Originally Posted by FiveLittleMonkeys
With the additional information provided, this is what would happen in our house with our 15 1/2 yo DD:
1. She would be working to pay off her, yes HER $900 phone bill. Since you said that he doesn't have the opportunity to get a job, I'd come up with a list of chores and what you'd be willing to pay for each of them.
2. She would lose her cell phone for at least as long as it took to pay off the bill, and probably for longer. Irresponsible use equals not being responsible enough to have a phone.
3. She would also be on restriction from social activities for at least 2 weeks, and probably a month.
I don't know that we'd do #3, but the first two? For sure. DS1 slipped up on his phone bill once
(nowhere near $900, though). We didn't take the phone from him, but he did have to pay back the bill, and he was told that if it happened again the following month, we'd pull his phone. We had no more problems after that.
There would definitely be some kind of consequence, since he definitely did know that it would cost more. (FWIW, I asked my 17 yo ds1, and he said he knows that the rates are much higher out of country, and that "everybody" he knows is aware of that...mostly that's kids his own age, but also some 15 year olds. These aren't terribly well-traveled kids, by and large.)
However, even if he hadn't known, I can't think of a single reason to not even tell him
. That makes no sense at all. My primary job as a parent, imo, is to guide and teach my children on their way to adulthood. If I realized that I'd completely blown it and failed to make my child aware of something this basic about modern life (ie. cell phones can cost a lot of money when you're not local), I'd have to rectify that. There's no way to rectify that without telling him that he racked up $900 in charges. I'm sorry if he's going to feel bad, but...not tell hm? Seriously? I just can't even wrap my brain around that.
(We're actually facing a $1500 repair bill for damage done to our minivan by ds1. He's a brand new driver - under an hour total behind the wheel - and did a "thought it was in drive when it was in reverse" mistake. He feels like crap. I'm sorry he feels like crap. I don't blame him for the acccident in the slightest. But, I'm not going to hide the financial impact - because he needs to know just how expensive cars/driving can be, not because I want to make him feel bad.)