Parental authority and cell phone question

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by exhausted, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    So the first thing difficult child wants to do with her paycheck is to get a cell phone. It would be nice to have contact that way with her. However, we have not given her a phone since first Residential Treatment Center (RTC) when she was 14. She used it at off hours, communicated with people we didn't know, made drug deals, used it sexting etc. She even ignored our calls when she wanted to. We feel that if she gets a phone, she is still a minor living in our home and it is subject to our rules. Even if she pays for it. She is not out of the woods yet and a phone could just be another problem. We told her we would randomly check the phone and she had to give it to us at night. She said she felt like she needed some privacy somewhere. She said," You watch my every move, search my room and watch when I'm on the computer-Isn't that enough for you guys? I don't think she is fully ready to trust. What would you do?
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't have the answer but wanted to offer support and let you know I'm in a similar situation. My son is in Department of Juvenile Justice and might possibly be released to come back to live with me about the time he turns 17, next month. The last time he had a cell phone, he was 13-14yo and he was doing very unacceptable things at home, too. I realize there's a big difference between 14 and 17 but still don't want to hand him an avenue that makes it wayyy to easy to plow down a 'bad' path. And I agree strong-heartedly that as long as he lives in my house and I'm footing the bill for everything, especially when he's still a minor and I'm held accountable for his actions, I should be able to instill parental controls and exert parental authority without getting any grief over it. But, I have no idea what the right answer is.

    But- re searching the room- I stand by what I heard on Oprah once. You let the kid know where the boundary for privacy is- I won't barge in his bedroom if he's in there alone, but I have a right to search any room in any home I'm paying for and he's living in as a minor. Period. That way, he knows up front and then I don't buy into his protest of me "violating his privacy".
    I'll be watching this thread to get ideas because I'm wondering if my son comes back to live with me, should I get him a cell phone for his b-day. I'm kind of considering some way to put limits on the usage and get him one, just to see if he'll abide by some boundaries with it. If he is able to comply with that, then of course, those boundaries would be widened. I haven't decided for sure yet, though.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I can understand not wanting her to have a phone. I think her letting you look at it each night is a good compromise. If she is unwilling then I probably wouldn't allow it.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That reminds me, when my son makes too much issue over me not trusting him, needing more space/privacy, and complaining about not having more independence, he's usually trying to set things up for something he knows would never be acceptable.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Do what you feel is right. Maybe since she will have to learn sometime...maybe you could phase it in? 4 months of daily turn in and monitoring. 2 months of weekly monitoring then go to once a month and if trust is ever broken?? then only use a house phone. She could buy one and not even tell you so it might be worth giving her some chance to earn that privacy... to earn your trust??? Just an idea, could be totally off base for this kind of diagnosis. since I dont have experience with raising a child who has those problems. Just a though...
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    been there done that. Ditto.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yep. Totally agree.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Exhausted, don't ask me anything about cell phones. I am totally up to my eyeballs on this one. But if you need a hug, just read my note about "$1,000" and remember that misery loves company.
    Sorry I can't be more helpful.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There are parental controls you can get depending on the company. let me look.

    PhoneSheriff - Parental Control Software for Child Phones Restrict, Filter and Monitor SMS Text Messages, GPS and Calls.

    Sprint and Sanyo have just introduced the Sprint PCS Vision Phone SCP-2400, with a free parental control feature, allowing parents to easily manage whom the child calls and who can call the child. Parents can simply enter the phone numbers of those individuals the child is permitted to call and/or receive calls from in the phone's address book. Other phone numbers would be not be allowed to call or be called. Parents can also lock services like Sprint PCS Ready Link and Sprint PCS Vision, which can help the child to avoid data charges that may not be included as part of the families' wireless pricing plan.

    bcgi offers a product called Mobile Guardian, that enables real-time management of voice, messaging and content services. By bundling advanced content filtering, subscriber profile management and age verification capabilities in a single platform, Mobile Guardian provides mobile subscribers with tools to prevent unwanted contact and communication, and limit access to unauthorized content. Mobile Guardian is designed to allow mobile operators to provide control as a value-added service to its customers.

    Kajeet phones.
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    What klmno said. :)

    You earn trust when you've proven yourself trustworthy. You can't do that overnight. When she's 18 and on her own, then she can call the shots. If you're paying for it, your rules.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    She is a minor living in YOUR home on YOUR dime. She can have ALL the privacy she wants - WHEN she moves out AND pays ALL her own bills 100%. While she is a minor and while she is living in your home, your rules are the ONLY ones that matter other than the laws.

    No way does she need more privacy. She needs more good behavior to prove that she should have a beginning of a chance to have more privacy. NOT a phone that you can't see/control.

    in my opinion the main reason she wants privacy is to do something she shouldn't do and she knows you won't be okay with. Even if she doesn't start off doing that, it will happen. So start the way you mean to continue. You can always loosen the rules later, but it is a LOT harder to tighten them if you start loose.

    What has she done to EARN the right to have a cell phone except to earn the $$ for it? How long has it been since she last did something gfgish or inappropriate when she had a chance to do that type of thing?
  12. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Thanks for your responses. That is exactly how I feel Klmno, Suzie Star, TerryJ2! I do believe she has something in mind that we wouldn't approve of. Its only been about a month since she last took $20.00 bucks from her dad and stayed out all night. Yep, she finished GED with flying colors, has a decent full-time job, has been more respectful, but she can do anything for a few months. She is a great snow job! She is a long time difficult child and the hurt of her behaviors is still an open wound. She is still refusing to give me access to FB so we monitor her as she is on computer-but I know she uses other people's when she gets a chance and who knows who she communicates with?? Latests drug tests say she's clean but I know she knows how to get weed out of her system and she may still be doing this??? Trust will take a long time for her to earn. I'm willing.

    Janet-do you know what ATand T have to offer-thats our service. We need to go talk to them. I could see her getting a Cricket or something on her own-room/purse checks will continue!

    Terry hugs to you-technology has really, really enabled poor behavior with our kids and given them access they are not mature enough to handle. I see this with kids at school as well-good kids who given the temptation, make bad choices!
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Many hugs. :consoling: :mornincoffee: