So far I am holding the line on not having a cell phone for my middle schooler. First of all, I don’t think it is necessary, and it is just something else to lose or break, but I know I am going to have to give in eventually.
However, we are already paying a bloody FORTUNE for our existing cell phones (DS21 & I both have smart phones, which are SO expensive, but worth it, I love mine!). What kind of cell/text plans have you found that keep the costs within reason?
Also, what do you think is the “magic” age for kids to have a cell phone and how do you keep it from taking over their lives? Texting just seems so out of control for kids these days, one month my son had nine THOUSAND texts just between him and his girlfriend – yikes! I figured it out and that is approximately 1 text every 3 minutes for every waking minute of his life.
Yes. The dreaded cell phone conversation. I will never forget the day my husband called to get our oldest son, 13 at the time because that is the “magic” age in our home, his cell phone. He was sitting about ten feet across the room from me and when he reponded to the question from the very insightful women at the other end of the phone with, “Let’s start with the 200 texts per month plan,” I could hear her laughing all the way across the room. True. Story.
When she finally caught her breath she kindly asked, “Mr. Mullen, have you ever seen a teenager on a cell phone? They text. Often.”
We ultimately went with the unlimited texting plan and let me tell you, the money we have saved will now allow us to buy him a car when he turns 16. He had 2,500 texts the FIRST WEEK.
These are the rules we put in in place for both of our teen boys:
We have the right and will be checking your texts, photos, etc.
The phone is to be given to us during homework time.
It is never to be used during meals.
The phone is handed to us every evening at 9:00 p.m. (This is when I occasionally take the time to quickly browse texts, photos, etc.)
If grades slip at any time, the phone goes bye bye for the remainder of that period.
The cell phone is, at it’s core, for OUR benefit. Meaning. If we call, you better answer or I will deem it valueless and take it away.
We signed a phone contract with each of the boys and then? The texting began.
Please take the time to answer Adrian’s question and offer up suggestions on plans, etc. Join the discussion over at TheBlogFrog.
A follow-up question, “Would you buy your teenager a smart phone?”