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Is it a good idea for kids to have cell phones?


blue collar

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I don't have any statistics, but I'm willing to bet that atleast 8 out of 10 teens have cell phones. We kind of talked about this some months ago on this site. Some implied that I am wrong to check my child's text. No parent is wrong for doing that.

Most people who have teens know that most kids don't call their friends, they text them. I think we know the reason for that. So parents don't know what they're talking about. Well anyway, I went through my kids text a few days ago and you wouldn't believe what some of these kids be talking about. I'm not gonna get into too many details, but I found out one of his friends (which I personally know) sometimes "pleases himself" among other things. Once I got through all the "parent proof" lingo they use, I sat their and said to myself, "why am I paying over $100/month for him to talk as if he doesn't have any sense?"

I'm asking the parents out there, do you check your kids text?

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I don't see the need for any kid to have a cell phone. Unless you're doing lots of after school stuff or something, what do they need them for? I understand once you get to HS because of sports and such, but anyone younger than HS doesn't need one.

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My kids aren't old enough yet, blue collar, they're 7 and 3. But when they are, they certainly will have them, and my ex and I will monitor them closely, as you are doing.

I think it's good in this day and age for kids to have access to their parents or emergency services in their pockets. I know that they don't think of it that way. They're thinking girls and friends, as I would have at that age. But I would hate for something to happen to one of my kids that could have been prevented by a simple phone call.

IMO, you're doing the right thing, the right way. Keep it up.

*edit* Also, Capt. Kaos posted on this subject recently. I don't recall the thread title, but hopefully he'll post in here. I liked his strategy on this topic a lot.

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Part of the agreement for my daughter to get a cell phone was that at any given time we can ask for her cell phone and go through her texts. She is also not allowed to delete any texts without asking first AND her texts go to this "special website" ;) that allows me to see every incoming and outgoing text to/from her phone.

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I don't see the need for any kid to have a cell phone. Unless you're doing lots of after school stuff or something, what do they need them for? I understand once you get to HS because of sports and such, but anyone younger than HS doesn't need one.

Believe it or not, I don't believe high schoolers should have them. That's about the time in their lives when they start getting into more serious stuff. Me and everyone my age went through HS without a cell phone.

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Believe it or not, I don't believe high schoolers should have them. That's about the time in their lives when they start getting into more serious stuff. Me and everyone my age went through HS without a cell phone.

Times change. You gotta accept that. I'm sure in ten years teens will have stuff that Gen Y didn't have as teens.

But I don't think you need a cell phone before high school, I agree with Matt. I see ten year olds now with phones. When I was ten, nobody's parents even had cell phones let alone the kids.

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Mine got them about high school,due to all the extra activities they were involved in.

I have no problem with a parent checking texts,messages or tracking their computer usage....Trust but Verify is a good rule of thumb.:)

added

I still don't have one,and likely never will

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My kids aren't old enough yet, blue collar, they're 7 and 3. But when they are, they certainly will have them, and my ex and I will monitor them closely, as you are doing.

I think it's good in this day and age for kids to have access to their parents or emergency services in their pockets. I know that they don't think of it that way. They're thinking girls and friends, as I would have at that age. But I would hate for something to happen to one of my kids that could have been prevented by a simple phone call.

IMO, you're doing the right thing, the right way. Keep it up.

*edit* Also, Capt. Kaos posted on this subject recently. I don't recall the thread title, but hopefully he'll post in here. I liked his strategy on this topic a lot.

Definitaly go through their text. Just last month, one of my niece's friends text her trying to talk her into being a lesbian. And she's only 11. Well anyway, her aunt found it and she hasn't had a cell phone since.

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You're kidding yourself if you think kids without access to cellphones don't talk about the same things. Texting is just an easy/quick method of communication.

Cell phones are great for emergencies, which is really all I used mine for through HS. I can't see not having one, I'd be willing to bet most suburban middle/HS students have never used a pay phone.

I think checking your kid's texts is kind of silly, unless you have good reason to suspect they're up to something. Doesn't sound like you found anything nefarious, just something you'd rather have not known if you hadn't actually checked the texts.

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My wife is a family therapist, that is she counsels families with some kind of discord. Anyway, she says that in a huge majority of the families she counsels kids' cell phone use is a consistent source of strife for families. Excessive charges, overuse, inappropriate use—you name it.

From a health standpoint, data is inconclusive right now on what cell phones do to developing brains. Personally I'd err on the side of caution.

I know it's more expensive, but what about a pay-as-you-go phone or a phone they can only have when needed. Like at soccer practice, at the mall... the argument that they need to contact you in an emergency is pretty moot because someone else will have a cell phone.

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I don't have any statistics, but I'm willing to bet that atleast 8 out of 10 teens have cell phones. We kind of talked about this some months ago on this site. Some implied that I am wrong to check my child's text. No parent is wrong for doing that.

Most people who have teens know that most kids don't call their friends, they text them. I think we know the reason for that. So parents don't know what they're talking about. Well anyway, I went through my kids text a few days ago and you wouldn't believe what some of these kids be talking about. I'm not gonna get into too many details, but I found out one of his friends (which I personally know) sometimes "pleases himself" among other things. Once I got through all the "parent proof" lingo they use, I sat their and said to myself, "why am I paying over $100/month for him to talk as if he doesn't have any sense?"

I'm asking the parents out there, do you check your kids text?

Hold up. You think texting is the cause of those kinds of conversations? What do you think middle schoolers talk about in the locker room, or cafeteria, or when they're hanging out after school? What do you think they would say on a normal land line whenever mom and dad weren't home? On instant messages?

Cell phones didn't change what thirteen-year-olds talk about. They just changed the medium they use.

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I think it's fine for all kids to have some sort of cell phone once they are at the age where they spend time away from the house.

I know for younger kids you can get phones that store literally 4-5 numbers. I would arm my kids with these immediately once they start spending time at friends' houses. They could have access to me, my wife, the house, and maybe a local grandparent or something.

As they get older, I don't see the harm in them having real cell phones with restrictions. Maybe do something like Capt Kaos suggests and having rules that you can check up on them at any time and make them think that their usage is being tracked (whether it is or not). One other idea I've had is to make it so that they have to charge their phones outside of their room or in our room or something. This will essentially give them a curfew on when they have to stop using the phones each night.

I have some time, my kids are 1 and 3!

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Hold up. You think texting is the cause of those kinds of conversations? What do you think middle schoolers talk about in the locker room, or cafeteria, or when they're hanging out after school? What do you think they would say on a normal land line whenever mom and dad weren't home? On instant messages?

Cell phones didn't change what thirteen-year-olds talk about. They just changed the medium they use.

Like I said, I'm not gonna get into details but it's more than that. And yes, kids will say way more than they would say on a land line because in a text, no one can know what they're saying. Plus, like I said, they use "parent proof" lingo so parents won't understand what they're saying.

Plus, cell phones allows kids to take bad influences where ever they go.

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My belief is that kids are being way too influenced by what comes through their cell phones. I have one in my own house and I've heard others says this. They'll literally go to sleep with the phone in their hand.

You know, not to defend kids because I don't think anyone under 16 (driving age) should even have a cellphone, but the same can be said about just about anyone. You'd think people's heart would stop beating the moment they put down their cellphone. People are WAY too reliant on their cellphones nowadays. Sometimes my wife gets mad because she's trying to call me and I run up to the store to get a couple of things and don't bring my phone. I don't need my phone to breathe. I'm just not that reliant on it. I can get by in life without it.

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You know, not to defend kids because I don't think anyone under 16 (driving age) should even have a cellphone, but the same can be said about just about anyone. You'd think people's heart would stop beating the moment they put down their cellphone. People are WAY too reliant on their cellphones nowadays. Sometimes my wife gets mad because she's trying to call me and I run up to the store to get a couple of things and don't bring my phone. I don't need my phone to breathe. I'm just not that reliant on it. I can get by in life without it.

All good points, but I find myself relying on having my phone more and more as I get older too. I don't get nervous or anything if I don't have it, I just am very used to the constant connection of e-mails, texts, and phone calls.

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You know, not to defend kids because I don't think anyone under 16 (driving age) should even have a cellphone, but the same can be said about just about anyone. You'd think people's heart would stop beating the moment they put down their cellphone. People are WAY too reliant on their cellphones nowadays. Sometimes my wife gets mad because she's trying to call me and I run up to the store to get a couple of things and don't bring my phone. I don't need my phone to breathe. I'm just not that reliant on it. I can get by in life without it.

That's very true. I see people every day just walking down the street and I swear atleast half of them are either talking on their phones or reading a text. I say to myself, "you're not that important."

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Believe it or not, I don't believe high schoolers should have them. That's about the time in their lives when they start getting into more serious stuff. Me and everyone my age went through HS without a cell phone.

I think HS is about the time because that's when I was playing sports. It was nice to be able to get in touch with my parents if a practice was cancelled or what not. Also, once you start driving, I think you should have a phone in case of an emergency. But I don't think anyone under the age of 14 needs a cell phone.

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Like I said, I'm not gonna get into details but it's more than that. And yes, kids will say way more than they would say on a land line because in a text, no one can know what they're saying. Plus, like I said, they use "parent proof" lingo so parents won't understand what they're saying.

Again, land lines when parents aren't around? Locker rooms? Cafeterias? Internet? Anyplace, anywhere, any time they hang out and parents aren't within earshot?

Plus, cell phones allows kids to take bad influences where ever they go.

This is getting close to paranoia.

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blue, I will tell you from experience being a teen in the past decade. It does not matter if you take away a cell phone. I mean bad influences, you might as well not let them go to school then. Kids will learn from their friends, random other kids. It happens and so what if they talk about pleasing themselves. What will happen as a result? They've gotta learn about it sometime anyway if they haven't from a movie or tv show like Seinfeld for example. Stuff like that isn't that detrimental. Now i mean if they are talking about sexually harassing a girl that's another story.

My parents don't check my texts and never have but I could understand if they did (though I'd be annoyed) since I have nothing to hide.

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You're kidding yourself if you think kids without access to cellphones don't talk about the same things. Texting is just an easy/quick method of communication.

Cell phones are great for emergencies, which is really all I used mine for through HS. I can't see not having one, I'd be willing to bet most suburban middle/HS students have never used a pay phone.

I think checking your kid's texts is kind of silly, unless you have good reason to suspect they're up to something. Doesn't sound like you found anything nefarious, just something you'd rather have not known if you hadn't actually checked the texts.

I have to agree with this. Sometimes we just panic or overreact to thinks that have not happened. I'm not a parent yet but I am an uncle and Godfather and spend a great deal of time with the nieces and nephew. And having the cell phone just makes communication a whole lot easier. Put them in the family plan so you don't have to worry about burning the mobile to mobile minutes. And trying to trick kids into NOT deleting text messafges is not practical.

Kids will find out how to do it and depending on your carrier and if you chose to have your texts itemized, it won't be seen. And if you do have it itemized, you will not see the body of every terxt messages unless subpoenaed for court. In their efforts to go 'green', hpne carriers are trying to reduce the printing of paper. All you will see are phone numbers if you try to itemize text messages.

I also like the idea of prepaid cell phones for the kids. This controls how they use them. After activation and the default starting minutes on the phone, you can add the minimum refill minutes each month. $10 ever first of the month. If the kid burns the minutes via texting or phone usage, they just have to wait till next month to use it again when you refill the minutes. It will take more then 3 months without refill for the phone to be deactivated, so don't worry about them losing the number right away.

This is a whole lot easier than when most of us were kids. Back in the day, we had to make periodic calls on a pay phone. What is a pay phone? Lol most of you here probably don't know what that is. Ate up a lot of quarters just making calls to check in.... Besides back in the day, did we have our parents or guardian check up on us all the time by eavesdropping on our landline phone conversations ? It is the same as reading the text messages.. Just my humble opinion.

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blue, I will tell you from experience being a teen in the past decade. It does not matter if you take away a cell phone. I mean bad influences, you might as well not let them go to school then. Kids will learn from their friends, random other kids. It happens and so what if they talk about pleasing themselves. What will happen as a result? They've gotta learn about it sometime anyway if they haven't from a movie or tv show like Seinfeld for example. Stuff like that isn't that detrimental. Now i mean if they are talking about sexually harassing a girl that's another story.

My parents don't check my texts and never have but I could understand if they did (though I'd be annoyed) since I have nothing to hide.

Agreed. Those of us who were kids in the 80's and 90's just need to remember what we did back then. It is not like we were all bad kids that could not be trusted. Or were we? ;)

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