Preteen - is a cell phone a neccesity? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 110 Old 07-31-2013, 04:18 PM
 
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My 13 year old has a prepaid cell that gets 100minutes per month.  If she goes over and I don't have a way to reach her, she must put minutes on with her own money.  If she doesn't have money, she must do chores to earn money to put minutes on.  She's had it about a year now.  It doesn't do anything other than call or text.  It doesn't have any games and she really has to watch her minutes so she doesn't go over so she texts infrequently.  I got it originally because of all the places she's been going without me recently like after school programs, walking to the bus stop alone, helping watch her sisters for 15minutes or so and we don't have a home phone.  This summer I've tasked her with watching her two younger sisters(8 and 5) for 10-20 minutes every morning while I drop off two children I watch at camp.  It's less than 2miles and so I feel safe doing that only if she has a way to contact me.  There are strict rules of course but having no home phone I wouldn't feel safe leaving them alone.  The phone has also been great for times she wants to ask me last minute if she can attend an after school program or when I am stuck in traffic trying to get home to get her off the bus.  


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#32 of 110 Old 07-31-2013, 04:19 PM
 
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My 13 year old does not have a cell phone and it has never been a problem. He takes the school bus to school - a couple of times the bus has been delayed and I got a text from the school system. When he is not with me, he is usually at school (with teachers/phones), at sports practices (with coaches/phones), at a friends house (with adult supervision/phones), or at our house with our landline. He does have an IPod and he uses it to text his friends because texting seems to be how they make plans and he bought it with his own money and there is no montly expense because it operates off of our existing wireless. A couple of times he has gone to the frozen yogurt place or generally riding his bike around the neighborhood and I gave him my phone. Honestly, my husband who commutes into DC from the suburbs on the train everyday for nearlyl 20 years has only had a phone for a couple of years. We will get him a phone next year for Christmas so that he has one going into high school because I do think that he will have more social freedom and that it will be convenient for afterschool activities. I don't roll my eyes at anyone who has decided it is convenient, but I do sort of roll my eyes at the idea of it as a necessity.
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#33 of 110 Old 07-31-2013, 04:29 PM
 
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Dylan just got his first cell phone; he's 15.  His sister got a smart phone and gave her old phone to Dylan.
 


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#34 of 110 Old 07-31-2013, 06:57 PM
 
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Michelle, the 7 yo at the park thing was a response to EnviroBecca's first post on this thread, and really wasn't about judgment. It was intended as a partial illustration of the fact that different things are safe and appropriate in different places.

Like EnviroBecca, I've commuted via public transit for my entire working life. My experience differs from hers, however, in that if a bus breaks down here, they kick you off to just wait for the next bus, even if that's not scheduled for a long time. There are plenty of places where, if my teen or preteen was off the bus there, I'd want to get a cab and go get them. There's also a big difference in my reaction when dh or another adult is delayed, and my reaction when a child I'm responsible for drops off the radar for a few hours. The cause may be the same, but my reaction is not.
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#35 of 110 Old 07-31-2013, 09:06 PM
 
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I think, in most cases, young kids getting cell phones is the result of parents being willing to pay for the convenience and peace of mind that comes with being able to contact a child directly. As others have said, it's a benefit to the parents as much as it is the kids.

 

I have nothing but respect for EnviroBecca's stance on the issue. Clearly she has reasons for not wanting to have cell phones and so she has found ways to get around it. All families have different values, and I do believe it is entirely possible for kids to get along without them. 

 

Me, however, I love technology and anything that makes my life simpler. I have no issue with kids using smartphones, etc. and I see how they use it as an issue that is more about where the child is at than the fact that they have a phone. My daughter just turned 11 and we are going to get her a cell phone because she is now engaging in activities where it would be handy for her to be able to text us and she is a pretty responsible kid. It is more for my peace of mind than anything else. She will be required to pay for some of it, probably the data plan since I want to be able to phone and text her. And that is because it is a good life experience to do so, good practice for having bills to pay, etc. 


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#36 of 110 Old 07-31-2013, 11:30 PM
 
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I also think a 'preteen' at 10-12 is different than a child at 7-8 getting a cell phone.  At 7-8 my kid wouldn't be responsible enough for a phone but at 10-12 he is just fine with it.  He has way more freedoms now that he is older etc.


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#37 of 110 Old 08-01-2013, 11:34 AM
 
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With pay phones and land lines in general becoming rare, I can see cell phones for any child old enough (as defined by the parents and local/state laws) to be without supervision either at home or in public.  It just was a non issue with our girls simply because when they were children, land lines and pay phones were the norm.  We still have a land line at home (it's my work phone) so Dylan being home alone wasn't an issue.  But last year, Dylan started needing to use other people's cell phones to contact me so we said yes when his sister offered him her old cell phone.  All of our cell phones are on pre-pay plans.  Dylan and dh can text on theirs but mine can't and none of us have internet access. 
 


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#38 of 110 Old 08-01-2013, 04:52 PM
 
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As a parent you must weigh in the health ramifications of cell phone use by children and teens. Yes, they are convenient and there is a safety element involved. However, excellent independent studies and even some industry funded studies have shown that cell phones are causing cancer wherever they are held. The World Health Organization classified this radiation a possible human carcinogen based on an increase in lethal brain tumors associated with mobile phone use.

So while your may think you are keeping your child safe by giving them a cell phone, you may be jeopardizing their future health. And children and teens do absorb more of the radiation that an adult. The American Academy of Pediatrics has expressed their concern recently as have many doctors worldwide.

If you do give your child a cell phone it should be with strict stipulations. They should use it only for emergencies and they should never hold it to their head or keep it on while in their pockets or bra. Read the user manual with them as each one does say that in order to not exceed the exposure limit the phone should be held a certain distance from the body. The iphone now hides that info in the phone and does not give the consumer a manual! According to Pew Research 87% of teens sleep with their phones under their pillows or near their head- THE PHONE SHOULD BE TAKEN OUT OF THEIR ROOM AT NIGHT.

Many countries have banned the marketing of cell phones to children; some have banned the use. The United States is far behind as they continue to allow industry to call the shots. Similar to GMO labeling- we want the hidden warnings posted at the point of sale so that parents can make informed choices for their families. The telecom industry is vehemently fighting this and unfortunately because they have money on their side, they are winning.

So, please try to strike a balance. And stress to your children about how things they use now can affect their health in the future. Brain tumors have a long latency period. Please err on the side of caution. For more info go to www.ehtrust.org and www.cabta.org. We do not advocate against the use of this valuable technology- we do advocate for the industry to make safer equipment and for our government to step to the plate also- this is a ubiquitous device used by millions and as advertised and used now they are not safe.

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#39 of 110 Old 08-01-2013, 05:12 PM
 
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I decided to pass on my obsolete but functioning Nokia phone to my 8 year old when she started catching the bus to and from school.  For two reasons: if the bus breaks down (and it has) and is left stranded and secondly, if she's ever in a situation that she finds uncomfortable, she has the peace of mind that I'm just a phone call away.  It is pre-paid, and I top up the account every 12 months.  It is not turned on and it is just there if she needs to use it as precaution.  She's not permitted to call her friends or use the credit for any other purpose than in an emergency.  It is a comfort to me to know that she can reach me if she needs to.  As she gets older, we will be more relaxed with how she can use it, but as a 9.5 year old, I think this arrangement works well for us. 

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#40 of 110 Old 08-02-2013, 09:23 AM
 
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My older two are 12.5 and almost 11 and I am considering either getting one for them to share or one for each of them.  Future shop (Canada) has a basic pay as you go phone on sale for $30 right now so I could pick 2 up very cheaply.  My son (the oldest) doesn't really have need of one bc he doesn't do any lessons, someone always drives the kids to school (private school 20 minutes away), and he isn't allowed to walk through the neighbourhood by himself but I wouldn't feel right about getting one for his younger sister and not him.  My oldest daughter is involved in tons of activities (competitive gymnastics, choir, theatre, student government, etc) and it would be very beneficial for her to have one.  It would just be a basic phone for sure - no texting or internet access.  They are going into 6th and 7th grade and I have told them when they get to highschool I will get them a phone with texting and data.


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#41 of 110 Old 08-02-2013, 10:30 AM
 
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I also think a 'preteen' at 10-12 is different than a child at 7-8 getting a cell phone.  At 7-8 my kid wouldn't be responsible enough for a phone but at 10-12 he is just fine with it.  He has way more freedoms now that he is older etc.

 

 

Depends on the kid.  My 8 yr old is very responsible while my 10 yr old is not. 

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#42 of 110 Old 08-02-2013, 10:52 AM
 
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One has to wonder how we all survived long enough to produce children of our own without the "necessity" of cell phones.

 

Until my kids can afford to pay for one on their own, their not having one.  If "everyone else has one," then it should be no problem to borrow a friend's phone in the event of an emergency.  And if you "need" a phone to keep track of your kid, you're failing as a parent.

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#43 of 110 Old 08-02-2013, 12:23 PM
 
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One has to wonder how we all survived long enough to produce children of our own without the "necessity" of cell phones.

Until my kids can afford to pay for one on their own, their not having one.  If "everyone else has one," then it should be no problem to borrow a friend's phone in the event of an emergency.  And if you "need" a phone to keep track of your kid, you're failing as a parent.

Okay, *this* is just a ton of judgment.

I would want my preteens to have phones in case of emergency, and for my convenience. They aren't tracking devices. I just want to be sure that if there's a jumper on the subway, or the bus breaks down on Murder Mile or the local equivalent, they can call for a ride. Plus, have I mentioned we canceled our land line? If something caught fire while I was at the grocery store, I'd want the kids to have access to 911.
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#44 of 110 Old 08-02-2013, 12:25 PM
 
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One has to wonder how we all survived long enough to produce children of our own without the "necessity" of cell phones.

 

Until my kids can afford to pay for one on their own, their not having one.  If "everyone else has one," then it should be no problem to borrow a friend's phone in the event of an emergency.  And if you "need" a phone to keep track of your kid, you're failing as a parent.

 

 

I used pay phones, and they just aren't around like they used to be. It was the disappearance of pay phones that caused ME to get my OWN cell phone.

 

One of my kids is in college, and and the other plans to go. We are far more into study for the long term rather than "if you want it, pay for it."  That just isn't how we approach anything.

 

I don't have any harsh words for a parent who can't or won't get their child a cell phone. I'm fine with your child using mine. No big deal.

 

Why are you so hateful toward people who make another choice? Your child will most likely end up using someone else's phone to call you at some point, and you are deeming that parent a failure.

 

You are actually counting on other parents doing this, and yet judging them for doing it.  nono.gif

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#45 of 110 Old 08-02-2013, 12:28 PM
 
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One has to wonder how we all survived long enough to produce children of our own without the "necessity" of cell phones.

Until my kids can afford to pay for one on their own, their not having one.  If "everyone else has one," then it should be no problem to borrow a friend's phone in the event of an emergency.  And if you "need" a phone to keep track of your kid, you're failing as a parent.

Eh, you could say that about any technology. It's not a necessity for survival -- same with lots and lots of other stuff that many people find convenient and useful enough to allow/pay for. My kids don't have cell phones, but if another parent decides it's a convenience worth having, and doesn't mind paying for it, then it's no skin off my nose.

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#46 of 110 Old 08-02-2013, 12:32 PM
 
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One has to wonder how we all survived long enough to produce children of our own without the "necessity" of cell phones.

 

Until my kids can afford to pay for one on their own, their not having one.  If "everyone else has one," then it should be no problem to borrow a friend's phone in the event of an emergency.  And if you "need" a phone to keep track of your kid, you're failing as a parent.


Simple--pay phones were every where.  Outside the library, at every gas station, every strip mall, every grocery store, etc.  And calling only took a dime.  Everyone had a land line.  There were more stay at home moms (not that that was what they were called).  At least in my neighborhood and those moms had no second thoughts about letting the neighbor kids call home on their phones.  Heck, they wouldn't think twice about calling my parents if they saw me doing something I shouldn't have been doing, after yelling at me to knock it off.  I anticipate my grandchildren getting a shared cell phone by the time they start being home alone.  None of my daughters have land lines.

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#47 of 110 Old 08-02-2013, 01:59 PM
 
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in my situation the cell phone was not for anything else - but my peace of mind.

 

no dd didnt need the cell phone. she got hers a long time ago due to different reasons. 

 

however i discovered dd having a cell phone gave me peace of mind. 

 

but now having had the cell phone and testing out certain situations, i find it is not necessary. at 10 dd went sight seeing, to a movie, eating out, windowshopping all by herself on public transportation. without a phone. without a watch. multiple times. in a new city on vacation. 

 

not having a cell phone on her as a life line i think actually provided her more of a moral boost in this experience. 

 

she'd left the cell phone at home. eyesroll.gif

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#48 of 110 Old 08-02-2013, 03:31 PM
 
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Both of my kids got cell phones at the point they started walking to and from school on their own -- DD was 9 and DS was 12.  When I switched to being full-time employed, I wanted them to have a phone in case of emergency.  They also spend a fair amount of time at sports practice, theater rehearsals and such and I want them to be able to call me if necessary without having to bother the adults around them to use a phone.  And if something really awful happened (this is So. CA so for us it's "the big one" monster earthquake) I would want them to maybe be able to reach me without waiting for the other 25 kids to use the phone at where ever they are.

 

So yes, more for my convenience and peace of mind than any real "need" for them.  I view their cell phones the same way I viewed other safety measures as they were growing up - cabinet latches and pool covers, for example.  "Need them"?  Well, no, families certainly did without them for ages.  But did they make my life easier and more comfortable?  Yep.  Some thing now that they are older, just the tools are different.

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#49 of 110 Old 08-02-2013, 05:20 PM
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I do like my dd having a cell phone.  We just have a tracfone--no monthly plan.  We pay enough to keep it in service and available for basic use.  If she wants more minutes, she buys them.  She got it at 11, but it didn't really get used a whole lot that first year.  Now, she does so many things independently that I really like being able to touch base with her and for her to be able to call us if needed.  

 

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#50 of 110 Old 08-03-2013, 04:48 AM
 
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One has to wonder how we all survived long enough to produce children of our own without the "necessity" of cell phones.

 

Until my kids can afford to pay for one on their own, their not having one.  If "everyone else has one," then it should be no problem to borrow a friend's phone in the event of an emergency.  And if you "need" a phone to keep track of your kid, you're failing as a parent.

 

 

Nice, your kids will never go anywhere with out you and never have an emergency.  If they do they can rely on the good nature of their friends whose parents did buy them a cell phone.  Weird

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#51 of 110 Old 08-03-2013, 11:42 AM
 
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Lol yep, wanting ds1 to have the freedom to communicate with his dad who I'm divorced from totally makes me a failure of a parent. Wanting to be able to call him while he's babysitting in homes that don't have a landline totally makes me a failure as a parent *rolls eyes*

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One has to wonder how we all survived long enough to produce children of our own without the "necessity" of cell phones.

 

And if you "need" a phone to keep track of your kid, you're failing as a parent.

 

We also survived without antibiotics, automobiles, dishwashers, central heating, and the Internet. Doesn't mean we can't find them extremely useful. 

 

I don't think anybody here said they "need" a cellphone, nor did anyone say they use it to "keep track of their kids" as if there were a trust issue and the kids need GPS tracking or something lest they knock over a convenience store. It's just really, really convenient.

 

Attacking peoples' parenting is never a good way to engage in productive discussions.


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#53 of 110 Old 08-03-2013, 01:22 PM
 
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Lol yep, wanting ds1 to have the freedom to communicate with his dad who I'm divorced from totally makes me a failure of a parent. Wanting to be able to call him while he's babysitting in homes that don't have a landline totally makes me a failure as a parent *rolls eyes*

 

 

What?  Can't he just walk to pay phone?  If you were a good parent you'd be able to communicate telepathically. 

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#54 of 110 Old 08-03-2013, 02:56 PM
 
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What?  Can't he just walk to pay phone?  If you were a good parent you'd be able to communicate telepathically. 

Lmao I don't even know where a pay phone is.
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All parents should be aware that the research is increasing that cell phones cause serious health effects. Please read what I have to say.

If you choose BPA free toys and breastfeed and generally try to live in a healthy natural way you should know these facts.

 

1. Due to increased Brain cancer in heavy users with over ten years of use the WHO has deemed cell phone radiation a Class 2 B carcinogen. Adults who started useing cel phones as teen had a Four to Six times as much increase in brain cancer.

 

2. Compared with adults, research on children shows that microwave radiation is absorbed twice as much into their brain, up to triple in their brain's hippocampus and hypothalamus and up to ten  times as much into the bone marrow of skull. This information has prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to ask the FCC to reconsider the current safety standards"

 

3.  Cell phone radiation is also associated with oxidative stress, DNA damage, decreased melatonin and damaged immune system function.


John Wargo, Ph.D., professor of Environmental Risk and Policy at Yale University and lead author of the EHHI  Cell Phone Report, said, “The scientific evidence is sufficiently robust showing that cellular devices pose significant health risks to children and pregnant women. The weight of the evidence supports stronger precautionary regulation by the federal government. The cellular industry should take immediate steps to reduce emission of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from phones and avoid marketing their products to children.”

 

For the Environment and Human Health Report on the State of Science around cell phone radiation please go to http://www.ehhi.org/reports/cellphones/

 

4. The Environmental Trust is a great resource to learn about precautions that parents should take with children and cell phones. Dr Darvis is a renowned epidimiologist and toxicologist raising awareness on this issue and all should hear what she has to say.

http://ehtrust.org/leading-epidemiologists-conclude-that-cell-and-cordless-phone-radiation-is-a-probable-human-carcinogen/

 

Mothering Magazine really should do an article on this because pregnany woman should be aware of this issue and not keep the cell phone in their pocket... or in the pocket of their ERGO carrier as I did for both my children.

 

The Environmental Working Group has a lot of details on their website as well.

http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2012/12/cell-phone-radiation-may-alter-brain-dna

 

Healthy Child Healthy World did a did a recent piece http://healthychild.org/cell-phones-radiation-your-childs-health/

 

Thank you for raising this question. Please read more parents. Remember these simple tips:

1. Use speakerphone or a headset and minimize cell phone calls

2. Do not keep phones in your pocket or on your body

3. Do not use the phone in the car where radiation can be higher.

4. Turn off WIFI at night or better yet.. use a wire to your computer

5. Talk to parents you know and share this information.

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#56 of 110 Old 08-04-2013, 08:44 AM
 
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Lol yep, wanting ds1 to have the freedom to communicate with his dad who I'm divorced from totally makes me a failure of a parent. Wanting to be able to call him while he's babysitting in homes that don't have a landline totally makes me a failure as a parent *rolls eyes*


That's why I got a cell phone.  None of my girls have land lines.  So when I would babysit the grandkids, they would have to leave me one of their cell phones.  But that only works if they are going out together. 

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Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#57 of 110 Old 08-04-2013, 08:44 AM
 
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Lmao I don't even know where a pay phone is.

I'm not sure that my grandkids even know what a pay phone looks like.

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Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#58 of 110 Old 08-04-2013, 11:00 AM
 
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Funny...we ran accross a pay phone yest and my kids thought it was the coolest thing ever! Go figure.
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#59 of 110 Old 08-04-2013, 04:07 PM
 
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Important information!
 

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#60 of 110 Old 08-04-2013, 04:24 PM
 
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My kids will have cell phones as soon as they are able to play on our farm while Im in the house. When I was a kid, we had walkie talkies whenever we went places like camping or in the woods, but because of our hills cheap walkie talkies dont work. In case of an accident, Id want to be able to reach them for sure without having to wander 12 acres. Also, Id probably use it for things like calling to give them warnings about how much longer till dinner, etc. We don't have a landline, and don't ever plan to get one. Basically, my kids are young enough that I know that cell phones, or some other technology will be primary forms of communication when you are not face-to-face with your kid. I mean, that's already the case- look at all the teens that hate talking to their parents but will text with them. 

 

When I was a teenager, we got away with A LOT of stuff that my little sisters could never get away with. You know why? Because we could always use the excuse that we were somewhere with no phone (like we went out to eat, or we went to the movies, etc). My sisters are required to check in everytime they change locations, and my parents always know/knew where they were. A few years ago, my SIL didnt answer her mom's calls or texts for 3 hours and MIL went looking for her, only to find her drunk and passed out at a party (behavior, btw, that she would NEVER have done, and everyone thought she was such a good girl and making all the right decisions.). When I was in middle/high school, I could have gone way longer than that before anyone came looking for me because there wasnt the expectation of constant communication. 

 

Im not saying it's awesome, or that I like it- but it's the way the world is working right now and you can either get with it, or depend on other people. 

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Holly and David partners.gif

Adaline love.gif (3/20/10), and Charlie brokenheart.gif (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical  rainbow1284.gif  twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)

SIDS happens. 

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