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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>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.</p>
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<p>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).</p>
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<p>I am worried somewhat about texting itself - the frequency with which teens do it is alarming!  Here is an article:</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/26/health/26teen.html?_r=1" target="_blank">http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/26/health/26teen.html?_r=1</a></p>
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<p>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.  </p>
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<p>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.</p>
<p>They now are allowed all features their phones offer.</p>
 

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

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<p>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.</p>
 
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>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. </p>
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<p>It is cheaper to text than to call.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>CarrieMF</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1288009/12-year-old-wants-cell-phone-do-she-can-text#post_16146289"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
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<p>It is cheaper to text than to call.</p>
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<br><br><p>The landline we have is free for her to use <img alt="wink1.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/wink1.gif"></p>
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<p>I think it is a waste of money and has the potential for misuse.</p>
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>For us, texting has been a plus. Whether it's tight for your DD and your family, I can't say.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>CarrieMF</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1288009/12-year-old-wants-cell-phone-do-she-can-text#post_16146289"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>It is cheaper to text than to call.</p>
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<br><br><p>Not around here it isn't. </p>
 

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<p><br>
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. </p>
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>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.</p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MusicianDad</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1288009/12-year-old-wants-cell-phone-do-she-can-text#post_16146549"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>CarrieMF</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1288009/12-year-old-wants-cell-phone-do-she-can-text#post_16146289"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>It is cheaper to text than to call.</p>
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<br><br><p>Not around here it isn't. </p>
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<p>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.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>zinemama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1288009/12-year-old-wants-cell-phone-do-she-can-text#post_16146496"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
No, I wouldn't. I don't see the need for a 12yo to text anyone.</div>
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<p><br><br><span><img alt="yeahthat.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="width:35px;height:25px;"></span></p>
 

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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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<p>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).</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>whatsnextmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1288009/12-year-old-wants-cell-phone-do-she-can-text#post_16146675"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> 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.</p>
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<p>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. <strong>It's just amazing we all survived the the Atari and private phone lines like IN your own room lol.</strong></p>
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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.</p>
<p>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. </p>
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>To quote the NYtimes</p>
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<p>"<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Georgia, serif;line-height:22px;font-size:15px;color:rgb(51,51,51);">Spurred by the unlimited texting plans offered by carriers like <a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/at_and_t/index.html?inline=nyt-org" style="color:rgb(0,66,118);text-decoration:underline;" target="_blank" title="More information about AT&T Corp">AT&T</a> Mobility and <a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/verizon_communications_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org" style="color:rgb(0,66,118);text-decoration:underline;" target="_blank" title="More information about Verizon Communications">Verizon</a> Wireless, American teenagers sent and received an average of 2,272 <a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/t/text_messaging/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier" style="color:rgb(0,66,118);text-decoration:underline;" target="_blank" title="More articles about text messaging.">text messages</a> 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.</span></p>
<p style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Georgia, serif;font-size:15px;line-height:22px;">The phenomenon is beginning to worry physicians and<a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/diseasesconditionsandhealthtopics/psychology_and_psychologists/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier" style="color:rgb(0,66,118);text-decoration:underline;" target="_blank" title="Recent and archival health news about psychologists.">psychologists</a>, who say it is leading to <a href="http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/symptoms/stress-and-anxiety/overview.html?inline=nyt-classifier" style="color:rgb(0,66,118);text-decoration:underline;" target="_blank" title="In-depth reference and news articles about Stress and anxiety.">anxiety</a>, distraction in school, falling grades, repetitive stress injury and sleep deprivation".</p>
<p style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Georgia, serif;font-size:15px;line-height:22px;"> </p>
<p style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Georgia, serif;font-size:15px;line-height:22px;"><span style="font-size:14px;">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</span></p>
<p style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Georgia, serif;font-size:15px;line-height:22px;"> </p>
<p style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Georgia, serif;font-size:15px;line-height:22px;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:rgb(0,0,0);font-family:arial, helvetica, clean, sans-serif;line-height:16px;font-size:13px;">Oh, and I have never had a phone line in my room.</span></p>
<p style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Georgia, serif;font-size:15px;line-height:22px;"> </p>
<p style="color:rgb(51,51,51);font-family:Georgia, serif;font-size:15px;line-height:22px;">Kathy</p>
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>They know no calls after 10 or phones will be taken away.</p>
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<p>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.  </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
<p>Thanks to the posters who have suggested some of the safeguards... I will think about those if we make the leap.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>kathymuggle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1288009/12-year-old-wants-cell-phone-do-she-can-text#post_16146321"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<p><strong>I think it is a waste of money and has the potential for misuse.</strong></p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(139,69,19);">I completely agree with this!</span></p>
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<p><strong>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.</strong></p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(139,69,19);">I don't agree with this....</span></p>
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<p>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. <br>
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<p>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.  </p>
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<p>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.  </p>
 

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<p> sure the landline is free for her but a cel isn't costing you money either.</p>
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>Last month my 12yo sent/received 367 messages. </p>
 
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