the rules for our house. I don't let them roam the neighborhood either. They may walk to the park a half block from my house with a friend or sibling, but if I've given permission to go somewhere, that's where they'd better be.

I do have fun with and enjoy my children. I don't want to give the wrong message here. But I am their parent first and foremost and a friend secondly. Oddly enough, my older children will discuss anything in their lives with me, including some things that I'd really rather not be privy too in the case of my grown sons. I have a very good relationship with all my children. But they know that I am their parent above all. It's my job to keep them safe and teach them what life is about and I only have about 18-19 years to teach them the things that will shape their lives for, God willing, another 70 -80 years after they are grown.

I'm not knocking parents who do allow their young children to have a phone, to each their own and I'm sure you have your reasons. Also not trying to make myself sound like an ogress or "super mom", I'm neither, and just expressing my views on parenting. My children have been my greatest joys, my sanity and insanity and my lifeline through some of the worst times of my life. They, along with my precious husband :), are the focus of everything I do, no matter what it is.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 8:28AM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

10 is too young. That's just silly.

My youngest got her phone at 16 because she began driving and was doing marching band and field hockey and we needed a communication system. Plus, she's a girl and I need that security. My boys, not until later - but then they are older and cells weren't as prevalent.

I know I have a cell phone. I never know where it is and it is never charged unless there is treacherous weather.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 12:13PM
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And I thought I was the only MEAN mom in the world. LOL!! Thank you other GW members for showing me that there is a MEAN community out there that doesn't alway give in to their kids. My 12 year old DD thinks that my pay as you go phone isn't "cool". Well, guess what that's the only one she's getting the use of until she's a responsible person. Our kids really do think that money grows on trees and that they are entitled - actually don't want to go down that road since I work at a school where more and more girls actually believe that they are entitled. Where is the word "No" in some of the parents' vocabularies? The other phone I MIGHT get my girls is the one that's programmed only for three or four numbers - like 911, mom and dad's cells, but that's a big might...

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 2:12PM
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Mine wanted one at about age 10...he didn't get it until he was "out and about" with friends where he may not have access to a phone. So he got one so that he'd have a phone when he was off with friends. I think he was 12 when he got it, and it wasn't because he wanted one...it was because he needed to be in contact with his parents.
Pay as you go, and he generally pays for the minutes.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 10:58AM
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DD is 10 and lots of kids at her school have phones. Some of them actually need them because of sports and stuff. There is one kid, tho, 4th grade bringing an iphone to school. In this case, it is definitely a case of a having a "trophy wife" for a mom who'se got more money than brains. She's definitely a sweetie, but, dumb as a rock. :( this boy had a HUGE collection of pokemon cards when he was THREE AND A HALF. Tell me why a 3 1/2 year old NEEDS ALL THE pokemon cards!!!!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 12:13PM
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Thank you all for posting, I am glad I am not the only mean Mom!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 5:17PM
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tabor had one when he was 7, he got it for christmas. he could only use it when he was away from the house. mostly so i could keep in touch with him, he paid for the minutes. then when our contract was up, hubs added him to ours. then that was a waste of money because then tabor never got to use his. he was always in trouble. so all that money we put into it was just useless. now he got one on sale. its still put up, he cant' use it till the first of may, its put up because he got into trouble longer, he still has to show me that he is responsible. LOL do i think 10 is to young? yes!! if it was up to me to let tabor have a phone. i wouldn't till he was 14 or 15. but this was a co decision. dangit!! **sigh** and its not because everyone in his class has one, because he's the only one in his class **smile** i just think its too young. and i do believe in making them pay their own way, i told hubs, i will agree ONLY if he buys it himself AND HE PAYS for the minutes HIMSELF!!! so that was the deal. JMO ~Medo

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 1:24AM
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my kids didnt get cel phones till they were 15.
cel phones are good for after school activitys. if they canncel or run over the kids can call n let me know.
before that if they went anywere they would take either me or hubs phone. usally mine as i never used it.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 11:28AM
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