Preteen - is a cell phone a neccesity? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 110 Old 08-04-2013, 11:04 PM
 
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Depends on a number of things. 

Ds was interested in business from age 4 or 5.   At 12-13,  I gave him a choice as to how he thought it would be wise for us to use the money for a cell phone:   "We can do 'X' amount every 6 months or a year.  Or sacrifice 'Y' . . .   Or, you can pick out a cell phone for Xmas or birthday."  He continued to leave me written notes, planned well, or last resort if he was going to be late, borrowed someone's phone (or he could have used the school's phone).  I was a single mom. 

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#62 of 110 Old 08-05-2013, 05:56 AM
 
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And if you "need" a phone to keep track of your kid, you're failing as a parent.

 

Wow - that's a bit judgmental. 

 

My kids shared a tracfone at 9 & 11, when they were getting more involved in afterschool activities and spending some time home alone between their getting home and my getting off work. At 10 & 12, when they were usually off in different directions, I got a second so that each had one. At 15 & 13, they had both shown that they were responsible with their phones/usage, so I passed the tracfones on to my parents and added the kids to my plan. At 19 & 21, they both now have iPhones. The youngest got a smartphone at 16 - and it really was a necessity IMO based on her activities. My oldest only got his this past spring when he needed an upgrade as his other phone was pretty well shot. I just got one a few weeks ago (when my dog ate my dumbphone). 

 

COULD I have contacted them/tracked them down w/o cell phones or vice-versa? Sure. But it would have been more hassle for all concerned. I don't think that makes me a "failure" as a parent, thank you very much. 

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#63 of 110 Old 08-05-2013, 06:51 AM
 
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Ds is 7 and I anticipate he will get one about 11 because he will be allowed to stay home alone around that time and we don't have landlines at xdh or my home. I would not feel safe leaving him alone in the home without a way to call for emergencies, even if it were for 10 mins. 

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#64 of 110 Old 08-05-2013, 06:59 AM
 
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exactly, how many times has a babysitter came to my home or xdh and they had their own phone thank goodness because landlines are history for us. And being divorced does add another dimension to the mix!

 

And as for borrowing a parents cell phone, what, in an off chance, the other parent, coach etc, is an issue, giving the child flack or being inappropriate. Sorry but it happens all the time both male and FEMALE parents being inappropriate with teens and preteens, I would like my Ds and DD someday to have their own indpendence.

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#65 of 110 Old 08-05-2013, 07:33 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.


I have tried to explain the idea of a public phone that takes money and my daughter immediately saw the flaw in that - but we never carry money!

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#66 of 110 Old 08-05-2013, 12:20 PM
 
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My daughter is only 2, so I could change my perspective, but this is my policy:

 

No cell phone until age 16, and they must have a job and pay for a portion of the cost. Also, no texting if they also drive. Before 16, they can have a phone that only calls 911, myself, and my husband, in case of emergency.
 


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#67 of 110 Old 08-05-2013, 01:09 PM
 
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My daughter is only 2, so I could change my perspective, but this is my policy:

 

No cell phone until age 16, and they must have a job and pay for a portion of the cost. Also, no texting if they also drive. Before 16, they can have a phone that only calls 911, myself, and my husband, in case of emergency.
 

 

 

This makes zero sense to me. Why 16? What if they have the money to pay for it before then? Would you forbid them to spend their own money on it?

 

Why would it be an issue to you for a 15 year old to speak to a friend on the phone? How is that a big deal?  Will they be allowed to use a land line? What is the difference?

 

Why can't they text if they drive, as long as they are doing them at different times. My 16 year old drives. She also texts. She never does both at once. (They now make new drivers watch lots and lots of films about what happens to people who text and drive).

 

If you do give your child a phone with the very limited calling rules, will you really check all the time to make sure that they don't use it to do something horrid like call a friend? For a child with no troubling behaviors, that seems really invasive to me. I don't go through my kids backpacks. I don't read their diaries or notes from friends, and I don't go through their cell phones. Big exception if the parent fears the teen is involved in drugs/suicidal/etc, otherwise, I believe that routine invasion of privacy just erodes a parent/teen relationship.

 

My kids actual phones were gifts for either birthday or Christmas, and most people buy their children gifts. I honestly don't see what the big deal is about the cost of the actual phone (especially for basic phones). Our bill is a FAMILY plan. I understand that everyone's finances are different and am not knocking a family for whom an addition cell line is a big deal. However, if paying for the additional isn't a financial big deal, why it is a big deal otherwise? I pay for all sorts of things for my teens -- things they need, things they enjoy, things that fall into a grey area of sorta of need but could mostly get a cheaper one, etc.

 

My parents made it very clear to me that the HATED spending money on me and that they felt I didn't deserve anything. It made me feel like they thought I was worthless. I don't do that to my kids. Our family's resources are for our whole family.


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#68 of 110 Old 08-05-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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I haven't read all of the replies, but I'll give my opinion on this.

While I don't think that it's a necessity, I do believe that they are a great invention when it comes to having an extra safety precaution.  Before cell phones if my car had broken down on the side of the road I would have had to walk to find a pay phone which could have been miles upon miles, leaving me vulnerable to an attack.  And that was if I knew where I was going in the first place, if I was in an unfamiliar town I may not even know which way to walk to find the nearest pay phone or gas station.  Having a cell phone can make these situations less dangerous.  Same for our children.  I see no problem with kids having cell phones when they are going to be out as a safety precaution, but I don't think they need to have one 24/7 and they definitely don't need smart phones!

 

I have no real problem with it as much as I don't think that cell phones are completely healthy for us.  Instead I would want my kids to use a tethered landline, which is what we have in the home.  It's just my thoughts :)

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#69 of 110 Old 08-05-2013, 03:25 PM
 
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An additional food for thought.  DS is in middle school.  Last year the school went into lockdown.  Each student was allowed to text one pre-set phrase to their parent.  It said "School in lockdown, I'm safe".  Then they all had to put phones away so they weren't distracted from emergency instructions and teachers weren't distracted as they followed the situation.  They were only allowed to send one, so DS couldn't have sent one for his friend and the teacher couldn't send one to parents. 

 

I was so glad I knew that something was up, that DS was safe for the moment, and I should watch the news coverage.  Without a phone, I wouldn't have known and would have been even more terrified when I heard the news since its always "a local school in the X neighborhood is in emergency lockdown because..." 
 

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#70 of 110 Old 08-05-2013, 04:52 PM
 
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Last night DD1 called me from the bathroom of a friend's house with her cell where there were some inappropriate behaviors going on. She called to ask me to come get her out of there. There was no landline, her friend didn't have a phone, the nearest store was 7 miles away. She would of had to ask one of the adults whose behaviors were making her uncomfortable if she didn't have her cell. No one is going to convince me that her having her own phone that I require she takes everywhere with her, is nothing else besides a very useful tool.

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#71 of 110 Old 08-05-2013, 06:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bthuntamerc View Post

My daughter is only 2, so I could change my perspective, but this is my policy:

 

No cell phone until age 16, and they must have a job and pay for a portion of the cost. Also, no texting if they also drive. Before 16, they can have a phone that only calls 911, myself, and my husband, in case of emergency.
 

Yeah...pretty sure your perspective will change.  At least I hope so.  I remember being the parent of one toddler and I had so many rules and guidelines and things I knew I was going to do one way or another.  Things change when you actually start to realize that your kids are real people with their own needs and wants.  The rules you are saying honestly sound ridiculous to me.  Especially because your daughter won't be 16 for another 14 years and cell phone use will be way more prevalent.  My little bit of parenting advice would be don't set so many rules for how you're going to do stuff a decade from now.


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#72 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 12:11 AM
 
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I never said I would invade their privacy or check their call logs, I meant that their phone literally would only be capable of calling a few emergency contacts (these plans exist). I also do not allow my kids to have computers or TVs in bedrooms or private areas. I am not a controlling parent. I spoil my girl all the time, and I allow her a lot of freedom as long as she obeys basic rules about safety and polite behavior. Yes, we will have an available land line, and most schools, churches, friends, etc. have phones that can be used when needed. I simply believe that technology should be limited. I place my emphasis on children completing homework and chores and then relying mostly on interpersonal interaction, physical activities, books, etc. for entertainment. I think it's unhealthy to be glued to a screen for too long. I am flexible. If my child makes a convincing argument for why they need a cell phone, I may change my mind. I just think it's a good idea to have some idea of how you'll handle a situation before it comes up so you're not totally unprepared.

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#73 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 07:15 AM
 
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 I also do not allow my kids to have computers or TVs in bedrooms or private areas. ... I simply believe that technology should be limited. I place my emphasis on children completing homework and chores and then relying mostly on interpersonal interaction, physical activities, books, etc. for entertainment. I think it's unhealthy to be glued to a screen for too long...

 

 

My kids didn't have internet or TV in their rooms when they were 2. At this time, both my kids own portable devices capable of internet or video and they both use them without us looking over their shoulders. However, I admit that internet capabilities in a bedroom was privilege earned in the mid teens, not as children.

 

I think that eventually you will need to lighten up or you will end up with a rough relationship with your teens, and that they will move out the minute they can. The rules you have in mind are fine for children, but really over the top for highschoolers.


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#74 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 08:37 AM
 
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My parents did not allow me to have a television or a telephone in my bedroom when I was a teenager.  (Internet and cell phones weren't yet available.)  It was not "over the top" although the majority of my friends had one or both of these things.  I was allowed to watch TV in the family room without supervision and to use the telephone in the kitchen without anyone purposely listening in.  (There was one incident when my mom picked up another extension and overheard something, and others when my parents overheard something I said that they felt they needed to talk to me about--but I believe these truly were accidents rather than spying on me.  They could have overheard me if I were talking on a phone, even a cell phone, in my own room, as the walls are very thin in that house.)  There were times when I would have liked to have more privacy and/or quiet for my TV or phone use, but it wasn't a big big deal.  Actually, I've never had a TV in my bedroom in my whole life--although I do sometimes watch video on my iPad while lying on my bed now--if watching TV alone was such an important need for maturing humans, I would've bought a TV for my dorm room the second I could find one cheap enough, wouldn't you think?  Meh.  I had my first Internet access when I started college and was much more interested in that--even though I had to use it in a public computer cluster.

 

I agree with Bthuntamerc: It's a good idea to plan how you want to handle issues that will come up as your children grow, but to be flexible about changing your plan as your children present good arguments or circumstances change.  The process of thinking through what you want your family life to be like is valuable even if you end up changing the specifics.  I know I'm really, really, really glad that I had "plans" for how to give birth, for how to feed and diaper my baby, for how my baby would sleep, for how my partner and I would share child-raising tasks, for going back to my job, for my child's bedtime routine, for allowance, for homework, for teaching kitchen skills, etc. etc. etc.  I have had to rethink SOME parts of some of those plans, but the core principles and a lot of the details have stayed intact, and it's been really good to feel like I know what I'm doing instead of having to wing it all the time.

 

Heavenly: We can't take for granted that cell phones will be more prevalent in the future.  If it turns out they really do cause brain cancer or have any other serious health or environmental consequence that gradually becomes obvious, communication technology will shift drastically.  Another possibility is that text messages of various kinds will become much more popular than voice communication.  A lot of people 15-25 years old tell me they communicate almost entirely by text and email. 

 

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Quote:
DS is in middle school.  Last year the school went into lockdown.  Each student was allowed to text one pre-set phrase to their parent.  It said "School in lockdown, I'm safe".  Then they all had to put phones away so they weren't distracted from emergency instructions and teachers weren't distracted as they followed the situation.  They were only allowed to send one, so DS couldn't have sent one for his friend and the teacher couldn't send one to parents. 

 

I was so glad I knew that something was up, that DS was safe for the moment, and I should watch the news coverage.  Without a phone, I wouldn't have known and would have been even more terrified when I heard the news since its always "a local school in the X neighborhood is in emergency lockdown because..."

I'm glad he was safe and you knew not to worry--for that moment--although since that's how you knew you "should" watch the news, it seems to me it was also the moment when you DID worry.  I think the school's policy was wise ***for those students and teachers who do have cell phones*** but it is a massive leap from there to the idea that every family is obligated to provide their child with a phone just in case of this situation and that the school couldn't possibly inform other families in any way.  My son's school would have done a phone message using an autodialer (we get the voice recordings; I think they also have a text option you can sign up for) and it would have taken a secretary a few minutes to inform all 700 families.  It calls our home land line, and my partner works from home, so he would then call me--or if he wasn't home, as soon as I heard the news, I would use my office land line to call my home voice mail system and listen to the message.  Technology can work for us even if we don't all carry it in our own pockets at all times.

 

I work for a psychiatric hospital, but my research study's offices actually are in another building half a mile from the main hospital.  Last year there was a shooting rampage in the hospital, and my building was locked down.  This didn't affect me really as I would have been in the building the whole time anyway.  However, knowing that my family and long-distance friends might hear the news and recognize the name of the hospital but not know that I wasn't in that building, I sent an email.  (Email to multiple recipients is a lot faster than calling everyone, so it seems to me like the better choice if you have the option.) 

 

When there's any possibility that anyone I love might be involved in a dangerous situation that I know to be happening, of course I am concerned.  But I have suffered so much unnecessary worry from people telling me about dangerous situations that turned out NOT to affect anyone I knew!  (I grew up in Oklahoma and still have family there.  The way I learned about the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and every major tornado that's hit Oklahoma was that some well-meaning person grabbed me, or called me, to gasp, "Is your family okay?!")  The odds of a false alarm are much higher than the odds that a news-making disaster actually involves anyone you know.  So I'd kind of rather not worry unless/until there's really something to worry about.  If my child's school is locked down, yes, it's good to know that my child is having an upsetting experience at this moment so I can pray for him...but if he's actually okay, so far, then being alerted that the school is locked down instantly gives me something to worry about yet something I can do nothing whatsoever about, except prayer.  Unless I can maintain constant communication with him (and as you said, there are good reasons to put the phones away) there is no way of knowing if or when something happens to him after the first message.  I would really kind of rather have a call from the police or hospital telling me exactly what's happened to my child be my first notification IF anything actually happened to my child, than get a message that says essentially, "I'm okay for now, but better start worrying frantically!!" and find that when I respond to that message he doesn't get back to me at all so that could mean he's hurt or could mean he's put away his phone and there's no way of knowing, and watch the news that says, "Six children were killed," and not know if my child is one of them and aaaaaaaaaaaiiiigghhhhhhh, you know?  It's not that I DON'T want to hear from any loved one who's able to contact me at a frightening moment, but that hearing from him has negative effects as well as positive, so I can't really see it as such a good thing that it would be a reason to buy and maintain a cell phone.


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#75 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 09:03 AM
 
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Actually, I've never had a TV in my bedroom in my whole life--although I do sometimes watch video on my iPad while lying on my bed now-

 

 

yes -- that's part of my point. Technology has seriously changed. Neither of my kids has ever owned a television. I don't know if they ever will. But TV shows are readily accessible from other devices that they own for other reasons, one of which is an e-reader used primarily for reading books. The internet is available from several devices in our home, and we have wireless internet through our house.

 

Everything is very merged now, so old fashioned rules don't make sense. I can't imagine telling my 16 year old she can't use her Kindle in her room, or that she sure better not be watching Top Gear alone.

 

In our house, if we had a rule that no device that could access the internet or view TV shows could be used in a bedroom, then neither child could do their homework in their bedrooms. If we required that homework had to be done in public parts of the house, then no one could listen to music, watch TV, or game while someone else was doing homework (and with a college student and a highschool student who take their studies seriously, a lot of time is spent studying here). We'd have to spend all our time together not making noise, which really wouldn't be very good for our relationships with each other.

 

Family harmony is more achievable if you trust your kids. I'm fine with my 16 year old watching shows like Top Gear on her Kindle in her room all by herself. It really is totally beyond me that other parents would get worked up over such a thing.

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#76 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 10:25 AM
 
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My daughter is only 2, so I could change my perspective, but this is my policy:

 

No cell phone until age 16, and they must have a job and pay for a portion of the cost. Also, no texting if they also drive. Before 16, they can have a phone that only calls 911, myself, and my husband, in case of emergency.
 

 

Quote:
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I never said I would invade their privacy or check their call logs, I meant that their phone literally would only be capable of calling a few emergency contacts (these plans exist). I also do not allow my kids to have computers or TVs in bedrooms or private areas. I am not a controlling parent. I spoil my girl all the time, and I allow her a lot of freedom as long as she obeys basic rules about safety and polite behavior. Yes, we will have an available land line, and most schools, churches, friends, etc. have phones that can be used when needed. I simply believe that technology should be limited. I place my emphasis on children completing homework and chores and then relying mostly on interpersonal interaction, physical activities, books, etc. for entertainment. I think it's unhealthy to be glued to a screen for too long. I am flexible. If my child makes a convincing argument for why they need a cell phone, I may change my mind. I just think it's a good idea to have some idea of how you'll handle a situation before it comes up so you're not totally unprepared.

 

 

Hi!  I actually live in the same town as you (if your info is current/ correct).  Just a heads up--- if you're planning on using public school, this is going to be a tough row to hoe.  All children are given individual laptops in 6th grade that they are expected to do their homework on.  Homework assignments are often given via email. In 8th grade, DD was expected to be active on certain networking sites to communicate with class members.  In 9th grade, the letter home during the summer said that kids needed to bring their cell phones to the first day of school for a school activity--- DD took hers and they were actually assuming the kids had smart phones (they ended up sharing).  I can't imagine it being less tech heavy in another 5-15 years.  The kids my daughter knows who homeschool are actually just as likely to have a fully functioning phone by 14 because they do a lot of activities (classes at BC, riding Metro, etc...) that puts them out of contact for hours.

 

Anyway, when my DD was two we were TV free (started watching a few videos while I was pg with DS), no video games, etc...  but for *most* people, there is a lot of change from 2 to 16 and it doesn't happen all at once.  Even the Waldorf schools around here (because of the high tech presence) don't seem to get very far with no tech in the household.


 

 

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#77 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 10:47 AM
 
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Although I REALLY hate it,  I would get a MIDDLE SCHOOLER  a cellphone with the following stipulations:   no camera,  no texting,  limited minutes - for contact calls only.
 

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#78 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 10:50 AM
 
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For us, it's not a "need" but it is well up there.

 

We don't have a land line.  DD got a cell phone when she turned 12 (in junior high).  DS will get one this month before he starts middle school.  That is also the age they started staying home alone.  As others have mentioned, I like them to be able to contact me at any time and there are places where they are that don't have phones (DD babysits for many people who do not have landlines because they only use cell phones).

 

I think DD had one friend this last year who did not have a cellphone and she got one midyear.  Before that she just borrowed friends phones.  DS was in elementary school last year and while several of his friends had phones, they were in no way ubiquitous and still seemed to be used more for necessity versus entertainment (kids who didn't have a parent home after school, for example). When DS wants to call a friend the default is still to call the parent's phone while DD's default is definitely to call the friend at this point (she will be a 10th grader in the fall).


 

 

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#79 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 11:03 AM
 
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In 9th grade, the letter home during the summer said that kids needed to bring their cell phones to the first day of school for a school activity--- DD took hers and they were actually assuming the kids had smart phones (they ended up sharing).  

 

 

Ya know? I would be prety ticked off if my kid had to share his/her smart phone for school work because another parent didn't eel his/her kid needed one. Heck no! Not unless they would like to help pay the bill! 

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#80 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 11:47 AM
 
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Evan & Anna's Mom wrote:

 

I'm glad he was safe and you knew not to worry--for that moment--although since that's how you knew you "should" watch the news, it seems to me it was also the moment when you DID worry.  I think the school's policy was wise ***for those students and teachers who do have cell phones*** but it is a massive leap from there to the idea that every family is obligated to provide their child with a phone just in case of this situation and that the school couldn't possibly inform other families in any way.  My son's school would have done a phone message using an autodialer (we get the voice recordings; I think they also have a text option you can sign up for) and it would have taken a secretary a few minutes to inform all 700 families.  It calls our home land line, and my partner works from home, so he would then call me--or if he wasn't home, as soon as I heard the news, I would use my office land line to call my home voice mail system and listen to the message.  Technology can work for us even if we don't all carry it in our own pockets at all times.

 I didn't mean to imply that I thought everyone was obligated to provide a phone for their child or that the school required it.  I just wanted to put the situation out there for other parents to consider as they thought through the issues involved.  And the school does have auto messaging and it did send a message after the fact.  During the incident they were too busy figuring out what the unauthorized person was doing at the school and dealing with emergency personnel.  But the auto call goes to my home number, where I wasn't until the end of the day.  For *me* I was glad DS had the ability to text me at the beginning of the situation and again when the all clear was given. No one wants to think about these sorts of situations but I believe they are worth considering when we make decisions about technology and our children.  And ourselves, for that matter.

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#81 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 11:55 AM
 
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Yes, we will have an available land line, and most schools, churches, friends, etc. have phones that can be used when needed.

 

I'm not sure I would assume that now, let alone what might be true in the future.  I mean, yes you have a land line now.  Who knows if there will even BE landlines 10 years from now.  And I know that most public places in our area will absolutely not allow a child/youth to use their phone.  My children's schools will not allow the student to call their parents -- the staff person calls for them.  But there are times when I would much rather speak directly with my child.  And the school won't call with the "Is it OK if I go to Mary's house to play?" sorts of situations.  Your community may be different and your situation may be different then ours.  But these are probably issues that you will need to think about as you make decisions about your children and technology in the future.  Though you are completely correct -- no one (well, no one I can imagine) needs a personal cell phone at 2!  And thinking through a general philosophy about issues such as technology is smart.  But so is realizing that situations change and you need to be open to reconsidering as they do so.

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#82 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 12:15 PM
 
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Ya know? I would be prety ticked off if my kid had to share his/her smart phone for school work because another parent didn't eel his/her kid needed one. Heck no! Not unless they would like to help pay the bill! 

I would be, too.  I just found out that my daughter's school has now approved that 4th graders could bring in their iPads or other tablet devices for using for projects in class.  Previously, it was only the middle school level (her school is K-8th).  She's excited by the idea, but I told her I wanted to find out more about what is involved before I actually let her take it in.  I want to know what happens to the devices when they are not in use - where do they stay.  They don't have locks on their lockers, so they can't be secured there.  And what happens when the kid sitting next to her doesn't have one. Are they expected to share?  I don't want to seem like a jerk, but it is an expensive thing.  The only reason she even has one is that my sister bought them each one for Christmas.  I know that she is very careful with how she uses it, but I know not every other kid is.  Especially at only 9yo.

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#83 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 02:06 PM
 
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I would be, too.  I just found out that my daughter's school has now approved that 4th graders could bring in their iPads or other tablet devices for using for projects in class.  Previously, it was only the middle school level (her school is K-8th).  

i actually think this is a great idea. dd's school did the same from 4th grade too.

 

4th grade is upper elementary. their amount of work goes up. unfortunately due to the budget the number of computers avaialble at school is limited. 

 

bring your own laptop or other device so you can do your work at school and not have to take it home to do hw. 

 

dd was sooo thrilled to take her laptop to school with her. for about a week. then she got sick and tired of lugging it and only did it when she needed to.

 

i never felt unsafe about anything being stolen. the teacher never left the empty classroom unlocked. so the chance of stealing was never there. and really none of the 4th or 5th graders wanted to steal bulky ipads or laptops. they would probably go for other devices like DS, etc and the games or smartphones. these they were not allowed to bring to school and if they did they were responsible for it. however i am only talking about dd's school. 


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#84 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 02:08 PM
 
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I feel like some responses are getting a little judgmental.

First of all, I would never listen in on calls, and my children's TV use wouldn't be monitored, it would just need to be in a room where we have a TV. We plan to have a dedicated room for our children to study that will have computers they can use, and if necessary, noise-canceling headphones. This is because my husband is an animator/computer programmer, and he needs his own office and compute to work.

I came from a household when my sibs and I had pretty much unlimited computer/TV access. I do not feel like it was a "necessity" or that it really enriched my life, and it was often a huge distraction from more important things.

We do not plan on sending her to public school, but if a laptop or a phone are required for school, she'll be allowed to have them. We would simply set limits on her use.

Again, nothing is set in stone. I understand that technology changes. By the time, my daughter(s) are in school, they will be used to our rules. We already have a routine of allowing her to watch a certain amount of Mickey or Sesame Street, then making sure she goes to the park or dances or plays with her books, etc. This is simply the way we have chosen to parent. I am not judging anyone else here for their choices.

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#85 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 03:40 PM
 
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I feel like some responses are getting a little judgmental.

First of all, I would never listen in on calls, and my children's TV use wouldn't be monitored, it would just need to be in a room where we have a TV. We plan to have a dedicated room for our children to study that will have computers they can use, and if necessary, noise-canceling headphones.


I'm not being judgmental, I just think that as a the parent of a baby and toddler, you might be able to learn from parents of teens. The teens years are best used when parents focus on helping their teens developed independence and life skills. I feel this very strongly. This phase is not about creating what your ideal family life with kids is like -- that really the elementary ages. Your plan is really solid for CHILDREN, but not teens.

 

I think that harmonious relationships between parents and teens are only possible when parents realize what the teen years are really about. Your rules don't accommodate different ages or stages. They are the same for an 11 year old and a 17 year old. Unless your kiddos leave the minute they turn 18, these are rules you are planning for adults still living at home.

 

I'm suggesting a more fluid approach based on maturity, technology, and the kid one actually has in front of them.

 

Also, a plan needs to make sense in light of current technology. Kids watch TV shows from all sorts of devises that aren't television sets. The notion of using the location of television sets to make rules doesn't make any sense at this point, and I suspect that will be even less true in another 10-15 years.

 

The dedicated room thing sounds good, but isn't possible for many families. We do have an office, but the desktop is my primary computer and both DH and I have things to do in here from time to time.  Besides, our home office is about as far away from the kitchen/dinning/family room as possible, so a teen doing something in here when no one else is in her isn't any different than doing something in their room. That situation alternates with us having too many family members trying to do things is what is the smallest room of our house.

 

When they were younger and we shared our computer, we kept our computer in a very central location so we could keep an eye on things. This gradually changed.

 

Both kids have lap tops, and the idea that they can't STUDY where ever they feel most comfortable seems fairly absurd to me. There are enough real issues in living with teens that parents really don't need to invent any by saying "study only in the study room." 

 

BTW, I do monitor my teen's TV and internet habits in the sense that I'm aware of what the do and how much time they spend. It really isn't a big deal and doesn't require much beyond having real conversations with them and being on the same basic schedule.  We have very solid family relationships from a lifetime of APing, GDing, etc. We really don't need tons of rules to keep them in line or artificial constructs to make sure they aren't up to something evil. They actually turned out to be responsible and trustworthy.

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#86 of 110 Old 08-06-2013, 03:54 PM
 
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My baby doesn't need a cell phone yet.

 

To answer the question, I don't think phones are a necessity (are kids really doing different activities than they did a decade ago that makes cell phones so much more appropriate?)  BUT they sure are handy devices.

 

I'm sure I"ll get my daughter one or whatever the communication technology of the day is when she starts going around by herself. 

 

But necessity is such a strong word.


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i actually think this is a great idea. dd's school did the same from 4th grade too.

 

4th grade is upper elementary. their amount of work goes up. unfortunately due to the budget the number of computers avaialble at school is limited. 

 

bring your own laptop or other device so you can do your work at school and not have to take it home to do hw. 

 

dd was sooo thrilled to take her laptop to school with her. for about a week. then she got sick and tired of lugging it and only did it when she needed to.

 

i never felt unsafe about anything being stolen. the teacher never left the empty classroom unlocked. so the chance of stealing was never there. and really none of the 4th or 5th graders wanted to steal bulky ipads or laptops. they would probably go for other devices like DS, etc and the games or smartphones. these they were not allowed to bring to school and if they did they were responsible for it. however i am only talking about dd's school. 

Theft is only a minor concern, really.  But, these are expensive things they'll be bringing in, not just notebooks and pencils. LOL!  I mostly want to hear the details of how they are used and how they are handled.  Actually, the possibility of her having to share it is my bigger concern.  I know we have to sign some document about acceptable use of electronics or something like that, and I've been told part of the document includes language that the school is not responsible for anything that may happen to the device if they bring it to school.  Which is fine if my daughter has an accident with it and something happens to it, but is not fine if she is told to share it and something happens while it's in another student's hands.

 

Basically, I just want to have all the information in hand first and my daughter and I will have a chance to discuss it properly before school starts.  Which I just realized is later THIS MONTH.

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Well, every family is different. I am not qualified to speak on what will work for everyone. As a side note, if my children are legal adults and still living at home, they can have a computer/phone/computer anywhere, in any form that they wish.
 


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#89 of 110 Old 08-07-2013, 06:07 AM
 
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Well, every family is different. I am not qualified to speak on what will work for everyone. As a side note, if my children are legal adults and still living at home, they can have a computer/phone/computer anywhere, in any form that they wish.
 

 

 

I really think that you may change your mind the first time your kid is using your phone to call their friends.  Or they're missing out on fun kid activities because they can't talk to their friends.  But maybe not, maybe it will be fine and your teen will be completely compliant.  Good luck

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#90 of 110 Old 08-07-2013, 07:28 AM
 
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I really think that you may change your mind the first time your kid is using your phone to call their friends.
headscratch.gif Really? You feel that sharing your phone with your own child, one time, is such a bother that you can't stand it???

My son is 8 and sometimes gets really into calling his friends, using our home land line. If my partner or I need to make a call or are waiting for a call, we tell him this is not a good time to use the phone and he'll need to wait. No big deal. Rarely comes up. We adults average about 1-2 phone calls per day, usually non-urgent.

A few months ago, my son and his friend were doing a science project together and got into video chatting to show each other what they'd done at home. His friend has her own iPod Touch. I let my son use my iPad. After a while I felt it was necessary to set some limits because he was getting a lot of extra screen-time by hanging out chatting with her after the science talk, because he was sometimes overexcited and running around the house with the iPad which made me nervous about breaking it, and because I wanted to use my iPad some of the time. So we discussed these things and agreed to rules about asking before borrowing it, keeping it in the case, not running, and handing over the iPad within 5 minutes of my asking for it. I never felt any urge to get him his own device to avoid these negotiations.

About schools requiring students to bring their own technology: This is one reason I'm glad to be in an urban public school district that doesn't assume affluence. My child's school provides paper, pencils, glue, folders, all that stuff. (They take donations; because we can afford it, I spend roughly twice what I would spend on equipping my own child, buying large quantities of the supplies I find at the best prices, and donate them.) The school (K-8) has a few classroom sets of iPads, as well as desktop computers. Projects that require using computers are assigned in such a way that students have adequate time to get them done on the school's computers--although of course it's easier if you have the option of working on it at home, too. I am happy to pay property taxes and donate to the school so that all the kids can have what they need for school. I'm concerned by how selfish a lot of aspects of our society are getting, but it particularly bothers me when public schools demand that students provide things at their own expense that not all families are able or willing to provide. (For example, when I was in high school, my journalism teacher assigned us to sell ads for the newspaper during class by driving to the businesses--none of them were within a mile of the school--and completely refused to acknowledge that some students didn't have cars!!) If your kids are in a school that requires every student to own a particular technology, I agree that you're going to have to provide it so your kid can get by in school, but I would question the school policy and try to make sure they at least have a work-around for students in financial need.
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