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HELP..10 year old step daughter and cell phone

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone...I'm new to the forum and came looking for some advice. I am new to step parenting but not new to parenting.  My own children are 18 and 27.  My new step children are 6 and 10. My question is about cell phone usage and 10 yr old.  My husband bought his daughter a cell phone 2 years ago after his divorce so he could talk with her. She lives with her mom and we have them everyother week end and every wednesday. I am concerned about her phone for a couple of reasons..a) whenever she gets a call she heads off to her room to talk and 2. her texting. I've mentioned this to my husband but he says he's not concerned..she would never be talking to boys at her age (I am a schoolbus driver and disagee with him), only her girl friends.  Its not that I disagree but just dont know? We really dont know any of her friends .I have told him that he should check up on the phone and find out who she is talking with and texting to. What is evryones thoughts on this...maybe i need to chill out, but I think as a parent he should be more aware. Thanks for your advice.

post #2 of 11

Is there some reason that she is not allowed to be friends with boys? I think it is a good idea to check who she is calling or texting, but I don't think it's a good idea to restrict a child to same sex friends.

post #3 of 11

 

Quote:
a) whenever she gets a call she heads off to her room to talk and 2. her texting. I've mentioned this to my husband but he says he's not concerned..she would never be talking to boys at her age (I am a schoolbus driver and disagee with him), only her girl friends.  Its not that I disagree but just dont know? We really dont know any of her friends .I have told him that he should check up on the phone and find out who she is talking with and texting to.

 

1) Does she go to her room to answer phone calls regardless of what's going on at the time? For example, does she leave dinner to answer calls?  Leave while Dad's talking to her?  Does she disappear for long stretches of time?  If so, she definitely needs to be more considerate and learn some manners. If people are just sitting around watching TV and she takes a call then I don't see how it's a problem.  But just like table manners or being considerate of others in any other situation, it's up to us to teach our kids how to behave when they're using a phone.

 

But it doesn't have to be a fight. It can be done with good humor.

 

2) When we got our dd a cell phone we told her we'd be periodically checking her call and text logs online.  We simply ask her to tell us who each phone number belongs to. We're able to add the names to the online log, so we know that she talked to so-and-so a lot recently, or she especially likes to text this other person. 

 

And yes, I make an attempt to know who my kids' friends are, whether my kid has a cell or not (one does, one does not). 

 

So, no, I don't think you're wrong to think that your dh could be more involved or aware of her cell habits. Just tread lightly since you're the step-parent. 

 

I think if you are creative you can turn this into an opportunity to get to know your dsd even better. Just ask her, so who do you like to talk to most?   Do you like to talk to any of the cute boys? (Said with a smile, not an accusing face.)   When she asks you why do you want to know, you just say you want to get to know her more, you're interested in knowing who her friends are. There is nothing wrong with asking, and she might even appreciate the opportunity to talk about them.  Or she might clam up at first but eventually she might open up.

 

My kids, including my 16 y.o. daughter, like to talk my ear off about their friends. 

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your responses..Dsd is a nice girl and I have no problem with her talking to boys. Just would like to know who they are. I do tread lightly as the step parent which is why I ask dh to be a little more aware. I like the idea of putting a name with the number and will work on that. I just think in todays world you can never be too careful.  Thank you

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darlene22664 View Post

Thanks for your responses..Dsd is a nice girl and I have no problem with her talking to boys. Just would like to know who they are. I do tread lightly as the step parent which is why I ask dh to be a little more aware. I like the idea of putting a name with the number and will work on that. I just think in todays world you can never be too careful.  Thank you



So, what happens when you simply ask her who she was on the phone with?  My DD is 12 and after she takes a call I generally ask, "Oh, who was tha?t" or "Anything interesting?" or something like that.  Especially if she was 2 years under, I would not expect a lot of push back on interest. 

post #6 of 11

At the age of 10 I think a child should be monitored if they have a cell phone. If they are hiding out to talk to anyone at all then you need to know who that is. The cell phone is a privilege not a need. I would take it away if I had to. It's not like her dad can't call her mom to get in touch with her if he absolutely had to. Back in the old days that's what most of us had to do. ;-) Good luck!

post #7 of 11

I am going to say "Welcome to the world of tweens!"  

 

It is OK, to establish rules and set limits.  Phone goes off at 9, meal times, family functions, et.  Help her learn moderation and being able to disconnect from technology.  

 

IMO, what she is doing is no different that playing and whispering out of ear shot.  I used walkie talkies growing.  Or huddled in a mass away from the adults.  I do think it is helpful to help them pull away and reconnect with the parents (family) but she is normal.

 

At 10 I wasn't sneaking off in closets to talk on the phone, but at 12 I was.   I wanted privacy.  Yet at the same time you do need to put controls.  I wouldn't take the phone away but set those limitations and watch phone bills.  You can see who she is texting and colling.  I would block the ability to send and receive photos.  At this age, I don't think they are mature enough to understand why not to seen picture.  Even sillyones.  

 

post #8 of 11

My kids are 12 and 8 and do not have phones. If I ever did get them one it would not have txting or emailing ability. Photos I would allow since I doubt there are phones without a camera.There is no need  to txt or email though.

post #9 of 11
Why is it texting and emailing you most disagree with. How we communicate is always changing with the culture and is not inherently bad or good. I text and email far more than I talk on the phone and its been eons since I wrote a letter other people communicate differently and that's ok too. My de has issues and I appreciate testing/emailing because it's much easier for me to monitor her.
post #10 of 11

Just another addition to the convo.  My dd is about to be ten and has had a phone for about a year now.  I am divorced from her father and remarried, so I wanted her to a-have a phone to contact home easily when at her fathers house, and b- have the freedom and control in contacting him as well. 

 

Also, we were homeschooling at the time and out a lot with various friends in pretty safe places.  I wanted her to have a little more freedom to run around with the rest of the 8-13 age kids without always relying on their phones. 

 

She ALWAYS likes to run off to her room to talk.  Mostly she talks to her best friend, her father and his gf, my sister and brother and mom.  She texts a lot, talks a little.  I do ask that she not run off in the middle of dinner or a conversation.  I think she likes her privacy but also it's loud around here with little brothers and stuff and I get that she can't hear a conversation as well in the midst of that. 

 

I also do ask (lightly, not accusingly or anything) who she's talking to or who's blowing up the phone with texts.  I figure if it's a given that mom asks, at this age when she doesn't care, it will be expected for us to be open about that in the years to come. 

 

 

post #11 of 11

How interesting, this thread is back. 

 

 

Quote:
I figure if it's a given that mom asks, at this age when she doesn't care, it will be expected for us to be open about that in the years to come.

 

Mostly true. We got dd a phone when she turned 12 y.o., and she's 16 y.o. now.  I believe that because we have occasionally checked out who she's phoning and texting most frequently, since the start, it's just a normal thing for her now.  However at her age I don't think she'd particularly likes it. That's alright.  We tread lightly and don't bug her much. :)

 

Quote:
If I ever did get them one it would not have txting or emailing ability.

 

You should know that the in my daughter's circle they text almost exclusively.  She says her dad and I are the only people she talks to on the phone anymore. Mr Journeymom read recently that the mobile companies are considering offering text-only devices, basically a cell phone with no phone capability. I don't know if that's good or bad, just an interesting development.

 

 

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