Part 1 - Cell phones and difficult child's

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Sheila, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I wrote this a couple of weeks ago, then didn't post it:

    I've learned the real truth about kids/cell phones.

    My difficult child had been grounded from the computer (reason forgotten) for a week. That means he couldn't get to his email. OMG!!!!!!!!!!! How's he going to talk to his girlfriend???? [ about the phone?]

    So I see him with-my cell. What are you doing, difficult child?

    difficult child: Getting my email.

    I didn't even know I could get email on my phone. :embarrassed:

    Gray area, I thought. He's not grounded from the phone.... hmmmm....

    Long story short, difficult child changed my cell from "ring" to "vibrate." He left the phone on the table. And of course, it vibrates, alerting that an email has come in.

    Checking his email, there's one with-attachments. I open it. There's several individual photos of boys from +/-14 -15 yrs old, all posed showing off their "abbs." :faint::faint:

    All are difficult child's "friends." None have their shirts on. They think they are hot stuff. roflol [it's funny now -- wasn't at the time]

    My first thought was, "ACK!, if the police had found this phone, I'd be in jail charged with-pedophilia." :faint::faint:

    No, he's not grounded from my phone; he's forbidden to touch it!!!

    Why didn't some of you parents with-teens about give me a heads up?! You got your kids a cell to keep yourselves out of the slammer, right?!!!:halfdead:

    husband want to get difficult child a cell phone. Are there any cells on the market that don't have cameras?
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yes, there are, but I don't think it is most of them anymore. Also, there is text messaging which costs more, then of course, 900 numbers to worry about. On top of that, my concern was that with my difficult child, he could be half way across town and call and tell me he was 2 blocks away at B's house or something. And, with his friend's having cell phones and only giving their cell phone number out, it is impossible to get a hold of a friend's parents if needed. I hate them. LOL!
  3. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    When I took the phone and told him his obligation to phone home were the same with or without it he asked "how can I do that if I don't have a phone?"

    Befor I received the insight that my accomidating parenting style was I would naturally explain (lecture) on the history of communication from rubbing sticks together and the building of signal fires, through the tin cans attached by strings...not to mention messanger runners and the pony express...

    But now after understanding that "serving" the teen is all wrong way round.

    The answer to the parent and child power struggle is to have the boundaries(call me as per my instructions, limit use to pre-directed uses, ect) but when the phone or whatever is not being respected remove the issue and let them do all the work
    involved in the matter.

    If it is important enough they will talk to you about it. When I stopped engaging in the chase "to get' cooperation and merely set the limits to basics (not follow the house rules no priviledges) then the fact that doing and thinking and talking all seemed to magicly be possible.

    IT is a similar stradegy when the service provider stops serving when the bill is not paid.

    These things we pay for are priviliges. And accutally very extravagant ones indeed.
    The taking charge of my things and space and setting a standard of expectations that is solid unwavering is my job as a parent for setting a templet for defining what is idividule and what is a healthy foundation in relationship.
    The question is whose responcibility is it? And when wanting something what are my options?
    Just when our kids are teens and wanting to do "what they want" is when the skills for thinking about the complexities of world require them to think ahead and also neigotiate with others.
    No is an answer and dead ends are very helpfull learning moments. Not this way frees up for the other possible directions.
  4. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Actually, Sheila, there are some KIDS (forget what state) being charged with child porn for sending nude pictures to each other via cellphones. These are minors.

    It's going to be a precedent setting case, whichever way it turns out. I'm not sure how a 15 year old kid can be charged with child porn for sending a picture of herself to another 15 year old kid, but they're trying it.

    If you get the Trac phone, for example, you can find many with no camera.
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Cell phones have caused a trouble in my house. I finally had difficult child's text messaging turned off. She had 15,000 in one month and was well on her way to have 25,000 the next month. And that was with restricted hours at night and during school. Most of the texts were to one of three boys. What boy would want to text a girl constantly non-stop all day every day? Sexting goes on without cameras too. I got fed up and until she can pay for the cell herself she will have no texting. I'm tired of looking at the top of her head and watching her fingers pound on a keyboard.

    Our teens have lost the ability to communicate face-to-face.

  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    We have cheap Tracfones (Walmart $10) that don't have cameras, photo, or email capabilities.
  7. C.J.

    C.J. New Member

    I did not buy a cell phone for N* when it became fashionable for every teen in my city to have one. N* abused privileges on my cell phone - to the tune of $200 in extra fees for me, so I told her she could get a cell phone when she turned 18 and could afford it herself.

    Then, sadly, during the summer of 2007, an 18 year old girl was kidnapped, raped and murdered in our area. The police were able to locate her body from the pings on the cell phone towers.

    So, I backed down, bought N* a cell phone and had her added to my plan. I told the cell phone provider that they had to turn text messaging off, ring tone ordering off, access to the internet off, as I would not be paying for any of these services. N* got around the ring tones by ordering them straight from the provider's website. I had charges reversed. The second time she did it, I asked her for the $20.00 to pay for the charges. She didn't have it, and I would not take it from one of the Potential Sperm Donors - it had to come from money SHE earned. I turned the phone off. I told her it seemed I cared more about her personal safety and security than she did herself (duh - she's pregnant despite the Rx for birth control I'd been paying for). So, if she keeps the phone charged up, she call dial 911 in an emergency.

    There are phones and plans out there for phone calls only - I think they are mostly marketed to older adults who want the convenience and security of a cell phone when they are away from their home phones. I'd check into that.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member son....and he has done it all night long too.
  9. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    LOL, Sheila - too funny.

    I *would've* warned you but my difficult child's temper is such that I don't think any of his 4 cell phones (we only paid for the first one - the kid has more phone numbers than I've had in my life!) has lasted more than a week. They don't hold up too well to being thrown. So sad..... or perhaps not. ;)
  10. Janna

    Janna New Member

    OMG! LOLOLOL! Sheila, too funny! Hahahahaha ~ well, I'll learn from your experience, if you don't mind?

    I like SRL's idea. Tracfone!

    I have a few years to wait. I told D high school. I can't even imagine the cell phone capabilities in 2 yrs. Egad.
  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sheila, we had to learn the hard way....!! Just kidding!

    It is really new territory when your teen gets a cell. You almost have to rethink every sentence. They get around a lot of rules with a cell. My difficult child is 17 and she just got her cell for her 16th birthday. She has chores she has to do and pays part of the bill. It is good leverage to get the chores done. She does not always have the money as she has no job.

    I would set the rule from the beginning that it has to be turned over at night, every night if you do get him one.

    difficult children is a Cricket phone. Unlimited texting. I would not have gotten her a phone unless it was unlimited. She is incapable of that type of self control and I was not getting stuck with some outrageous bill.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    How about a Tic Talk phone? I wish they'd been available for us when we needed them. We've moved beyond the need for it now.

    It really puts control back in parental hands; the kids can only call numbers you enable, during hours you permit, for time limits set by parents but possibly modified by study time on the educational games included. And from an ad I saw for the phone, it can also be tracked online so you can find where the phone (and hopefully the child attached) actually is. I recall it was also designed to also automatically notify the parent when the child goes "out of bounds" but that would depend on the technology available in your carrier as well as the law in your area.

    Not so much Big Brother as Big Momma.

  13. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I broke down and added unlimited messaging to our family plan early on...T Mobile said they couldn't disconnect the texting feature. Since Miss KT is passed the 10,000 mark this month, this one was not even in a basket.

    She's on phone #25 or something like that in five years. I told her we would replace it the first time something happened, but not again, and she needed to take that as a warning that she was to be responsible. We replaced it, a few months after, then she ran through the entire family's old phones, and THEN she had to svck it up and start buying them herself. I also will not authorize a renewal of anyone's phone contract just so she can get the new cool phone of the moment for free.

    I wish you lots and lots of luck!
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    by the way- what's Part 2?
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We took text messaging off of all our phones. We know easy child way too well! Also since we switched companies we don't get hardly any reception in our home so neither kids use theirs much-just what it was intended for now. When we had better reception easy child was on a lot more!
  16. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I'll try to do part II tomorrow. I'm a bit limited in keyboarding presently. (Spinal surgery and medicine.)
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sheila, last I checked, abs were not considered porn.
    Unless they go beneath the hairline. And I'm not talking forehead.
    And yes, we have posted about this in the past ... my difficult child was playing games that he had downloaded from the Internet. It cost me $50 a mo. until I caught on. Uh-duh.

    If you want to delete your Internet access, you have to 1) call and get it deleted, 2) delete it physically from the phone, and 3) type a letter and mail it. ALL THREE. (It took me 3 mo's to figure that out, too. I'm a bit slow up on the uptake sometimes. :( )
    But that means you can't use email or internet privileges, either. Make sure you call first and have them explain to you the exact terminology. Their job is not to be accurate; it is to make sales.

    We made our difficult child do extra chores around the house to pay back the extra $.

    Even easy child rang up a huge bill (excuse the expression). Since she hasn't worked since summer and had no way to pay us back, I electronically transferred the payment from her savings acct to our checking account. (She agreed to it.)

    Right now, my difficult child can stay home,and a jail cell and 3 square meals sounds like just what I need. Althought I would appreciate a pillow and soft blanket.

    by the way, as Ropefree pointed out, there is always an opportunity for smoke signals. Never assume because you have cut off cell ph access that your difficult child will let it rest. Where there's a will, there's a way. And brother, have these kids got a will!
  18. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I got my mom a "Jitterbug" phone. Simple, bare bones type thing. No camera, no nothing. I get to see her bill on line so I know when she is over the limit with minutes. Even at 81, having numbers stored is a temptation to call everyone on the list. LOL.

    On another note, I love my kids having cell phones. They are pretty responsible. Never lost or broken.(so far) difficult child knows this is his life line. Between the cell and GPS he has a certain amount of independence. For us it's a tool. I would like to get him off of our calling plan eventually.

    No photo's of abs around here since difficult child is pudgy and won't exercise.
  19. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    MY cell phone is not a camera phone. And yes there are a lot of them. husband never had a camera phone until xmas when I thought it would be nice. And if you read my other posts..look what he did. (porn viewing)

    Anyway, other options are to block the internet from the phones. That does not stop the picture taking though. ONly the email and internet.

    And more recently there has been a lot of news on kids sending nude picture's of themself. And if anyone has read about the bomb threat issue from New Berlin, Wi
    you will also see what this camera / internet thing has done.

    I am definately not against cell phones. Think they are great. But if I had to do it over again. No cameras for anyone.

    I also have a minute plan, while my boys are all on a regular plan. They don't like my phone. They say it isn't as clear as they would like. I don't care. I only use it once in a while.
  20. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello All--

    My difficult child has really been pestering for a cell phone...and she has been begging for us to please just add her to our plan. Despite her promises "I'll be really good with minutes!" and "I'll only text a little...."--husband and I know her too well. So we have told her that right now, at age 13....she really has no need for a cell phone. They are not allowed in school (Number 1), she can call her friends from the home phone after school (Number 2), and the only time she is not with her family is when she is visiting a friend's house WITH parental supervision (Number 3).

    husband has made it clear that when she has a job and would need a cell phone she can purchase pre-paid minutes. And then she can only talk/text as much as she pays in advance.

    I know the minutes are more expensive with the pre-paid plans....but I think it's a good solution.