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DAWNO64's Photo DAWNO64 SparkPoints: (156,059)
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10/10/08 9:49 A

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Wow, that Verizon thing is pretty cool!! Wish they'd had that when my son was younger. I'm a paranoid mom, even though he's a good kid

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ADOPTMOM1 Posts: 8,660
10/9/08 9:12 P

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That's a really cool thing. Now, if only Verizon worked out here in the boondocks.

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WHGRN60's Photo WHGRN60 Posts: 2,925
10/9/08 8:47 P

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I have Verizon, and the real deal breaker for me with going with them was this cool thing called Parent/Child Chaperone. I pay an extra $10/month for each kid, and now I can, at ANY time, from my cell or my computer, enter their cell # and find out where they are, within about a 1 block radius.

So, if you're supposed to be at Billy's house, and I can't get you on the phone, I can check, and if you are nowhere NEAR Billy's house, you can bet I'm gonna want to know WHY!! LOL. Also, God forbid someone grabs my kids, I can tell the police "he's somewhere between these 2 streets". Lots easier for 15 cops to descend on a one-block area to search than to say "my kid is missing, I don't know where he could be"!

$20 a month for peace of mind for 2 kids? Works for me!

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KENDRACARROLL's Photo KENDRACARROLL Posts: 2,231
10/9/08 8:16 P

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I bought my son a prepaid phone for his 14th birthday. He did not like the phone(apparently it just wasn't cool enough...) and the reception was very spotty, sometimes you'd get a signal, other times you didn't. Result, he hardly ever carried his phone. Since at this age you really can't tie them down at home and they are always out and about it turned into a problem that I was never able to reach him. So, for his 15th birthday I put him on my plan. We share minutes and he has been warned that when he goes over there will be consequences (namely, monetary deductions off his allowance). He loves his new phone and carries it most of the time and I find it gives me great peace of mind being able to get in touch with him at all times.

The fun thing is, kids think cell phones are a neat toy, but on the other hand they are a great tool for parents to monitor their kids. Well worth the extra money.

It still amazes me how we ever grew up without and are still here to tell about it... :) but times have definitely changed.

Kricket/CA

Edited by: KENDRACARROLL at: 10/9/2008 (20:14)
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COACHMOMMY's Photo COACHMOMMY Posts: 286
10/9/08 11:25 A

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My 12 year old (almost 13) 7th Grader started asking in 6th grade because "she's the only one in Middle School without one" Of course she's not. Like someone else said, she really only wants one for a toy. She rides the bus to and from school and is never really left alone yet. We told her if she was going anywhere where she was alone and needed to call us, we would let her use one of our phones. She didn't want to do that because ours aren't "cool". She's not a big phone talker (yet), so she only brings it up every once in a while. They can't have them at school, but when she does start going more places where we're not there, we'll rethink and get her some kind of limited phone.

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10/7/08 2:15 P

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My daughter will be 12 in 2 weeks. She has a pre-paid cell phone right now. And that works just fine for us. Although SHE wants a camera phone...but it wont happen at this time.

DACN3559's Photo DACN3559 Posts: 43
10/7/08 12:15 P

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My kids 15 and 14 both have cell phones. We got one to share at first, but my daughter always had it. We got my son one last sept. because my mom had died 9-5-07.The kids were very close with her and had spent every birthday with her since they were born. When she was in a hospital we would go there. she had kidney failure and died of ovarian cancer at the age of 63. Anyway being such a tough year his birthday is on sept 20th. We wanted to get him something he really wanted so he got his own phone.

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ADOPTMOM1 Posts: 8,660
10/7/08 12:21 A

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I argued with my husband for almost 2 years about getting text messaging. He works nights in a place where he's not always convenient to stop and take a call because they work with some pretty serious chemicals. He tell me to leave him a voice mail but then he'd forget to check OR if I needed him RIGHT THEN a voice mail wouldn't do. Finally he gave in and now he's using texting more than me! LOL It's great though because I can say, "if you go out, pick up milk" and he doesn't have to take the time to pick up the phone to listen to voice mail OR call me back at 3am! Or if I need him, I can say, CALL ME NOW! KID IN ER! Plus it's alot more convenient to send a message when you know someone's driving. That way they get it but you don't disturb them on the road. (and no, we don't text eachother while driving!!!)

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WHGRN60's Photo WHGRN60 Posts: 2,925
10/6/08 9:04 P

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My kids are 13, and 11.5, and have had phones for a little over a year. I got them when the older one started middle school. The younger one only could have his at certain times when I felt he needed it, until he began going to after-school care, then he took it every day.

They had no texting until a month ago when we switched over to Verizon. I decided to go with the unlimited, knowing they would use it alot, and they have. It's very convenient, and even I've started texting!

They got the cheap free phones with their activations, and we have the minimal minutes for a family plan. They dont' talk much, they just text alot. I have only had one huge bill--the first one with Verizon, when my daughter downloaded a bunch of games thinking they were free. She now owes me $90, which will come out of her allowance for the rest of the year.

All it took was one day when she didn't know if she was to ride the bus or if I was picking her up, or to say the bus was late or never showed up. That made it well worth it. Now, when they go riding their bikes they take the phones so they can call me if anyting happens, and i can reach them if I need them home.

i wonder how our parents survived without them?!?

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9/27/08 1:13 P

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I think I may be using your idea, Alle66, for checking the c-phone at the bedroom door, as I suspect our 12 yr. old may be doing the same thing!

Cell phone Pros: Always reachable. Son can get a hold of us at any time. Convenient for him to call us when he's ready to be picked up from sports practices at school, instead of the dreaded Car Wait. Discipline tool. Safety.

Cons: I don't know who calls for him any more. The days of answering the phone and knowing who's on the other end calling for him are dwindling as more and more of his friends get their own phones.

Overall, I am glad we got son a phone.



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JLHARDING Posts: 23
9/27/08 10:05 A

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My 16 and 12 yo have a cell phone. The other three are begging but I can't see getting a cell phone for an 8 yo LOL. I have GPS Family Locator on each of their phones. I actually have never had to use it; however, they know that I have it so maybe it is just the knowledge it is there. With my oldest now driving (eek) I can't imagine him not having one for example the first Friday night he had his license he went out to show his friends his new car. We had surprise storms that turned dangerous (Tornadoes)and I knew that most of his friends lived exactly where they were reporting touchdowns. I was able to find out exactly where he was and advise him of the situation so he could take cover. I wouldn't trade this for the world.

As far as service, both kids do not use any minutes they exclusively text.

Jenn

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ADOPTMOM1 Posts: 8,660
9/26/08 9:13 A

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LOL, that's why our son doesn't have his. He would text all night. Our daughter is much less social than he is. Also, she homeschools and very few of her friends have them. They e-mail but her e-mail shuts her off at 10pm.

Tami

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ALLE88's Photo ALLE88 Posts: 80
9/26/08 7:19 A

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We have 3 teenagers. Our oldest is in college and got her cellphone when she was 16. But our younger two got them when they turned 13. However, in our house it is a privilege to have your cell phone and it is the first one removed if they talk disrespectfully or delay in obedience.

The one important thing we learned the hard way--keep the cell phones out of the bedrooms at night! Our son had late night conversations with a girl and we had no idea. Now the phones stay in our bedroom at night. It's just smarter. And that way they are getting the sleep they need without the temptation to text late at night. Just a lesson we learned that I thought someone else might appreciate!

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ADOPTMOM1 Posts: 8,660
9/25/08 10:41 P

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I highly recommend pricing a Trac phone while you're looking into it too. My friend just got a better camera phone than I have through Cingular with lifetime minute doubler for $29.95 as an online promo. We have one for our kids and when we are ready to buy minutes we search for promotion codes and always get buy one get one free so we end up getting 3 times the minutes we pay for. It's WAY cheaper than adding a third line to our phone, THEY have to pay for the minutes they use talking and texting AND more importantly if they lose it or someone steals it, we don't have someone running up a high bill on our account. This is hugely important since our cells are our main phone line out here in the boondocks. Our little country phone company is ridiculous!

We learned this lesson the hard way when my husband had his stolen out of his truck, BTW. The only time we've had the kids lose theirs has actually been in the house. LOL

Tami

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ABCMCCOY's Photo ABCMCCOY Posts: 8
9/25/08 6:52 P

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I am also new to the group. My 12 year old is in sports and some of her games I can not attend so I am thinking of adding a line to our personal cell phone. She is constantly asking to borrow others phones to call myself or my husband to be picked up. The other two girls are not yet in sports but they are at a different school than their older sister.

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ADOPTMOM1 Posts: 8,660
9/24/08 8:28 P

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Both of our older kids have cell phones, the kind you buy at Walmart for under $20 with double minutes, pay as you go. That was the privilege of living long enough to make it to 6th grade. LOL They buy their own minutes.

I was certainly glad they had them too when they went to 4H camp this summer and got caught up in all the storms and flooding in central Indiana. The guy who was "in charge" of 30+ kids didn't take his cell phone charger to camp so he had to rely on the kids with cell phones to call their parents and the 4H office. My daughter was able to call me and let me know that the bus broke down and they couldn't get a new one down to them because of the road closings. I was able to call other parents so they weren't sitting at the fairgrounds on a saturday, worried because the kids weren't there when they said they'd be. It wasn't until 7 hours after they were supposed to be home that someone "official" called me.

We also have a third phone which is our phone (free with our plan) that my 9yo can take with her if she were to go some place where she would need one. It hasn't happened yet but that's how we started with the older kids. We have 4 kids and a grandma to ferry around so we can't sit at every practice, etc waiting. Plus we live in the country a ways from where football practice is so it might not be raining here but storming at the field.

I don't think cell phones are a bad thing but they don't spend all day on them either. My son has to leave his downstairs at night but the cellphone is how I wake my daughter up most mornings. I pretend to be the concierge service at a hotel. LOL She doesn't think it's funny, but then she doesn't think anything's funny before noon.

Tami


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JAM2DREW's Photo JAM2DREW Posts: 11,014
9/18/08 1:57 P

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I have a 13 year old daughter and stepson as well as a 12 year old stepson and 9 year old son. None of them have cell phones. They don't talk a lot on the phone so I'm not seeing much of a need yet to get them one. I know I will have to break down and do this at some time especially when they start driving. Good to see all this info from others on what you have done.

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WSBMOM's Photo WSBMOM Posts: 304
9/17/08 2:27 P

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Hi, new to the group and thought I'd add my story here. Was going to give my oldest son a phone for his 13th bday in Oct, but decided to move that up in August because he went away for a week with a friend's family and then away for a week to overnight camp, and it seemed like a great way for us to keep in touch while he was away (which is was). The plan is his gift from us for now... we got unlimited text but no free downloading. I told him I'd get the cheapie phone that was available for new subsciption, or he could upgrade at his own cost, which he did.
When I activated his line, I was able to splurge and get a new phone for myself - figured if I was going to be texting him as primary means of contact (do boys ever actually talk on their phones???), I needed a phone with a keyboard! And, because of that, I decided for the $10 to keep my old phone activated as another line - we also have 11 year old twins, and with all of their activities, someone is often left at a practice or activity on their own while I am driving others around. So, whichever of them could benefit by having a way to contact us, gets the phone for that time. This has already come in handy. Not many of their friends have phones yet, so in their case, the phone does not get much use at all, and so "sharing" it has not been an issue, they are just feeling lucky to have one at all. So, no horror stories yet, but it is still new to us and I've been reviewing all their activity pretty closely so far.

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9/17/08 12:59 P

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Tammy - I'm with you on the expensive phone thing!! My kids got cheap phones, then if they want the super gagets, they've had to pay for them on their own.

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OUTDOORCHICK613's Photo OUTDOORCHICK613 Posts: 187
9/17/08 10:58 A

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Yes, all of the teens have cell phones. They are on our plan. Since none of them really talk, minutes hasn't been a problem ... we do have unlimited texting for the whole family which is how we mainly communicate due to the unlimited ability.

Before Terry and I got together I got my kids the cell phones because I turned off the home phone and we needed at least one phone here at home when I was away... it was way cheaper that way. It also helps me to keep up with the kids.

We don't have a set age for the younger kids to get cell phones ... it will be determined thru need. The soon-to-be 10 year old may be getting one soon with all the dance lessons she has and I leave her there to take someone else to their lesson or pick them up from a lesson so sometimes she is there a few minutes after class lets out ... it would be nice for her to be able to call me when she is out so she can know I'm on my way, etc.

We do go through their phones regularly and we all put them down for dinner and they are turned off at night (and handed over to us) so that they go to bed instead of staying up texting.

Terry and I do have differing views on some things though and we are having to work out compromises ... I don't think that kids should have these really expensive phones with gadgets and gizmos that they don't need PLUS we have had a rash of broken and stolen phones - I don't want, nor have the money, to replace these phones. Therefore I get the cheapest phone that can call, text, and take pictures for my kids. Terry lets them pretty much pick out what they want. This is causing contention between me and my kids over them not getting "really cool phones." But like I said, it is something we all have to work out - and we are doing that together as a family :)

Anyway, that's my 50 cents worth ;-)

Tammy (35)
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9/16/08 9:13 P

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My teen has a cell phone on my plan. It was provided as a gift, but when I needed it to keep track of her. I can call at any time and find out where she is. I have had no problems with her. She is very conscientious about her minutes and texts. No availability for downloading for her. My 8 y/o doesn't have a phone yet because I still have control of her whereabouts.

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POLK-A-DOTS's Photo POLK-A-DOTS Posts: 4,610
9/15/08 12:08 P

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I too have cell phones for my children. I love that I can always be in contact with them, and vice-versa...My oldest (highshool age) calls me on her lunch just to say "hi" and let me know how her day is going. I have not had any problems with them going on line, or downloading pictures...they always ask ahead of time if they can download a new ring..... emoticon

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MOMMAKATES's Photo MOMMAKATES Posts: 1,642
9/15/08 12:08 A

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My children have cell phones which so far I have not had any problems. I like the fact that I can call and check up on them, or they can get me if needed.

Edited by: MOMMAKATES at: 9/15/2008 (00:07)
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IMNINSPIRATION's Photo IMNINSPIRATION Posts: 58
9/14/08 10:23 A

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Hi there! This is my first post for this team. I had to chime in with my response for this topic. Yes, my son has a cell phone (his 14 b-day gift in May), it IS on my plan, and yes I do have a horror story. Within the first week he had sent several videos, and downloaded ringtones.... Luckily I was able to work it out with my phone company! ;)

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9/10/08 1:37 P

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I am new to this group and just read some of the teen's with cell phone stories. All three of my kids have cell phones, my youngest has had his since fifth grade. I have had some problems, but I have been able to work them out.

My biggest problem with the cell's have been downloading monthly subscriptions (usually for ringtones) and calling outside of the country (yeah, my oldest did that). Did you know that if you don't specifically block interntaional calling, your kids can make those calls at $2.00 a minute and up. My daughter's ex boyfriend moved to Austriala and she called him five times in three days to work out a problem at $4.00 a minute.

What I have found is that if you call your cell phone provider and discuss the situation with them they are willing to work with you. I have had ringtone subscriptions removed (haven't had to pay for them), phone call rates reduced after the calls were placed (international calls) and blocked my kids access to those temptations.

Unlimited family plan for texting, unlimited calls after 7 pm (which is when they should be using their phones), blocking unwanted services that I don't want to pay for (ringtone plans) and the knowledge that I can see every phone call or text that they make along with the time has kept the cell phone issues at bay.

Terri

 
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9/10/08 2:45 A

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EXCELLENT You are goood. Even though my grand-daughters are doing very well with their phones, your plan is still a great idea.


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9/9/08 8:21 P

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Since I pay the cell phone bills at work, I saw my boss's teen's extraordinary bills, and decided I was going to avoid that. My son got a (used) cell phone from a friend, that only used the card plan. I later bought him a new phone, still on card. That way, when he used up his minutes and texts, that was it. He learned how to budget his time and texting very well, and if he wanted extra time he used allowance and birthday money. I tracked his usage on line and if I found he was using it after bed time, I would confiscate his phone at bed time and put it in my room. Now he's 17 and in college, and I put him on my plan on his birthday - but got unlimited texting added. And he's been very good about it.
I made the cell phone a "rite of passage" at 13 and the plan was another "rite" at 17. Gave him something to look forward to!
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9/9/08 6:57 P

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My daughter who is turning 11 tomorrow has had her own phone since Christmas. She is on our plan and there has been no problems, we have at&t and can call any at&t mobile phone for free and we have unlimited texting. We have told her numerous times that she is not to get on the internet with it.

Kelley

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9/3/08 1:05 A

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both my grand-daughters( 11 1/2 & 13 1/3) have cell phones. They were not allowed to text for a long time. the little one still does not. the older blew it the first week and lost the privilege. Only took once, I love the girls having there phones, they are never out of touch and are learning to be responsible.


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MORNINGMUD's Photo MORNINGMUD Posts: 7
9/1/08 8:23 P

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I have a 15 y/o and an 18 y/o. The oldest got a cell when he got a car. I like knowing that if he has car trouble, he has his phone to call for help. This has come in handy on many occasions when he's had flat tires, etc.

The youngest has wanted one since he was 12 but I've told him that he doesn't need a phone until he drives. He doesn't seem to be in any hurry to learn to drive though.

Now that my cell provider allows parents to ration out the minutes, I'm considering dropping the land line and just getting him one anyway.

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8/31/08 3:56 P

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Sorry, don't have time to read all of the posts today...I'll be back in town tomorrow afternoon and I'll really pay attention...
We got our oldest a cell when she got her DL. We felt she needed it for safety. We paid for the serice from 16-18, she paid the extra for unlimited texting. It's worked great. The youngest will get hers tomorrow (don't tell.....it's a surprise!) And we're planning on adding the unl-text to all since that's the way the kids communicate these days. We don't even need 400 minutes to cover what Hubby and I use for talking.

MiniCoop aka: MamaCoop aka: Carla
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8/31/08 10:54 A

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My daughter is 16 and my son, almost 13. Despite YEARS of begging, we told both of them that they could have a cell phone when they started to drive and/or got a job, as there was little need until then. Their schools have always been within a mile of our house and they both have a housekey, so getting stranded if they missed the bus or if they had to stay late wasn't an issue. They have feet that work, thank God.
Anyway, daughter got a cell for Christmas last year (5 weeks shy of her 16th bday), and almost immediately racked up a huge bill with texting by the time the January bill came in. Verizon was awesome and switched us to an unlimited texting plan backdated to the activation date, so I only had to pay the plan rate instead of the $200 in pay-per-use text messages.
Son is now begging for one even more because "all my friends have them," but he'll get one when he starts to drive, too.

Peggy


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8/29/08 11:06 A

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I have owned a cell phone for over ten years now and must say I love the convenience. I think I can do without it but there is a certain comfort of knowing its there when I need it.

My son was on my plan for a while from the age of 18 to as recently as earlier this year at 23. The biggest problems I had with him was directory assistance and the occasional international long distance calls. Lesser issues arose from texting and connecting to the internet and downloading ring tones.

My daughter got her first prepaid last year September at the beginning of high school. The rationale was that we were in a new district and she was being bussed, she needed to be able to reach one of us in an emergency. Of course the restraints of that arrangement were TOO MUCH for her so when my son and his girlfriend decided to get on their own plan together, I added my daughter to mine.

The very first month her 300 text allowance went over and cost me upwards of $100. I was mortified. I have altered my plan a bit but have gone from paying less than $100 a month for 2 lines to slightly under $140 now. While that may not seem like a lot, it is to me, especially in these hard times.

On the other hand since she loves this thing so much it is my first source of punishment. We also have very strict rules per school. I leave the house before her so she has to call me to let me know she got on the bus safely from the cell. Once at school it MUST be OFF. Also after a certain time at night she is not allowed to be on it.

TTFN!


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8/28/08 10:29 P

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I too was very much against children having their own phones at least till they started driving or became active enough that you needed to keep track of them.

My oldest now 26 didn't get her first cell till she graduated college and planning to move 7 hours away for her life career. However, when she started driving she took my phone with her. What a blessing that was once the car broke down on her way to a friend's house that was 90 minutes away and she was able to call us and we could "rescue" her. Luckily she was only about 15 min. from home. While at college if she needed to use one she borrowed her roommates. The problem came her first summer home she used the land line and called her college friends and ran the bill up over $300 We went to unlimited long distance on our land line. Like I said after she graduated college she found a plan and she and I shared a plan. We always had rollover min. even though she used it in her new area to set up housekeeping and job interviews ect.

My youngest got her phone this past school year. She went into 7th grade (12 years old). We have a combined jr/sr high school. The school had a lot of bomb scares/threats and she would call home from the public library which is probably a quarter of a mile from the school for me to pick her up. Then one day I was waiting for her after school where I could see her coming out of the school and watch if she got on her bus or came over to the car. I missed her this one time and she forgot her her keys this particular day and was locked out of the house for 20 min. Because I missed her getting on the bus I wasn't sure if she was just longer coming out of the school or if I missed her. At any rate she was in tears by the time I got home. We went out that night and got her a cell phone (not the one she wanted the cheapest to get the job done). Now she and I both have peace of mind. She keeps it off at school as our school has the confiscation policy also. They don't search your person or locker but if it is seen or heard it is confiscated. She only calls he best friend after 9 - her friends mothers rules because that is when the minutes are free - free nights and weekends and she doesn't do the texting thing.

One friend put her daughter on a pay as you go plan.
Another friend put her daughter on unlimited texting. My daughters friend is on her mothers plan.

All kids are individual so whatever works for your family.

Kathie
W. PA


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8/27/08 12:34 P

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I guess we're not as creative as our kids. Many of us do not see our children during classes and wouldn't even imagine what they can do. I'm not saying 'your' child would do these things, I'm just going to relate what I have personally seen in my school district. One student used his cell to video tape the teacher reprimanding the class. From there, another student then posted the video on my space and put in their own derogatory comments. This in itself is a violation of 'rights.' There have also been occurrences of students trying to cheat on tests via texting or use of the camera portion of their phones. A parent can immediately reach their child during a class by calling the front office and advising of an emergency. Students must keep phones in their lockers and not have them on their person. I find that the distractions that can be caused by having the phone in a classroom take away from the learning process and the real reason our kids are in school. If another district uses stronger measures, I couldn't comment as to why the restriction actually was put into place because I wouldn't be privy to the actual incident that led to the rule.

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8/26/08 8:31 P

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Well, let me reiterate. Perhaps I didn't make my thoughts clear.

I in NO WAY advocate a cell phone turned on in class. I do not have any need to reach my children while they are in school. I know where they are. In fact, I have no reason to reach them after school either, as again I know where they are - we have a plan. When my kids NEED the phone is after school when their practice is cancelled, they've missed their ride, and they need to reach a family member - especially since they are NOT allowed to return to the school building once they have left it (hoping to catch their ride). My 13 year old daughter, BTW, walks to and from school - all the more reason for her to have a phone.

I certainly understand the rule about no phones in class. What I don't support, however, is our schools' ZERO TOLERANCE policy in regards to cell phones. In my childrens' schools, even if they are turned OFF and stashed in a locker, they are confiscated, and the parent has to pick it up. If they are caught with one ON in class and on them, it is confiscated for the ENTIRE year (again, that rule, I don't have a major problem with). My kids are just lucky that they each have a teacher/coach willing to hold their phones for them - because teachers are not supposed to.

For the record, I too, teach in the public schools. The same schools with this policy. And I am still against it.

M.Jaye

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DOKUBO's Photo DOKUBO Posts: 777
8/26/08 8:11 P

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During school hours kids only have to go to the office to call home. I don't see any reason why a parent would need to call a student directly and interrupt them at school instead of calling the school office first.

The reason schools are so strict about phones is because kids play with them all day long, they are a distraction and disrupt their learning.

At our Elementary/Middle school, the parents have to sign a form that their student has a phone, they turn it into the teacher at the beginning of the day and get it back at the end of the school day. This has really helped cut down on the mis-use of the phones during school. If they are caught with a phone during school hours, it is confiscated, sent to the office and a parent has to retrieve it from the office (with a reminder of the rules!)

At the high school, if a student is caught with a phone during school hours it's confiscated and a parent has to retrieve it from the office. (My husband accidently dialed my sons phone while he was at school and it rang in his pocket during class - oops.)
If kids were acting responsible with them, then these rules wouldn't have to be in place.

I haven't seen very many kids who have appropriate "phone etiquette". I wish more parents would teach their kids phone etiquette, I believe many of these issues would go away.


DebO - So CA

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8/26/08 2:07 P

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JR - My kids have Virgin as well. We've researched plans, and they have the most minutes (or texts) for the money combined with the most easily accessible cards. My daughter originally had XE mobile (I *think* that's who they were??) because she liked their phones better, but we could never find the cards. Virgin Top Up cards are everywhere, easy to apply, and their customer service is very helpful. We've dealt with them for 4 years now (since son's first phone/account) and haven't had any problems.

Michgirl - Why does your Hubby think your daughter doesn't need one - specifically? You might need to ask him to spell it out, because quite honestly that was always my first reaction when my kids wanted phones. But when I really started thinking about it, especially considering they both play after school sports and sometimes practices end early or are cancelled at the last minute all together, it made sense for our family.

You DO want to check to be sure that your daughter can have one. Is the bus she's riding public transportation (in which case, I'd say she definitely needs a phone!!), or a school bus? If it's school, you are going to want to check with the rules of your school district.

My kid's schools are very strict about phones and in fact will confiscate them during locker searches and "random inspections" (i.e. sweep searches where they have to empty their pockets). The ONLY time they are authorized is for after school sports, and only then are they to be used OFF school property. Personally, I think our school district's rules are silly and unreasonable, as do many parents. SO, in the interest of safety, I allow my kids to take their phones, with certain caveats. Both kids are lucky enough to have either a coach or a teacher that will hold their phones until after school. The first offense is confiscation, and requires that a parent pick it up from security, which I have no problem doing. Luckily, I have not had to go get a phone. BUT, if either of mine was ever caught USING a phone in school, they'd be dead meat, and there's no way I'd defend them. THAT rule, I'm good with.

Good luck!

M.Jaye

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8/23/08 6:43 P

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my daughter is 13 and has wanted a cell phone for about a year now, but my husband says that she does not need one. my mom and myself think that she does, right now she is in 8th grade and is close enough to walk to school, but next year she will have to take a bus, across town, i think she should have one because she will be farther away. any suggestions?

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8/23/08 12:34 P

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Both my kids have Virgin Mobile (I don't know if I should say that) and they set up their phones online. When they add their minutes, they just key in the code via the internet. As long as their password is accesible it's simple. I mentioned the carrier as I don't know if everyone has the same capabilities. They also have a number to call if a problem arises during reset. My daughter also was able to take a survey about the service and earned free minutes!

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8/23/08 11:09 A

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Karenbrn,what do you do w/your pay-as-you-go phone in order to put on minutes? The first one we had was such a pain. You had to go through a multitude of numbers on on-line. I finally gave up on it when I purchased 3 months, and the input number displayed only gave us 1 month.

I do worry about the phones being stolen or lost. We actuall had our very first phone "cloned." That was more than 5 years ago and it was analog, but it makes you very aware. Though the provider foot the bill, it was thousands of dollars. The cloners knew exactly what they were doing, and the only reason we all found out is that one day, our family was shopping, and DH called me to fin out where I was. My phone was off, but DH said someone answered the phone in Spanish. He told the phone company, and they figured it out and gave us a new number.

Cell phones are like computers. They are wonderful but can get you in a lot of trouble.

Be kind to people. No one knows what battles they wage.

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8/23/08 1:36 A

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Both my children received pay as you go phones of their choice for their birthdays. While I was in the store getting my daughters phone, a couple with two children were also getting the pay as you go phones. They told me that their daughter's previous phone (on her parents plan) was stolen while she was at school. The loss was not noticed till sometime after dinner that evening. They called customer service to report the lost phone but by that time over $550 in international phone calls were made. They were told that they are responsible for the charges due to the lapse in notification time. This story made me even more adamant in refusing to have them added to my plan. If they don't buy the time and the phone runs out, it's their problem. I may buy them the occasional card for a special grade, in their Easter basket, etc, but they need to learn to be responsible for what they have.

Edited by: KARENBRN at: 8/23/2008 (01:36)
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8/22/08 11:40 P

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Very interesting topic...

DS started w/pay-as-you go since he left for middle school on his own (bike.) Eventually, we went to regular cell phones since DD now has to do the same thing.

No chit-chat use of phone. It is a safety tool for our family. DD wanted to be part of the texting (which really is out of control these days especially in high school. DS tells me the girls constantly text when they can't be seen in class). so she pays for limited texting...and learns to budget how many times she uses it.

It has really helped me keep track of the kids, their transportation needs, last minute school pracice changes, etc. It is also piece-of-mind if they ever, ever truly need to get their father or me.

Be kind to people. No one knows what battles they wage.

JR





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DUSTI96's Photo DUSTI96 Posts: 8
8/22/08 8:16 P

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I allowed my 12 year old a phone when she decided to be responsible enough to pay for it. We went with the unlimited texts and she pays a percent of that. Can't stop other kids from texting so it works out better that way. She is so busy with activities and this way I don't have to hear that she wasn't allowed to call when plans were changed. Plus I think it is important that they learn to be responsible with their money early on. She also has to keep her grades up or the phone is suspended.

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DOKUBO's Photo DOKUBO Posts: 777
8/22/08 5:55 P

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My oldest was always talking about this phone or that one - I told him "when you are 18 and paying for your own plan, you can have any phone you want."

He hardly ever mentions it now - btw: his first phone was a hand-down, Dad got a new phone and he got dad's.

DebO - So CA

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8/22/08 5:47 P

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High schooler - YES
middle schooler - NO

Texting - NO

Middle schooler wants one because his friends have one - but it would be a toy and it's way too expensive to be a toy. (He attends school where my husband is the pastor - so he has access to a parent anytime of day.)
High schooler's school is 14 miles away, we felt he needed one due to distance from home.

Edited by: DOKUBO at: 8/22/2008 (17:49)
DebO - So CA

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DISCOURAGEDONE's Photo DISCOURAGEDONE Posts: 117
8/21/08 10:41 P

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Both of our children have cell phones. We added each one when they turned 12. Since they are both very active, it makes it much easier for them to contact us or for us to reach them. I just replaced my daughter's phone because it was stolen and now my son dropped his and he needs a new one!!!

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MEMYSELFANI's Photo MEMYSELFANI Posts: 39
8/21/08 4:16 A

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We added our oldest daughter to our plan when she was 10. She is now 13 and has been pretty good with it. Their were 2 months when she really started texting and went over her limit. So she earned the money and paid us back. I also added unlimited to our plan so that wouldn't happen again. Verizon was also great about at least cutting the cost in half when I explaned what happened.
Next month, we will be adding our youngest to our plan on her 10th birthday. The only thing I really worry about with her is her leaving it somewhere. At that time, I will probably add more minutes to our plan.


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SMUISE Posts: 326
8/20/08 7:53 P

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My daughter has a prepaid cell phone. I buy her a 25 dollar phone card for one month. If she uses all of this then she has to buy the next card out of her own money...kind of keeps her in control.

Samantha



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GRAPEVINE-GIRL's Photo GRAPEVINE-GIRL Posts: 12
8/20/08 5:53 P

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emoticon First of all let me say my daughter now only has her phone in the evening and weekends...One very early morning, 3am to be exact (luckily it was during summer) I woke up to talking. I went to my daughters room and found her up talking to a friend of hers. When we checked the phone minutes she has been on the phone since 12 am and had gone over her minutes.
At that point we took the phone away for 2 weeks, now she is back in school and got caught texting during a lecture...Horror of Horrors... emoticon

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8/19/08 10:26 P

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Let's not end go there about laptops. Either they have a laptop or desktop, not both. I brought my son a jumpdrive last year so he can use it at the library or a friends home.

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8/18/08 3:08 A

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I truly feel your pain on the kids wanting to upgrade their phones and their plans. It truly is amazing the tech things our kids. I didn't even know what a cell phone was when I was in high school. Computers were just becoming more common. Now, my kids think they should have a laptop.

Oh how the time flies.

~Dawn~


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8/16/08 10:04 P

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My son is 16 and he has cell phone. I had to work with him to get him to understand how to limit calls. The first two months, he sent my bill through the roof. I had to take the extra cost out of his allowance before he learned. He wants a more expensive phone with texting and internet access, but I refuse to get it. He is working a summer job and says he will purchase it, but I asked him what would happen after the summer job is over. Just one more battle I have to deal with emoticon

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RAYEVIKING Posts: 16
8/13/08 3:52 P

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Hi all, I am new here also. I have a 12 year old daughter. We got her a cell phone when we renewed our contract this past year and had planned on getting her one when she turned 12 anyways since she is now old enough to babysit. We ave no problems with it at all, she only used it if she is away from home, and when she forgets it, it drives me crazy to not be able to get ahold of her. My piece of mind is much easier now. However, we did block text, email, and internet from hers, but will probably allow it when she gets a bit older. I am too scared of harassment and issues like the pictures going around schools.

Her school allows cell phones to be kept turned off until after classes.

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8/13/08 8:27 A

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Both of my kids have cell phones. They are 10 and almost 13. I work full time and want to be able to get a hold of them when I want them. We live in an enviroment where it is cheaper for me to call cell phone to cell phone, versus calling the home phone.

~Dawn~


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SLIPNSLIDE Posts: 103
8/12/08 5:49 P

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For years my kids bugged me for a cell phone. I told them they didn't need them because they were always with an adult who had a phone incase it was needed. I only gave in once they started walking to school. They walk in groups, but still, I wanted to be able to contact my kids incase it was needed. I am against getting phones just because they want one too be cool. When it becomes a necessity, that is when it is a good idea.
To avoid going over on my bill I have told my children that I have access to what they do with their phones by looking at the bill online. I know who they are texting and talking to. I think they even think I can see what they are texting. I haven't corrected them on this...what they don't know won't hurt them. emoticon

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BRIDIEK's Photo BRIDIEK Posts: 1,180
8/12/08 10:01 A

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Dianna,
I agree with that. I think they should be able to have them but turned off when in class. You just never know what is going to happen.

At the same time... our school here banned them because several kids throughout the day a couple of years ago were making plans to hurt some other kids. They had a "hit" list that was being passed by text, fortunately someone text it to one smart student who went to the teacher and principal with it. It took them a while to trace it back to the original student but they finally did. Needless to say that was the end of the cell phones in my duaghters school.

Bridget

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LAKEMUM's Photo LAKEMUM Posts: 2,628
8/12/08 9:08 A

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My daughter (14) has had a cell phone for 6 months. We purchased it for her and put her on our family plan when she began playing with the youth symphony and we needed to know when to pick her up from rehearsals (sometimes rehearsal let out early). She used it extensively while at a 4-week residential music camp this summer - as much to locate her friends on campus as to call home to talk to her dad or me.
I am glad that we gave her unlimited texting, it has allowed her to stay in touch with a friend she made at music camp this summer.
She knows that it is off when she is in lessons (the camp taught her that) but since we homeschool, she doesn't have to worry about school policy.

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DIANNAKOZA Posts: 56
8/11/08 9:43 A

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At my daughters school they are allowed. They aren't allowed to have them on or out during class time. They are allowed to use them at lunch time. It comes in handy if she misses the bus.
Dianna

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8/10/08 5:47 P

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I know at my daughters school, cell phones are not allowed, unless they are a senior. If they are caught with one, it is confiscated and do not get it back until the end of the school year and picked up by the parent.

Bridget

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DIANNAKOZA Posts: 56
8/10/08 1:08 P

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My daughters cell phone was stolen last year at school. I went online and got the numbers she was calling and called the first number. It was her grandmother. I informed her her granddaughter had stole the phone. It was brought to school the very next day. We could have pressed charges but didn't. It made me feel safer though knowing I could track down the phone that easily.
Dianna

DIANNAKOZA Posts: 56
8/10/08 1:03 P

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My 15 year old daughter has a cell. She has had for two years now. we have had no problems with it. The phone is for when she is away from home. She does not use it while at home. It is a virgin mobile pay as you go. I can go on line and see every phone call made or coming in. She has been very responsible with it. I think cell phones are a good idea for when your kids are away from home. If she spends the night with a friend I always make sure she takes her phone.
Dianna

2BTINKERBELL's Photo 2BTINKERBELL Posts: 207
8/7/08 10:19 P

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My 17 year old son has had a cell phone for 4 years. We gave it to him as a gift when he was going into 9th grade. Along with the phone came rules. We haven't had any trouble at all with him going over the minutes or following any of our other rules. The deal we made with him having the phone is that he has to mow the grass in the summer & shovel snow in the winter to pay for it. Since he now has a job, he added texting to his plan. He has been very responsible. I do have a little concern about the pornography & other nasty things out there, but I try to check his phone on a regular basis. I let him know if there's anything I disapprove of.

I've talked with my 13 year old daughter about getting her a phone next summer when she's entering 9th grade, & she really doesn't care to have a phone. If that doesn't change, then I'll wait to get her one & get her something else that she really wants. For now, if she goes somewhere without us, I give her my phone. That seems to be working well.

I like my son having a cell especially with him driving & working. It's comforting to know I can reach him any time (one of our rules). It also comes in handy if I need him to pick up his sister or stop at the store. It has been a positive experience for us.



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TEASPAGE Posts: 5
8/7/08 1:47 P

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Hi everyone. I am new to spark. Just joined a few days ago. I am still learning. I live in a suburb of Salt Lake City. I have three children. One teen girl and two pre-teen boys.All of them have a cell phone. Up until just this poast month only my daughter had one. Now that all of them are getting bigger my son will be going to Jr High with his sister and my other son will be alone over at the elementry. So the cell phones were more of a security issue for us. I do pick all of my children up from school every day but anymore it is just a safety issue for my kids to be able to call me if they ever need me. There are too many crazy people out there. All my kids have the unlimeted call, text, long distance and it is $45.00 a month each. They pay for any extra things such as ring tones out of their allowance. There are rules for them. Such as no phones after certain times or at dinner. Also I refuse to let my kids have camera phones. The reason is simply not that I don't trust my kids it is because last school year several children were charged as adults with felonies because of innapropriate pictures that somebody took and text to several other kids. It was all over the news here. The kids thought they were being funny or whatever and the way the law reads here they are charged with child prnography. And they are all charged as adults with felonies. So I just absolutly refuse for my kids in anyway to be able to recieve pix msg's.

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BUSYMOM35 Posts: 1
8/7/08 1:10 P

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I have two boys 11 and 13 and they both have cell phones. My husband and I are both in the military and we got the phones for the boys while my husband was deployed to Iraq. I am a full time nursing student and I needed to know where they were all the time and I have constant contact with them.

We got the unlimited texting right away, I knew that would be an issue. Since we all share min. it's better if they just text their friends.

My 11 year old doesn't use his phone very much since none of his friends have one, but it's available if he ever needs to use it.

I love the peace of mind!

MICHELE327's Photo MICHELE327 Posts: 253
8/7/08 10:14 A

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My 13 year old has a cell phone. I do suggest getting the unlimited texting. We had the 250 txt msg plan & I thought that would be enough, boy was I wrong & it cost me $75.00. Now, he pays for the unlimted $10/mo. from his allowance.
My son is involed in a lot of after school activities and him having a phone has really been great for when to pick up after practice or if games are cancelled/delayed etc.

Edited by: MICHELE327 at: 8/7/2008 (10:13)
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BRIDIEK's Photo BRIDIEK Posts: 1,180
8/6/08 5:35 P

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Our mothers didn't need to know where we were at all times because there weren't as many crazies out there when we grew up. We have 3 child molesters living in our small town and I will be darned if my daughter is out anywhere without that cell phone.

Bridget

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LEOTAY1's Photo LEOTAY1 SparkPoints: (42,320)
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8/6/08 11:09 A

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My boyfriend promised my daughter a cell phone when he was eligible for an upgrade. She hasn't even had it a month and is already over her text limit. I really should have got unlimited texting, but wanted her to show some responsibility. She is almost 13. I do like her having a cell phone as I can reach her anytime. I am a little over protective, and wonder how my mother managed to let me go all over the neighborhood and not worry constantly. Cell phones were not around when I was younger.

"You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream " -C.S Lewis Leotay1


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8/5/08 9:32 P

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My 15 year old son has one and has had it for a couple of years now. I couldn't find him once and panicked so that's when I decided he could get one. We only had 1 issue with his over-texting - got a rather large bill one month. That was quickly resolved and I haven't had a problem since. He knows if I ever get another huge bill, he can say goodbye to his phone.

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JNELKAY Posts: 5
8/4/08 9:41 P

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Our girls are 11, 17, and 18. We live in the country and the girls got school permits to drive to school when they were 15. It was then that they got cell phones. Our 11 yr old does not have one yet and will not have one till she turns 15 and starts driving to school. I just don't see a need for it and they don't like them having one at school.

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TRACYB46's Photo TRACYB46 Posts: 30
8/4/08 8:32 P

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My 15 and 12 year old both have cell phones. We got my 15 year old her phone two years ago and she has done really well with our family share plan. It was year ago that we added my son and he is awesome about keeping his calls down. They have both done so well that we are considering adding another line for our 10 year old to see how she does. We love them having cell phones because we can let them have some freedom in hanging out with their friends and always have contact with them. We recently shut our house phone off and this is a big reason why we are considering getting out 10 year old in on our family plan.

Tracy


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MOMMABUGG's Photo MOMMABUGG Posts: 140
8/4/08 2:15 P

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My 12 year old has a cell phone so we can check in. He has a minimal plan and is very good about not going over. But mostly texts his friends, which is included.

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KRIS39125's Photo KRIS39125 Posts: 1,499
8/4/08 9:12 A

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My 17 year old has had a cell phone for about 4 years now. For the most part, it has not been awful but as me and my husband both work, we needed a way to stay in touch throughout the days of summer. It was especially important to us when he started driving for him to have a cell phone. It is amazing that we never needed them back in our day but it is just a very needed tool now. I can't count how many times I have needed him or needed to do something for me in regards to his brother and now I just can't imagine him not having one. My 11 year old does not have one yet but my oldest is going off into the service after graduation next year so the phone will be passed on to the 11 year old for all the same purposes.



"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great"

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ANGEL*ROSE's Photo ANGEL*ROSE SparkPoints: (0)
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8/4/08 3:15 A

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Both My Children have had cell phones since they where 8 & 9 yrs old. We did this so they could tell us where they were and what they where doing, this helps us keep in touch and know where they are and what they are doing. They both are now 11 and 12 yrs old. and have gotten in the habit of calling when they go from one place to the next. We have the AT&T family plain and neither of the kids go over there min. nor there text min. They have learned to be responsible and keep us informed.

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LITTLEELISA's Photo LITTLEELISA Posts: 74
8/2/08 10:16 P

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Both of my kids have cell phones, and have since they were in 7th grade. they are in High School now. We live in a rural community, and their friends live in towns several miles away. We have vonage, but all of their friends would have to pay long distance charges to call them on land lines, so they use cell phones almost exclusively. We only get AT&T here, so all of their friends have unlimited anytime minutes. they did have 500 texts, but my son used more than the limit so we cut out texting. They are both really pressuring us to sign up for unlimited texting, but it's apparently an additional thirty dollars a month with our plan. I find that I can keep track of their where-abouts and adjust to challenges because they have the phones. They frequently get a ride some place with a parent and have a ride home arranged, but plans change and I need to pick them up- the only way we can arrange all of this is with cell phones. I don't know of any pay phones they could use locally. So it has allowed them to have social lives and for me to feel that my husband and I can still keep close tabs on them.
The biggest problem we have had is that phones are expensive and our son is destructive. He is on his third phone. He loaned his first to a friend who dropped it, breaking the LCD. The parent wouldn't pay for a replacement- she told her son to borrow someone's phone because they couldn't afford one, then told me that it wasn't her fault my son loaned her son the phone. The second phone fell out of my son's pocket in the parking lot at school and was run over. It still works, but as it is a pay as you go phone and totally uncool, he got a used phone from a friend who upgraded. FYI: if you get AT&T and you break your phone, you can get a cheap AT&T "pay as you go" phone and put in your contract phone SIM card. It works just fine.

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ASHLEY_7979 Posts: 7
8/2/08 8:42 P

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I got my daughter a cell phone when she was 11 and about a week later she jumped into the pool with it so it has become a "home" phone since then. She has been very responsible staying within her minutes and not going over on her text messaging though.

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KATHY890 Posts: 105
8/1/08 8:53 P

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Both my teenagers have cell phones and I haven't had any issues with them overusing them or no big bills. Both are on our plan and I pay $10 a month for each one.

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SAGENTUS's Photo SAGENTUS SparkPoints: (0)
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7/31/08 12:19 P

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Yeah - that's why my kids had cell phones - they walked to school, and both of them play after school sports. It always drives me nuts when practice is cancelled at the last minute, but at least they can reach someone for a ride.

M.Jaye

October Goals:
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HTAYLOR1021's Photo HTAYLOR1021 SparkPoints: (13,726)
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7/31/08 5:04 A

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My DD is 14 now. She got her 1st cell phone at 12. It was one of those fireflies. It had a picture of mommy and daddy on the front and the only numbers that could be called were the numbers that we (the parents) programmed in. She walked to school and had karate 3 days a week. I felt it important that she be able to get in touch with us at any time or vice versa. She just got a Juke for her birthday which is a cellphone/mp3 player. It has been stressed to watch the minutes from the beginning. She has always been very good about that. However, a few months ago she did get in trouble with texting and had to work off $30 worth of text messages. Lesson learned I hope.

With the conflicting schedules we keep it makes me feel a little more comfortable knowing that she can call me if she ever needs me or I need to let her know something. I know that somehow our parents did it without cellphones, but they also had cars without a/c or power windows/steering, I personally like the extra conveniences we have today.

~Heather

"One of the main causes of failure is giving up what you want most for what you want now." -- Jessie Ahroni


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SCRAPSUZY's Photo SCRAPSUZY Posts: 12
7/31/08 12:09 A

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My oldest (now 21) got his first cellphone when he graduated from high school, as a gift. The first year of service was part of the gift, and after that he was on his own.

My 19 yr old got his own cellphone during his senior year, and has always paid for it himself.

My 16 yr old and 15 yr old haven't had one yet. They've been asking for years, but we haven't seen the need. The only reason the 16yr old is about to have one is the 19yr old just left for the military and can't use his phone for 9wks. :)

We'll be getting new plans in January (switching companies) and will put both the kids on a family plan with unlimited texting. They will be instructed to use that as their main method of communicating, leaving the minutes for us to use. They will also be paying for their own lines.

We don't expect to have any problems with them going over. If they do, they have to pay for it, simple enough.

BATCAT Posts: 10
7/30/08 1:58 P

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My reponse to my almost 15yr old is when you can pay for it you can have one. Well she got a part time job and is working toward's getting the phone, and as long as she can pay for it she can have one. The only thing is when she actually goes to get one we as parents have to sign the contract as she is under age. Hopefully she can handle the responsiblity!!

Edited by: BATCAT at: 7/30/2008 (13:57)
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MOMSLADYBUGS Posts: 520
7/29/08 7:46 P

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My 16 yr. old daughter and 14 yr. old son are both on my family Verizon plan along with myself, spouse and stepson. Because my daughter is a texting holic, I got the unlimited texting plan which works great for me so we never go over on our minutes. From my personal opinion, it was important for my kids to have a cell phone because I can keep in touch with them and it keeps me at peace that I know where they are at all times.
I think if you stress to your kids for those who have problems with their kids going over on the minutes, let them be able to view your phone bill. My daughter has access to my Verizon account online so she can see first hand how she is using her minutes/texting and how much its costing me per month.

Lord, Heal Me and Help Me Care for My Body
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.............
5'2
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7/29/08 2:52 P

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My 13 y.o. daughter and 16 y.o. son both have their own phones, BUT they are "Pay-as-you-go" phones. To start, each was given the basic $9.99 phone and a $20 phone card. That was 4 years ago for my son, 3 for my daughter.

We don't give allowance around here (I refuse to pay them to breathe), so whenever they want a phone card, they do something around the house. It works WONDERFUL for us - I can always tell when someone needs a phone card because dishes get done, trash gets taken out, cars get cleaned out, the grass gets cut, laundry gets done, etc., etc. etc. without my even having to ask anyone. It ROCKS!

We decided to handle it this way because of several horror stories that I have heard from my friends, like their kids running up $700 bills, etc.

Both kids have since upgraded their phones to really nice ones, BUT they've paid for them themselves from money they've saved.

M.Jaye

October Goals:
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15 minutes exercise everyday
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“Goals that are not written down are just wishes. ” - unknown


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ZOEYSGRAMMA2013's Photo ZOEYSGRAMMA2013 Posts: 40
7/29/08 2:11 P

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My daughter is 13 and has had one for about a year now. She got stranded after school one day and I said "never again". That thing is attached to her ear constantly. There have been 3 times she went over our minutes to my dismay. (What is wrong with the land line??) No real bad horror stories... I am actually relieved she has it, I feel I don't have to worry so much:)

The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.
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BRIDIEK's Photo BRIDIEK Posts: 1,180
7/28/08 10:06 P

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Our 12 year old daughter has had one since the summer before 5th grade. It started out to be her grandmothers which was on our plan but when she passed we gave it to our daughter.

We have had 1 huge horror with it...she didn't know that it cost extra to download ringtones! $300 later adn we had them blocked from her phone. Thank God we have Alltel and they refunded our $300 when we explained what happened.

She uses it to call her friends back in VA and NC because we had moved so far away. She knows that she can call anyone in our circle at anytime but anyone extra is after 7 pm. It's also a great way for us to keep track of where she is and if she gets into trouble she always has a way to call us.

Edited by: BRIDIEK at: 7/28/2008 (22:05)
Bridget

"Diet" is a four letter obscenity.


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HEIDI14DAN's Photo HEIDI14DAN Posts: 6,726
7/28/08 9:23 P

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My youngest DD has had a phone since 6th grade (2 yrs) and our oldest has had one since 7th grade (she's going to 11th now). We haven't had any issues with our youngest mostly because we had to work it out with our oldest earlier.

The first year our oldest had a cell phone we only had 500 text messages a month. It was included with the plan and she agreed with the understanding that any messages over the 500 min she would be responsible for. The first 6 months she was great. But after a while she started getting lax and would owe $25-30 dollars. She paid up as expected, but then one month she really went over. She had a $300 bill! We finally agreed to get unlimited texting and the extra $10 each month she'd pay instead of these outrageous monthly bills. We only had her do that for a few months before we just paid it on our own. Now that her sister is on the plan we don't make either of them pay.

We do stress to them that if they are at home, to call their friends on the house phone instead of cell phones so that it doesn't use up minutes. It's not bad when it's verizon to verizon (free) but there are friends with t-mobile, sprint, at&t, etc. so those are minute to minute calls. We've had one of them use up minutes before because they called a friend using their cell phone but to the friend's house phone. They talked for hours!! Boy did they learn their lesson when we showed them the bill.

I'm glad that the girls have cell phones. It makes it easy to contact them wherever they are.

~Heidi~


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PITUFA2471's Photo PITUFA2471 Posts: 568
7/28/08 11:56 A

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My 13 year old boy and my 16 year old girl have their own cell phone. Both of them are on my plan and I have not had problem with them going over their minutes. I took the unlimited text (pay extra for all phone as family) we have t-mobile so we all have favorite 5 so that helps out a lot and I also got the mobile-to-mobile plan. Good luck.

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RAW123 Posts: 10
7/28/08 10:41 A

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I have 3 boys - my youngest is 6 so I don't think he needs a phone yet. My older two I would definately get them each a phone if I worked. I am not working right now, so I am there. I take them and pick them up from school. If their plans change or a meeting gets cancelled they go to the youth center. I told them once I have a full time job I will get them prepaid phones.

I would have an issue and take them away if they were spending hundreds of dollars a month on the phone. In my opinion they are for emergencies, or change of plans type of thing. Not for them to chit chat with friends on endlessly. They can chat for free on the internet -- or call and talk to their friends on our home phone.

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7/28/08 1:37 A

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My 13 year old has had her cell phone for 2 years now. She is on my plan. We had an issue with downloads in the beginning, but it was quickly resolved. I was actually not thrilled with her having the phone, my brother bought it (it's really his plan that we are on)- But she was in various clubs after school, and it wasn't always easy to find a phone to call home if one of the meetings or activities was canceled- So it was a necessity so she could come home and take care of HW instead of stand around in front of campus for 90 minutes doing nothing.

~Caren~
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7/28/08 1:02 A

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WE PUT THE BOYS ON OUR PLAN AND GAVE THEN THIER OWN PHONE. OH MY GOD
WITH ALL THIER TEXTING MY PHONE BILL WAS OVER $400 IN ONE MONTH.SO I TOLD THEM THEY ONLY HAD SO MANY MINUTES .AND IF I GOT ANOTHER BILL LIKE I DID.I WOULD TAKE THIER PHONE;S AWAY.WELL THEY DIDN;T BELIEVE ME.SO WHEN I GOT ANOTHER BILL OVER $500 I TOOK THE PHONE;S AND BROKE THEM.
SO NOW THEY WANT ANOTHER ONE.I TELL THEM WHEN THEY GET A JOB AND PAY FOR IT THEM SELFS.THEN THEY CAN HAVE ONE.I ALSO HIDE MINE.



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SAGENTUS's Photo SAGENTUS SparkPoints: (0)
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7/27/08 11:48 P

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Does your teen and/or pre-teen have their own cell phone? Is it on your plan? Do you have a "horror" story of your teen's call phone use?

Technology - we love it and it makes our lives easier, but it definitely creates a whole new challenge for the parents of teens.

Let's hear it!

Edited by: SAGENTUS at: 7/27/2008 (23:46)
M.Jaye

October Goals:
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