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  #1  
Old 03-18-2011, 11:17 AM
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Default Off DC Kids And Cell Phones

I am in the middle of a debate right now with my ex-husband about cell phones.

We have a 12 year old daughter together and for xmas he bought her an iphone4 (which i dont think a 12 year old needs an iphone). Yesterday I did my weekly random phone check and found out that she has been texting during class and making short videos during class.

Not only this, I also found some text msg I did not like. So I took the phone away.

My daughter walks to school to and from. It is about a half mile away, maybe less. We live in a very safe city.

Anyway, her dad demanded that I give the phone back becuase she NEEDS it to have when walking to and from school...

I dont agree and don't see why she needs any cell phone to walk to and from school for any reason.......

what do you guys think and also does your child have a cell phone? If so what do they have and how old are they..
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:31 AM
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I am sort of 'old school' about kids and cell phones. My own children were not allowed to have one until they learned to drive and got cars because I felt that was reason enough to have one...if the car breaks down etc. They also were required to pay for it themselves. I think that kids donot necessarily need cell phones unless they have to reach a parent etc but it seems tome that most places that kids go have phones to use in case of an emergency so again I still see no use for a kid to have a cell....

I am sure that other people will see it differently but I also grew up in a generation where we left the house at a certain time and told our parents we would be back at such and such time and .....we were. No calls, no checks, no nothing.

I have a daycare mom who bought an i-phone for her 10 yr old! but I guess that is her deal....


In your case, I would tell ex-hubby that she does not need the phone if she is breaking the rules with it but he will probably not see your side of it unless you guys get along well enough to actually communicate about the subject and aren't the type to just do things to get under each others skin.

Maybe you two could set up some ground rules about the phone that you BOTH agree on and what the punishment will be for dd ahead of time so she knows you are both on same page. Whew! This is a tough call...good luck
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:34 AM
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I wouldn't give it back. My 12 year old rides the public bus home from school and I still take her phone when she misuses it. Phone rules are phone rules.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:36 AM
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If dad demanded she has the phone back because of her walking to school and home and you do not want her to have a phone at her age, then why not have dad to just buy her a simple phone that will NOT text or do video's. Then she would only have a phone that makes calls
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:40 AM
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I would absolutely give it back,.... After a weeks grounding. Including weekend. During that week she would carry back and forth to school a prepay voice call only in case of emergency. No texting, no fb. Nothing but a lifeline should she need it. They are like 14.99. Worth the money to prove a point AND put ex hubby in his place.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:46 AM
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we are on great terms acutally, we have dinner together once in awhile and he is usually always open to discussion. the cell phone has been an issue for quite sometime. She has been caught sending text messages 10:30 at night on a school night. Dad was supposed to turn on some kind of parental controls, but it never happened.
It looks like this time we are going to battle it out about the phone.


I am like you where I grew up in the era of no cell phones. I walked to school from first grade through high school until I started driving. If I was told to be home at 5, then my butt better be home at 5 no exceptions. well unless I was dead....so my mom would say.

I hate that she not only has a cell phone but an iphone. She has free access to the internet 24/7...
I did not give it to her this morning and it was a drag out fight. But I told her that she was going to learn that there are rules.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:47 AM
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I would absolutely give it back,.... After a weeks grounding. Including weekend. During that week she would carry back and forth to school a prepay voice call only in case of emergency. No texting, no fb. Nothing but a lifeline should she need it. They are like 14.99. Worth the money to prove a point AND put ex hubby in his place.
love love love this idea. where do you buy such a phone like that?
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:50 AM
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love love love this idea. where do you buy such a phone like that?
Walmart, radioshack, walgreens cvs. Just about anywhere. I think they may be called tracphones?? My mom has one. Just in case.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:50 AM
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love love love this idea. where do you buy such a phone like that?
btw I really dont think that she needs a cell phone at all and would really like her to have one when she can earn it and afford it..
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:51 AM
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Maybe you could steal that idea from Oprah or whoever about signing a cell phone contract. You and ex-h and dd sit down make a list of rules and consequences and have her sign it. If she breaks a rule she will be fully aware of what the consequence will be. This way there is no room for complaining because she is fully aware of rules etc....if she still tries complaining/having a fit; I used to tell my daughter "Thanks for clearly demonstrating that you are nowhere near mature enough to (whatever our argument was about.) "

Just like the dcp's; you sometimes have to take the 'heart' part out of it and only deal with the logical part of it.... I like clear rules, expectaions and consequences. Makes it easier for everyone in the long run.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:53 AM
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My daughter is (will be) 13 next month. She's had a phone since she was about 10/11 and ONLY because my hubby got some other kind of plan and we had the extra phone. She has THE FREE PHONE that you get with the plan. An iphone??? Probably not, but she makes President's Honor Roll every semester so it's not out of the question.

If I thought even for a MILLI-SECOND that she was misusing it or behaving inappropriately I would SNATCH it out of her hand IMMEDIATELY (and probably take a couple of fingers with it)!!! This is MY HOUSE, I bought everything in it, there is no privacy until you move out...that includes book bags, diaries, cell phones, pocketbooks and the like. They've known this from preschool so behave accordingly or you know the consequences.

That's just what we do, but if I was in your shoes Dad and I would be having a looooooong, involved talk. Good luck Sweetie!!!
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I am sort of 'old school' about kids and cell phones. My own children were not allowed to have one until they learned to drive and got cars because I felt that was reason enough to have one...if the car breaks down etc. They also were required to pay for it themselves. I think that kids donot necessarily need cell phones unless they have to reach a parent etc but it seems tome that most places that kids go have phones to use in case of an emergency so again I still see no use for a kid to have a cell....

I am sure that other people will see it differently but I also grew up in a generation where we left the house at a certain time and told our parents we would be back at such and such time and .....we were. No calls, no checks, no nothing.

I have a daycare mom who bought an i-phone for her 10 yr old! but I guess that is her deal....


In your case, I would tell ex-hubby that she does not need the phone if she is breaking the rules with it but he will probably not see your side of it unless you guys get along well enough to actually communicate about the subject and aren't the type to just do things to get under each others skin.

Maybe you two could set up some ground rules about the phone that you BOTH agree on and what the punishment will be for dd ahead of time so she knows you are both on same page. Whew! This is a tough call...good luck
This exactly!
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  #13  
Old 03-18-2011, 12:04 PM
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lmao sounds like you and i are a lot alike.. In my house their are NO secrets or things that are off limits to me. If they are in my house they are mine...lol ok I don't say it that way, but I monitor everything.

I dont plan on giving the phone back. If she is going to get it back, she is going to earn it back.

I started this new thing.
No such thing as allowance for comman day chores, like dishes, trash and etc. If you want $ then you have to earn it above that.
I made a list :
clean the front bathroom/shower $3.00
Clean compost, side yard and trash area $4.00 (about 35 min of work)
Laundry room clean up $4.00
Clean and organize outside DC area $8.00

They have to start at the bottom and work their way up. If they chose to do it they will get paid, if they don't then they dont get anything. I hope that they learn the harder they work the more $ they will get paid.

Its only been about two weeks, but so far its working with my son who is 15.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:28 PM
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I'm in total agreement with you about taking it away. I will never understand the "need" for ANYBODY to have a cell phone, much less a child. Yes, it is a convenience and nice to have in an emergency, but the dire NEED for electronic devices nowadays is ridiculous.

She broke the rules. She recieves discipline for breaking rules. IMO it is no different than when any other rule is broken, there needs to be a consequence so that the behavior is not repeated.

When my son was a junior in HS he got caught texting in class. He lost his phone for a MONTH. And was warned that if it happened again, he'd lose it indefinitely. It was also a great example for my younger two, they have NEVER used it in school.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:31 PM
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Chores in my house was the "rent" you paid since you weren't old enough to work and contribute financially. I never had a problem giving my kids money for school event or functions. Anything else they wanted , they earned.

It was my job to raise responsible, dependable, contributing adult members of society...not people who expected everything to be easy, fair or equal.....that would have been a lie.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:11 PM
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btw I really dont think that she needs a cell phone at all and would really like her to have one when she can earn it and afford it..
My own daughter was approached 100 feet from my door in broad daylight at age 9 you can be dang sure she got a phone as soon as she was in afterschool activities and was out of sight for any reason.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:15 PM
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My own daughter was approached 100 feet from my door in broad daylight at age 9 you can be dang sure she got a phone as soon as she was in afterschool activities and was out of sight for any reason.
I understand where you are coming from with this, but I thought about it. If she was approached by someone and needed to call for help, she would have to stop, get her phone out of her bag and then run to a safe place, unlock her phone and then call me. I think that she would be better off running to a house knocking on doors and yelling for help to get attention than she would have success with a cell phone.
I don't mind the cell phone so much, if it were one that was meant for emergency situations, but not an iphone.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:17 PM
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I totally agree with taking it away; that's totally innappropriate to have been texting and making videos during class.

If it's that important to her dad that she have a cell phone, I agree that one of the pre-paid cheapy types is the way to go. I would handle the iPhone like any other electronic toy (Nintendo DS, etc)--she can have it after school and on the weekends and other than that it's kept put away.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:20 PM
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If she was approached by someone and needed to call for help, she would have to stop, get her phone out of her bag and then run to a safe place, unlock her phone and then call me. I think that she would be better off running to a house knocking on doors and yelling for help to get attention than she would have success with a cell phone.
This too. I was thinking it and forgot to add it to my other post. If someone grabs her from behind, or shoves her into a car, or a rabid dog corners her, or whatever else "could" happen in half a mile through what I assume is a fairly safe area, the phone is either going to be useless, impossible to use, or too cumbersome to use.

Until she's driving or unless she's going out with friends and might find herself in need of a ride, I'm really not sure what help a cell phone would be in most situations.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Little People View Post
If dad demanded she has the phone back because of her walking to school and home and you do not want her to have a phone at her age, then why not have dad to just buy her a simple phone that will NOT text or do video's. Then she would only have a phone that makes calls

Exactly! My children didn't have a phone that fancy until they turned 16. They had a simple phone for emergency calls only at age 13. There is nothing that is that important to text about in school. Education should be first and foremost. If by chance she is recording the teacher then she needs a tape recorder.
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Old 03-18-2011, 03:45 PM
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If the use of the phone during class is not breaking a school rule...I am not sure you have an argument, but now is the time to be teaching (from a unified front) the responsible and SAFE use of technology. A person, walking alone, should have the phone in hand, unlocked, and be ready to call/photograph/video an attacker, stalker or someone 'approaching' them.

Let Dad teach her the right things to do - take pictures, make a journal, keep a schedule.

Its an adult and useful tool and these are the children of the digital age. They will lead us. There is no reason to keep her away from technology, but its important to keep her safe in all applicable ways.

Maybe she can check it in at school?
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:42 PM
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I also have a 12 year old daughter that has the iPhone4.
She loves it but we also homeschool which allows us to monitor her usage all the time. I wonder if there is an App that will give you parental control over certain functions that you can turn on and off as needed.
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:47 PM
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If the use of the phone during class is not breaking a school rule...I am not sure you have an argument, but now is the time to be teaching (from a unified front) the responsible and SAFE use of technology. A person, walking alone, should have the phone in hand, unlocked, and be ready to call/photograph/video an attacker, stalker or someone 'approaching' them.

Let Dad teach her the right things to do - take pictures, make a journal, keep a schedule.

Its an adult and useful tool and these are the children of the digital age. They will lead us. There is no reason to keep her away from technology, but its important to keep her safe in all applicable ways.

Maybe she can check it in at school?
I agree that these are children of the digital age and they will lead us, however, I feel that the phone is more of a distraction than it is a useful tool to her. Do you really think that a 12 year old little girl is going to be able to react properly to conduct such a task of video taping someone while they are attacking her? I know I could not even do that. Sad part is that people think that the cell phone is going to keep them safe. In all reality, if someone is going to get attacked, robbed, beat up or etc a cell phone is NOT going to save them, it's not going to stop the person that is attacking them either.

It may play a role only in the end to inform whoever: police, mom , dad and etc after the crime has been comitted. My child would be better off running the opposite direction and yelling for help. Just like we were taught when we were growing up.

I was personally attacked one morning when i was about 18 in my school parking lot. I had pepper spray and was working at the police department at the time. Guess what even though it was in my reach, there was no way for me to get to it to properly use it. I got robbed and that was that. there was nothing that I was going to do to stop it.

As for the school, school policy states that the children are not to have the phone on during school hours and there is no way that the school could allow for cell phone check in for every child.... unless there is something that I don't know....
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:49 PM
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I also have a 12 year old daughter that has the iPhone4.
She loves it but we also homeschool which allows us to monitor her usage all the time. I wonder if there is an App that will give you parental control over certain functions that you can turn on and off as needed.
My ex- did say that there is a parental control that you can set on it through at&t that will allow you to turn the phone off at certain times, limit the useage, limit who she can call after certain hours and so on, however, he has yet to follow through with this...
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:46 PM
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You can always set the password code to turn off access to the device. It still allows you to dial 911 or another emergency number. That might be the simplest solution.
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