12 year old wants cell phone do she can text - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Would you allow a 12 yr old to own a cell phone for the express purpose of texting people? (her friends).  I would prefer to stay away from any discussion of "a tween/teen should have a phone for safety".  That is not where I need input.

 

The plan she is looking at will cost her about 25$ a month (she only gets about 40$ a month).  There is no contract, but if she leaves Kudo before her tab is paid, she will owe on the remainder of the phone ($100).

 

I am worried somewhat about texting itself - the frequency with which teens do it is alarming!  Here is an article:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/26/health/26teen.html?_r=1

 

I know all her friedns do it...which is why she wants in on it.  I worry because it takes up a large chunk of her money, and it takes up so much time/energy.  

 

 

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#2 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 12:19 PM
 
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My answer is yes,I'd allow it but also monitor and read her texts. My girls are now 13 and 15 but have had cell phones for about 2 yrs now.

They now are allowed all features their phones offer.


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#3 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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Yes, I have a 12 year old DD and she has a cell phone that she texts on. DD's phone is an old phone of mine that I gave her when I upgraded to a smart phone. We added her to our plan for $10 a month and she has unlimited texting. She really doesn't do that much texting and a lot of it is to her grandparents and other family members. We blocked her ability to text anything that charges to do so (example: American Idol voting by text). We do check the text sometime just to kept tabs on things.

 

If your dd is willing to use her own money then it must be pretty important to her.

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#4 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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I don't see why a 12 year old would need to text. Then again I don't see why anyone would really need to text unless they need to contact someone while in the middle of a meeting or something.

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#5 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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I would.  If it is her money to do whatever she wants to then why not let her do it.  It isn't costing you anything.

 

My dd has had her phone for a year.  She texts, not crazy like some kids do but that may come later.  some of her friends she doesn't see very often or live an hour or more away. 

 

It is cheaper to text than to call.

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#6 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post

 

 

It is cheaper to text than to call.



The landline we have is free for her to use wink1.gif

 

I think it is a waste of money and has the potential for misuse.

 

It is her money, though....maybe it will not be a waste to her, or maybe she will earn a lesson about money management if it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#7 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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My kids both got their phones at 10. DD started texting at 12. At first, she had like 2000 texts a month. But after a 2 or 3 months, it started to dwindle. She's 13 and she averages about 900 a month (450 coming in, 450 coming out.) It goes up in the summer and drops down during the school year. For her, it's a way to communicate with her friends who are spread out all over the county. It's cheaper than using minutes and most parents actually don't want their kids using up the minutes for this reason... this means they all text. I can keep track of who and when she's texting from the phone bill. My DS (10) has texting (family plan) he uses about 10 a month and only to us or his sister. I use about 400 a month and my friends and I often text because we carpool and it's nice to just shoot out an "on my way" and such.

 

We've never had issues with how much or it being distruptive to the family. Our issue just recently has been texting past bed time. This started largely because DD is now in high school and seems to be the only one left with a bedtime. We handle it by having her put her electronics outside her door at 10 each school night.... easy fix.

 

As with all things, how your child handles it depends on what else is going on in their lives. The kids that get in trouble with texting tend to be those that use it as recreation as opposed to communication. My teenager has a heavy academic schedule and puts in a lot of hours each week working in theatre (her passion and her social community.) When she has down time, she doesn't want to spend it on the texting, that's for sure. Texting is communication from mostly about 3 people she doesn't get to see daily but who are her closest friends.

 

For us, texting has been a plus. Whether it's tight for your DD and your family, I can't say.


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#8 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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No, I wouldn't. I don't see the need for a 12yo to text anyone.
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#9 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post

It is cheaper to text than to call.



Not around here it isn't. 


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#10 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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On our cell phone plan, we have 3 phones. Unlimited family text messages costs 20 dollars. That is far less than upgrading to the next minute package. We have the lowest minute plan available and we're happy not to have to upgrade. 

 

If you are talking land line, sure, it's cheaper to call than text... at least for those that still have land lines. Kids don't talk on the phone unless it's to their parents. By limiting your child to the landline, well, they aren't going to be communicating much with anyone. If this is what you prefer then that's fantastic. It's not what we prefer.

 

Fact is, this debate has been going on since the phone was invented and will go on with whatever new form of conversation follows. There was a time when no one thought a home computer would be useful lol. It's just amazing we all survived the the Atari and private phone lines like IN your own room lol.

 

 

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Quote:
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It is cheaper to text than to call.



Not around here it isn't. 




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#11 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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It is her money and I would allow it. You can also set rules-no texting at dinner, phone in a basket in your room after 9 pm or similar. We don't even have a landline anymore and neither do most of our friends.

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#12 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zinemama View Post

No, I wouldn't. I don't see the need for a 12yo to text anyone.



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#13 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 04:40 PM
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Sure - it's her money. I'd suggest Virgin Mobile instead - $25 a month for 300 minutes plus unlimited text and web, and compatible phones start at $10 or so. Oh, and no contract.

 
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#14 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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I would absolutely let my twelve-year-old have a cell phone with texting. Texting has replaced calling for tweens/teens, and I know that other kids don't talk on the phone anymore. I would also let my twelve-year-old email people (it's the same concept as texting).

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#15 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 By limiting your child to the landline, well, they aren't going to be communicating much with anyone. If this is what you prefer then that's fantastic. It's not what we prefer.

 

Fact is, this debate has been going on since the phone was invented and will go on with whatever new form of conversation follows. There was a time when no one thought a home computer would be useful lol. It's just amazing we all survived the the Atari and private phone lines like IN your own room lol.

 

 


I think it is quite a jump to say if we limit them to landline they will not be communicating much with anyone.  Maybe it is a regional thing.

My DC do talk on the phone.  While I am not a fan of Facebook or MSN, DD uses those as well.  I also do not think people need to be able to contact their friends 24/7.  The teenage years can be peer based enough without adding this element to it. 

 

Bolding mine.  I must admit I find your second paragraph a little mocking.  We are not techie junkies - not do we abhor all technology.  I think the culture I live in has a tendency to glom onto new technology and buy into it - whether or not it is a good idea.   I think it is very reasonable to analyse new technology before letting it into your life.  There are regular discussion on MDC on whether TV and video games are bad - I tend to think they are not, but I hardly mock posters who question them.

 

To quote the NYtimes

 

"Spurred by the unlimited texting plans offered by carriers like AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless, American teenagers sent and received an average of 2,272 text messages per month in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the Nielsen Company — almost 80 messages a day, more than double the average of a year earlier.

The phenomenon is beginning to worry physicians andpsychologists, who say it is leading to anxiety, distraction in school, falling grades, repetitive stress injury and sleep deprivation".

 

That does not mean my child will develop misuse issues - but they got those stats from somewhere, and I am not so naive as to think my child is immune, either

 

Oh, and I have never had a phone line in my room.

 

Kathy

 

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#16 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 05:10 PM
 
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My kids are on our phone plan. I use to say just pay as your go. But with my plan I can monitor calls, how many text, I can see if she has sent any picture/movie text. I can block phone numbers. Or shut down the phone if I feel the need to. I like having the parental controls the other pay as you go do not necessarily have.

 

They know no calls after 10 or phones will be taken away.

 

Texting is like whispering....but it can be more permanent. We talk about cyber bullying. We talk about photos and the web. We are very open about these issues.  

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#17 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to the posters who have suggested some of the safeguards... I will think about those if we make the leap.

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#18 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 05:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post



Quote:
 

I think it is a waste of money and has the potential for misuse.

 

I completely agree with this!

 

It is her money, though....maybe it will not be a waste to her, or maybe she will earn a lesson about money management if it is.

 

I don't agree with this....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a person who texts, but I don't even do it everyday.  I realize people have all sorts of reasons in the pro and con catagories on this subject, but I personally still look at a cell as a luxury item especially for only texting and for a young kid. 
 


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#19 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 05:45 PM
 
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I'm not sure what the right answer is.  I have a 12 y/o as well, who does not have a phone yet, but most certainly would want to text if she did.  My guess is that she would be texting me, lol.  The thing about texting is that it is really a cultural norm for our kids-they don't seem see anything odd about it, while I think actually talking on the phone can seem more of an oddity.  This is just a personal observation.  

 

I know that you wanted to stay away from the issue of safety, but I can imagine the texting feature to be a safety feature in certain circumstances.  

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#20 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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 sure the landline is free for her but a cel isn't costing you money either.

 

Depending on the plan her friends it can cost them alot of money for her to call them.  most people have free texting on their plans.

 

Having the cel/texting gives her some privacy from phone calls too.  Yes you can take a cordless phone into a room where nobody else is but people can still overhear.  To kids this age privacy is very important, even if it's just not wanting you to know that she's talking to her best friend.

 

Last month my 12yo sent/received 367 messages. 

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#21 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post

 

 

Depending on the plan her friends it can cost them alot of money for her to call them.  most people have free texting on their plans.

 

 

Last month my 12yo sent/received 367 messages. 


Her friends can use a landline if they want to contact her..or email..or a social networking site if she is on.  It really isn't her (or my) issue if it costs her friends money if they choose to call her on a cell.  

 

I am glad to hear your DD does not overuse her cell.

 

 

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#22 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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To those of you who said "no" can you be a bit more specific on why?

 

It might help me process things...thanks!

 

I do agree it is her money...is there a dollar amount for a 12 yr old where you would go "no, wait, stop"  if you thought it was an iffy purchase? 

 

Kathy

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#23 of 78 Old 12-29-2010, 08:10 PM
 
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I am of two minds on this. 

 

On one hand, I think the idea of anyone having a cell phone just for texting is silly.  I really tend to think of a phone as a tool, and I don't think texting, particularly as a teen/preteen, is really one of those things that is really functioning as a tool.  But then again, I don't see much of a point in txting anyway.  I have used it occasionally when I know that DH is in a meeting or in class, as opposed to when he can answer a phone call.  But really, any other time, I simply dial the phone and actually make a call.  So to me, having the phone JUST for texting is weird. 

 

My dd did get a phone at 13, but it was for things like calling me if soccer practice finishes early or whatever.  And she calls, she doesn't text. 

 

On the other hand though, I think kids learn what they experience and the best way to learn how to properly handle a phone and a phone and texting bill is to handle it themselves.  And if she's going to pay for it all herself, there's no better teacher IMO. 

 

Interesting side note...my dd  (who turned 15 today) just recently started hanging out with a new boyfriend.  And he texted her last week, at midnight, just to tell her goodnight.  She was NOT pleased with him at all.  She didn't respond to the text and called him the next morning and let him know that that was way to late for a phone call or text.  I haven't ever had any restrictions on her phone.

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#24 of 78 Old 12-30-2010, 07:10 AM
 
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Quote:
 

I do agree it is her money...is there a dollar amount for a 12 yr old where you would go "no, wait, stop"  if you thought it was an iffy purchase? 

 

no, especially since this is a monthly purchase not a big 1 time payment.

 

But then my 8yo bought herself a yoga jacket & capris for $100 last spring.  It was her money she really wanted it & I explained several times that purchasing this meant she couldn't get anything else, that if she did not buy this she could buy several other clothes.  Nope she wanted this.  She has not regretted it & would wear it everyday if she could & it isn't even pink or sparkly.lol

 

My 12yo wanted an ipad or laptop for her birthday(nov).  I told her fat chance & to save her money up.  She had zero money at that time.  Between birthday money, babysitting & christmas money she will have enough for an ipod touch(she changed her mind) tomorrow.  Because of boxing day sales we purchased it for her on Sunday.  Yeah we could have bought it for her for christmas but this was a money lesson we really wanted to teach her - you want something bad enough  you use your own money & save for it even if it takes a while. 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sublimeliving View Post

I would absolutely let my twelve-year-old have a cell phone with texting. Texting has replaced calling for tweens/teens, and I know that other kids don't talk on the phone anymore. I would also let my twelve-year-old email people (it's the same concept as texting).



ITA with this.  


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#26 of 78 Old 12-30-2010, 08:15 AM
 
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Hmm, I posted but it only shows the quotes. Let's see if I can do this again.

 

 

For starters, 80 texts a day.... That is 40 texts in and 40 texts out. Have you seen what these texts look like? The are typically 4 to 5 words each... little snippets of conversation. You don't think you could have said 40 lines to your friend on the phone when you were a teen? My own DD did this much the first couple months she could text but then it dropped to half of that. She's about 20 lines in and 20 lines out a day average. As long as it's before 10 and night, I see no problem with that. Wouldn't you say that the concerns the pyschologists are having could be reflective of MANY factors in the modern child's life today? Anxiety? Sleep Deprivation? Falling Grades? Do we really feel this is all texting? You don't think we can't pinpoint 20 other factors contributing to this?

 

I'm surprised that you are ok with facebook but concerned about texting. To me, facebook is more problematic and we only let my eldest start when she began high school. With texting, you at least know when, how much and with who they are texting. On facebook, chat is blind and you aren't going to find a record of who they communicated with or when. There is even a way for them to choose who sees them available for chat and who doesn't. Unless you are friends with ALL of their friends AND their friend's friends, what your child has written and has had written to them won't be on their wall or your newsfeed. Children have FAR more exposure to people you don't know (and they don't know) than they do with texting. I'm not saying you haven't kept tabs on how your child is using facebook at all. I'm just saying that between the two, texting is easier to track as a parent.

 

I was being mocking with the atari comment... not towards you but to our culture as a whole. We tend to be alarmist and often we worry about the wrong things. Our media latches on to whatever sells and they rarely tell the WHOLE story. Yes, there are going to be kids who get in trouble with texting but those kids tend to have a whole host of risk factors attached to them. Reporting that parents need to be more involved doesn't sell papers.Wouldn'WoulnWoud 

 

Yes, absolutely you should look into things before bringing them in the house. This is why my kids didn't watch TV when they were little and why we didn't have a video game system until last year and still only with totally family friendly games. I didn't want those things to be prominent figures in my kid's childhood and so I ommitted them until I knew they found LIFE more interesting than screens. However, I recognize this as my own preference. I'm not going to suggest it's wrong for ALL children and that those who let their kids watch TV and play video games are allowing them to be corrupted.

 

I've been working under the assumption that you are a good parent. I'm guessing you talk to your child, have meals together, communicate with the school, know your child's friends, encourage them to be involved in activities that require dedication, focus, team work, positive peer interaction... activities like sports, music, theatre, community service groups, ect. If I'm correct and you ARE this parent, texting isn't going to be powerful enough to corrupt your child. If you don't want it, I'll be first in line to support you! Let's just learn from our own history that this is an argument that will never end. There will always be SOMETHING the media is telling us to fear... let's just take a step back and really look at things in reguards to our own circumstances.

 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 By limiting your child to the landline, well, they aren't going to be communicating much with anyone. If this is what you prefer then that's fantastic. It's not what we prefer.

 

Fact is, this debate has been going on since the phone was invented and will go on with whatever new form of conversation follows. There was a time when no one thought a home computer would be useful lol. It's just amazing we all survived the the Atari and private phone lines like IN your own room lol.

 

 


I think it is quite a jump to say if we limit them to landline they will not be communicating much with anyone.  Maybe it is a regional thing.

My DC do talk on the phone.  While I am not a fan of Facebook or MSN, DD uses those as well.  I also do not think people need to be able to contact their friends 24/7.  The teenage years can be peer based enough without adding this element to it. 

 

Bolding mine.  I must admit I find your second paragraph a little mocking.  We are not techie junkies - not do we abhor all technology.  I think the culture I live in has a tendency to glom onto new technology and buy into it - whether or not it is a good idea.   I think it is very reasonable to analyse new technology before letting it into your life.  There are regular discussion on MDC on whether TV and video games are bad - I tend to think they are not, but I hardly mock posters who question them.

 

To quote the NYtimes

 

"Spurred by the unlimited texting plans offered by carriers like AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless, American teenagers sent and received an average of 2,272 text messages per month in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the Nielsen Company — almost 80 messages a day, more than double the average of a year earlier.

The phenomenon is beginning to worry physicians andpsychologists, who say it is leading to anxiety, distraction in school, falling grades, repetitive stress injury and sleep deprivation".

 

That does not mean my child will develop misuse issues - but they got those stats from somewhere, and I am not so naive as to think my child is immune, either

 

Oh, and I have never had a phone line in my room.

 

Kathy

 




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#27 of 78 Old 12-30-2010, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Whatsnextmom...I think you quoted me, but did not comment, lol.  It seems apropos to blame new MDC technology on it.  (see..technology is bad...just joking   hide.gif  mischievous.gif )

 

 

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#28 of 78 Old 12-30-2010, 09:10 AM
 
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Yes, it didn't post the first time but I've fixed it. Unfortunately, it won't let me edit again for the typos but ah well.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Whatsnextmom...I think you quoted me, but did not comment, lol.  It seems apropos to blame new MDC technology on it.  (see..technology is bad...just joking   hide.gif  mischievous.gif )

 

 




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#29 of 78 Old 12-30-2010, 09:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sublimeliving View Post


I would absolutely let my twelve-year-old have a cell phone with texting. Texting has replaced calling for tweens/teens, and I know that other kids don't talk on the phone anymore. I would also let my twelve-year-old email people (it's the same concept as texting).




 



Agreed. It is really odd to me that people are against 12 yr olds texting but would let them call someone on the phone. It's about to be 2011 - texting has replaced most phone calls for teens, and a 12 yr old is a preteen, so I don't see the problem. If you'd trust them enough to communicate with friends using other methods,IMO texting should also be allowed.

I added my DD to my plan for $10 a month and we have an unlimited texting plan that is $20 for both phones. It means we can get by with the smallest number of minutes offered (we don't have a landline, so all calls are on cells).

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#30 of 78 Old 12-30-2010, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, whatnextmom...that last post had a lot of food for thought.

 

On the facebook thing...sigh.  I resisted as long as possible.  Her and a friend set it up in the library one day.  They were upfront about it.  I know she does not go on much.  The only computer in the house (she does not have a laptop) is in the living room.  She may go on elsewhere (library) but it is in a moderate amount.  

 

I am leery of technology as a whole - or leery of the amount of it we let in our lives.  We already have mild overuse of computer/tv/video games in our house...and now another person wants another thing.  I think this is at the root of it for me - it isn't the texting per se...it is yet another "techie thing".  I am a bit of a simple live-r at heart - I am not sure if this is something that is appropriate to push on my children or not.  I can (and do) certainly role model it - but at her age she probably can make this decision.   

 

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