Issues with Teens and Text Phones?

bnicebkindJuly 30, 2008

Anyone bothered about your teens use of cell phones and texting? Every teen I know constantly has their cell phone in hand or very close by, and are texting "regularly" while awake. What rules do those with teens have (regarding phones) in your home? Are your teens open about who they are texting and communicating with, or secretative and how has having the phone affected their attitude in general, and relationships with family members? Have their grades changed since getting the phones? Are they texting in the middle of the night that you are aware of? Are they texting "during" school? One woman told me her son was texting during classes with his hand in his backpack to friends in other classes or his girlfriend in another school. His grades have dropped so low, he will be lucky to get into a community college unless he gets it rapidly turned around.

Anyway, I have not seen it mentioned here, and I am wondering what those of you with teens think about your teens and their phones?

A child therapist I know told me that teens are all telling the parents that they are using their phones as an alarm clock, and that is why they want them so near them at night. She said what is realy going on is that many of these teens are texting at 2:00 am and 3:00 am even on school nights.

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I don't think texting on a phone is any different than emailing through the internet. There should be rules about how much the bill is and if they are contacting someone they are not allowed to. You have the same problems on a reg phone and the computer.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 1:50PM
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You, as the parent, have control over that.

If you child is texting too much, limit the use... or make them pay for all usage (which will also limit the use!)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 3:32PM
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Does the school have rules for cell phone use during class? I work in an elementary school, and if I see a student even carrying a cell phone, I'm to confiscate it. The principal gets it and decides what to do from there. Usually the parents have to come in to get it. We've had issues with recording teachers, listening to inappropriate music, etc.

It's the first thing I take away from DD13 if she gives me attitude, doesn't do her chores, or if her grades are dropping. I pay the monthly bill ($20) although we never come close to using our 700 minutes, and we all have unlimited texting.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 4:39PM
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no cell phones are allowed at our school if it is taken the parent must come to school and get it- it will not be returned to the student..that's never been as issue for DD.

she does use her phone as an alarm clock- that's funny and she does not use it to text or call in the middle of the night as she can not use it after 9 and DH goes online to check up on her..she does not have texting--too annoying to us and too many messages..

DD is an all A student and she uses her phone approprately as a calendar, alarm, to take photos, as an actual phone...

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 5:44PM
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I have a teen who texts a lot. We have him on a phoneplan where he gets a certain number of texts a month, and bless him he sticks to it. We have worked out how many that is a day.

He does sleep with his phone next to his bed and I did think I should take it out at night. He goes to bed each night with the phone (landline) stuck to his ear, talking to his girlfriend. I don't like this but I can't justify an objection to it, I think I just miss having those night time goodnights with just me and him ! He gets off the phone, when I say "time to go to sleep".

He is not allowed a phone in the classroom at school.

No problems, so far with school work dropping off.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:12PM
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My dd will sometimes text while we are having a conversation - that is really irritating! I tell her to put the phone away, and she does, but I am surprised she does this at all because she is normally very polite. I think texting while talking is common and acceptable in her circle of friends. She pays her own bill with her babysitting money, but still, I would not hesitate to take her phone away if her grades dropped or if it was causing trouble (other than the occasional abovementioned rudeness).

I think kids have been finding ways to connect with their friends on the sly for years. When I was a teenager, we wrote long notes to each other during school and passed them in class, and talked on the phone for hours (in bed, while we were supposed to be sleeping). I snuck out of my window to meet up with boys. So, as long as dd keeps her grades up and is polite to me, I don't have a problem with her texting her friends - seems like a different way of doing the same thing teenages have done for decades.

I did want to point out, stargazzer, that I feel better about her IM'ing/emailing her friends rather than texting them. I told dd that her IM conversations are logged, and that I probably would never read them, but reserved the right to if necessary. I know her email password and could monitor who she is in touch with if I wanted to. I'm not sure how easy it would be to monitor who she is texting (haven't bothered, because so far it is just her friends and occasionally, the boy who lives next door). I have read about options to get an alert when your child receives a call from someone not on your "approved list" - seem like more work/expense to set this up though.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 5:00AM
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when DD still lived at home and was on my phone plan she was only allowed to text that much and she actually stayed within a limit. she used internet more often than texting because of the phone plan.

now when she has her own plan, she has unlimited texting but limited calls so it is obviously cheaper for her to text so she does that instead of calling. it is annoying when she constantly texting lol but she is grown and it is nothing i can say anymore. i hate texting by the way because it takes way too much time.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 2:07PM
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I have had to make a big effort to start texting mean feat I can tell you ! I am late 40's and find it hard to see the letters to text...but I battle on.

I do this because I have realized that it is the main way my daughter communicates and she lives away from home. I see it as a sort of umbilical chord ! She is impressed that I am now sending her messages, at least one a day...a few last night even. We now chat on a level, of trivia..shampoo type etc. But that is her world and I want to be a part of it.

In the past I said it was all silly, waste of time, money, global companies taking over our lives, consumerism gone mad. But maturity has made me realize that I can't live in the past if it means not communicating with my daughter on a daily basis.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 7:16PM
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Our kids are 10, 9 and 6 so I don't have any issues with them and text messaging sense none of them have cell phones. Yet our neighbor just bought their 9 and 8 year old children cell phones. i can't imagine why. When are they ever without adult supervision that they would need a cell phone anyway?

But my husband and I have been texting one another for about 7 or 8 years now. I can't imagine not having it. If he can't take a call at work I can send him a text to pick up the kids on his way home or whatever. It is convenient and I am sure if you set limits children can learn to use it responsibly as some parents have already said that theirs do.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 10:48PM
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My name is Jay Brooks and I am a parent of two teenagers and a young adult daughter.

IÂd like to introduce you to a cool new tool I've developed using text messaging to inspire teen and young adult children to make good choices every day and mature into responsible adults. Basically, we've designed a communication strategy that delivers daily inspiring text messages right to a teen or young adult child's cell phone. A variety of quotes from famous people, humor, trivia, and values-based messages work together to connect with young people and reinforce the things parents teach their children from an early age -- like being respectful of others, making good choices, and thinking before acting.

Perhaps the easiest way to explain this is to think of it as a 21st Century alternative to the old-fashioned lunchbox notes moms have been embarrassing their kids with for generations. Only this is even better.

Check out our website. I'm sure you'll discover an opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade.

Here is a link that might be useful: Less Than 3 Notes

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 7:11PM
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You agreed to no advertising when you signed on..

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 1:34PM
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I do not work for ATT but I have to tell you that I just switched to them because of their parental control features. I have 3 teenage girls and one of them is joined to her cell phone 24/7. The parental controls lets me turn her phone off/on whenever I want. So, for all 3 of them (so i don't play favorites), I turn it off at 9:30 at night and back on at 6 am, I have later times fo rthe weekend. I also tie the cell phone usage to their grades so if they have get c's, daytime privelages are taken away. I also use it to turn the phones off if we are having a special family day or have to go to a funeral, for example, because my one daughter will text under the table at restaurants and go to the bathroom just to text when we are together as a family. I also think some of the anxiety about having to answer calls no matter what time of nite it is has been taken away because they know they can't get any. The controls still allow me to text during them during off times in case i need to tell her where i am picking her up after school, for example.
Bottom line is some kids just go crazy with them and others can handle them fine--defiantely set limits one way or another. Before i got the parental controls, I actually took away their phones at nite and turned them off.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 12:02AM
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