Saturday, January 12, 2008

Coffee Talk

Kids and Cell Phones:

When are you planning on getting your child/children cell phones?
What types of extras will they have--cameras, test, mp3, internet?
Will you have them pay for it themselves, or keep it on your bill so you can kind of keep track? Also, will you pay for it yourself to have some control over what extras they have?
Will you go through it every now and again to check out text messages, pictures and numbers called?

My cousin has a friend who has had 9000 (!) text messages in one month. One of my mom's friend's sons has a friend whose girlfriend was sending him suggestive pictures on his phone (which I am sure it were pretty tame because at least she had her underwear on). Teenagers and pre-teens with cell phones can come across as very rude when their eyes are always on their phones. Lastly, I always think about what I read in Queen Bee Moms about how the cell phone takes the parent out of the equation--things become kids to kids, no parents in the middle, makes it harder to get to know your child's friends.

This has not become an issue in my house, but I don't think it's far off. Carter does have some friends with cell phones, although he has not asked for one yet. (He just told me he wants an amigo(?) when I asked him about his friends). I always imagined that we would get him one when he is more into sports that we are not involved with (not coaching) so he might need to call for rides, etc... So tell me what you think--if you've been here already, tell what you did, what your rules were. If you haven't what kind of thoughts (if any) have you given this?



Niki said...

While I want to say that I won't be getting my pre-teen child a cell phone, I have a feeling that realistically this will change in the next 10 years. We're considering going completely wireless and ditching the home phone since we never use it anyway.

At this point, I think it would be a basic phone with pretty limited usage. I hate seeing kids walking around texting all of the time, especially at the dinner table, a restaurant, etc.

But, a lot can (and will) change in the next 10 years, so we'll see. If I had a child that age now, I think I would wait until they are at least a teenager that is going out and doing things alone with friends more often. Under that age, they should be with a parent/adult and don't need a phone. Just my two cents.

Robyn said...

Sure, Alex uses her phone mostly for "fun" and calling her friends, but the first time she had to walk to school by herself because I was driving to work somewhere, and we talked to each other the whole time she was walking, it was MORE than worth it for me. We haven't lived in Buckley that long. Granted, Buckley has had one murder in the last 100 years, but it was two years ago! And we may only live maybe four blocks away from her school, but it was really hard on me to tell her she had to walk. It was WONDERFUL to be able to chat the whole way, a huge load off my mind. We actually did that quite frequently last year. This year she has a group that she rides with or walks with in the mornings.

Robyn said...

I don't think many people buy their kids a cell phone "because they want one". Once you decide to get your child one, it's totally fun for them, but if it helps you out even once, you can justify it. If Carter didn't play any sports and hung out at home all the time, he probably wouldn't ever need one. Alex's soccer practices, which are supposed to be done at 5:00, finished at 4:30 last week twice. And it's almost pitch dark at 4:30. I'm sure she could have borrowed a phone, but all the same, she had hers and had to wait maybe five minutes.