May 05, 2008,
K.B. asks from Redmond, WA on May 02, 2008
Cell Phone and Friends for Young Teen Boys
My 13 year old boy has not once this year invited any of his friends home. I've asked him many times to ask someone over and even offered him $. I worry about his friendships. His teachers say he is very well liked so much so that he talks too much at times in class. My son tells me that his friends all have cell phones and no one uses house phones. I've given him money as has his grandmother so he could get a cell phone but he says that the prepaid ones aren't the same and doesn't want that. We've learned the hard way already with older kids that putting them on our plan isn't the wisest thing as they really rack up the minutes. I don't like following what all the other parents do just because and I know that we live in a wealthier area so kids do tend to get allot of the name brand things. I feel horrible for my son and don't want him to be an outcast. He's a very clean cut short haired, very smart and attractive young man but junior high and hormones seem to be making him into a stranger. I don't want to spoil him because all the other parents around do however I don't want him to be a loser as his older brother calls those without phones at his school. Advice? Anyone else feel that kids are getting too much too early these days?
So What Happened?™
Thank you so much for all you're responses. It is very helpful and appreciate it a ton. :) The AT&T info. was esp. helpful and I'll look into it. It's close to summer and I'm hoping that I'll learn more from my son with more time we'll have. I know this is something all our parents said back when we were teens but it sure is hard raising teenagers these days. Grateful for blogging!
A.L. answers from Seattle on May 03, 2008
Hi Kristin, your letter could be me writing, we are going through the same with our 13 year old son. After having our 22 year old come back and actually thank us for not spoiling her with everything she asked for in high school, I do feel we are on the right track. Stick to your guns, if they need a phone for safety, activities or pick ups, then it's time, otherwise it's purely social. The social world is definitely changed from our generation, but our son does use the house phone because he doesn't have a cell. He thinks he's a loser (or he tries to make us think) as his 17 year old brother feels he's also the world's biggest loser without a car or only a minivan now and then. Trust me, the overindulged children are no happier and your kids will learn to recognize it in their friends soon enough and come to appreciate the lessons you are teaching them. When mine complain I tell them they are building the character necessary for life, cheesy I know, but it's true. You are in good company!
Good luck and God bless,
2 moms found this helpful
K.R. answers from Portland on May 03, 2008
I may be getting old, but what ever happened to working for something you want? He wants a cell phone? Let him do chores for it. When he can pay the bill, he can have the phone. You will be teaching him that what he wants doesn't just fall out of the sky and he will develop a work ethic. There is another point to the phone issue, though. If your son is in middle school, a phone will give him a lot of freedom and if he is already not bringing his friends home, this may be a red flag to watch. I raised 3 boys and those tween/teen years are crucial. I know you want to trust your son, but you also want to protect him. Kids get together and do stupid things. It's a fact of life and you can't always prevent it. But--you can lay down some rules. If he is going to spend the night with a friend, or even if he is going to be out late with a group, you need to meet these kids--and (horrors) even talk with their parents. Affluence doesn't guarantee good choices. Just because he goes to a "good" school doesn't guarantee he won't succumb to the group. I know this may sound harsh, but trust me, being "strict" might just save you some heartache further on.
Best of Luck,
2 moms found this helpful
M.P. answers from Portland on May 02, 2008
First: not all the kids have cell phones. If his friends have cell phones he can still call them from a house phone. Could he be using this ruse tryihg to get you to buy a phone?
Since his teacher says that he talks with friends at school I wouldn't worry about him not bringing friends home. I'd let him know that you would like to meet his friends and they're welcome in your home and then I'd let it drop for a month or so and see what happens.
At thirteen he's entering the years in which he's once more learning who he is and how he fits in the world. zhe's begun the process of breaking away from his parents. It's basically a repeat of the two's; finding more independence. He may not be bringing his friends around for all sorts of different reasons. Keep an open mind, observe, but don't push. Be available if he wants to talk but let him experience the small amount of independence.
Being a mother of a teenager, as you already know from having older children is frustating. And each teen is different. so it's not like you know what to do after you've raised the first one.
I wish you well.
1 mom found this helpful
T.J. answers from Seattle on May 02, 2008
I would let him know that if he can use a prepaid one without going over for three months then he can get a "real" one at that time. They do make prepaid phones that look cooler than the cheaper looking ones, I'm sure that's a concern of his =)
My relationship with my (grand)mother was one of total honesty, she knew everything we did and was very open and fun, so all my friends always came to our house. Make sure your kids can talk to you about anything without judgement (especially important if he's your stepson, you didn't say), and don't worry all teenagers act aloof like this at times, we were there not all that long ago! Just be glad he's not a girl, I've heard that's worse, too bad for me with two of them!
1 mom found this helpful
C.H. answers from Seattle on May 03, 2008
My sons are aged 13 and 14 and we gave them each a second-hand cell phone for their 13th birthdays. However, our boys mostly chat with their friends over IM on their computers and my 13 year old also uses the house phone to call his "girl friend." They are not allowed to text and both have followed that rule because we told them we would take away their phones if they did text- it is far too expensive for our plan, even though both boys have jobs (mowing lawns for neighbors and babysitting- we paid for the babysitting course, though) and they have offered to pay for their texting minutes. I agree that children today should not get everything they want and should have to work for it. My 14 year old is going to Costa Rica with his Spanish class at Spring Break 2009 and he is paying one third the cost of the trip- $700. He also worked by babysitting to buy his own iPod, but we have taken it away on occasion to make sure he is keeping B's or higher at school. The Parenting with Love and Logic is a great way to go as the boys make their own choices about most things and they have to live with the consequences of their actions.
Good luck with your 13 year old- I also can't believe my two are as tall or taller than I am (and I am 5'8"- my 14 yr old is 6'!) and I agree, they are like strangers sometimes!
T.F. answers from Eugene on May 02, 2008
This is strictly my personal opinion - but I think this Cell phone stuff for young kids is getting out of hand. My goodness - it's like a competition with the Jones with everything now a days. Well, I guess it always has been, but come on as young as a 9 year old having a stupid cell phone - why do I need to give my son at that age a cell phone. You would think I would know where he is at all times...for the most part. If you want to talk on the phone with your friends - by golly you can wait until you get home from school. Besides - ironically when I was younger I was out of city bounderies that the small town that I went to school at was long distance - so I couldn't talk to my friends until I was in middle school.
Anyway - If you feel that it is necessary for your son to have a cell phone by all means - go right ahead. They have these plans now that is a flat rate. But depending on how much you want to spend. Your son probably doesn't want the "Prepaid" Phones because they are supposedly not as "COOL" as AT&T and Verizon. Teenagers are always trying to out-do each other. What was the biggest item that everyone "HAD" to have when you were growing up? Good luck on this. I am definately not looking forward to that stage in my son's life....lol.
L.M. answers from Yakima on May 03, 2008
Kristen, I am in the same position that you are in with my kids going to school with some very well off families kids.I shop alot of resale stores and Ebay to see that they have what they need to fit in and it works very well.My kids are very appreciative and seem to handle the difference (we are middle-class family) very well. But sometimes problems arise. Such as my daughter is a junior and all the kids go to lunch everyday (open campus which I disagree so much with)and to Starbuck's. Wesolved this by giving her an allowance during the school year to go with them a couple times a week. Then she got a part-time job and she puts half of her check in the bank and keeps the other to spendon things she really wants to do but it has to last her until she gets paid again. It has taught her alot of responsiblity...and she can handle it.
Her brother is 16 and he isin basketball anditis very expensive ashe is on an Elite team that travels all over. He isvery appreciative of what he gets to do and knows that it costs alot. When he wasa freshman we had to buy a JV warm-up and a Varsity warm-up because he made the varsity and lettered as a freshman. each of the warm-ups were $180.00a piece as West valley seems to not look at the price of anything they just order what they want. You go into the parking lot of this school and they all drive better cars than I do. I drive a Dodge Ram Van and these kids drive..well onehas a Hummer and the other has an Audi..get my drift? Savannah and Mac are looking at Toyota or Honda.
As far as the cell phone I always went with the reasoning that when the kids started going places on their own and I wanted toreach them..I would get them cell phones. So they got one last Christmas. I got a plan through US Cellular that has all incoming calls free and calling to another US Cellular phone is free...every night after 7:00 all calls are free incoming and outgoing until after midnight and they had better NOT be on the phone after midnight! Starting friday at &:00 all incoming and outgoingcall are free until midnight Sunday. With this plan they havenever goneover their minutes...Along with this plan for $20.00 a month all phones can have unlimited text messaging incoming and outgoing...but I have not put it on their phones because I was afraid they would use it during school hours. For back up this plan comes with anationwide plan which I have so you never have to worry about areas being local. Plus there are 1400 anytime minutes that can be used if they have to use their phones other thanafter 7:00 pm. US Cellular is the only plan thathas free incoming calls and we could not survive without that.
AT&T has a plan for kids that you can put whatever amount of minutes on the phone and when they use those they cannot use anymore...but when their minutes are up they can still call you or 911 without any charge. I have heard that it is an excellent first phone plan for kids because you are in control. You might want to check on it.
My oldest daughter got her little girl a phone when she was 12 because she was staying after school for sportsand things but I still go with the reasoning that if you need it to keep track of them and communicate with them I think it is feasible.
If your son is feeling like he does not fit in it may besomething to look at. are you adding things to his schedule as he gets older such as staying and going to sports games and school activities after school? He willhave to be accessible to be friends with the kids by being involved inthe things his age kids are doing...but it sounds like you would love it if he wanted to do this. we have an open door policy at our house with rules...the kitchenand my bdroom are off limits except for snacks Imake available in a specific area for all the kids. Kids can entertain in their bedrooms but the doors have to be kept open if there are kids of the opposite sex....but our door is unlocked and when the kids' friends come they just tap on the door and come in and go off to see the kids. We have an 8:30 curfew time for company on weekdays and midnight on the weekends...it works very well because most of the time my kids are home.
we follow this as longas the kids arein bed at 9:00 on a school night and all homework is done before anything else is planned. Schoolwork is usually done right after school so they have the rest ofthenight to do what they want to do. I cook in the slowcooker during the week and they eat when they want. we have sit down dinners on the weekend and no one is allowed here during that time. But I think thishas really encouraged the kids to have their friends here and feel comfortable.Once in a while we run into the parent that is not respectful of our rules and refuse to pick their kids upon time and then I handle it with the parent. But mostof the parents the kids have been friends for so long they know our rules and abide by them and are happy their kids are hanging out here.
Go for the cell phone if it makes him feel a part of the crowd..search out the plan and protect yourself..call during the month and see how he is doing on minutes and following the rules. Make sure he is involved in after school activities and plans ...he will gradually just fall into having friends call him and want to come over. Your house will be full and you will wonder what you were so worried about and long for these days again. LOL L.
J.L. answers from Medford on May 03, 2008
I absolutly agree that kids get too much and too early these days. Our kids these days are spoiled rotten with no respect for adults and no character. I is truly sad to see.
I am a pretty strick parent. Of course I want to give my kids things and having our own business I am able to give them things. But just because I can and want to doesn't mean that I do. I think it's good for kids to learn that they can't have everything they want. Sometimes it's good for them to hear no! it's also good for them to learn to say their own money to buy things.
As for being an outcast, well, of course we don't want our kids to be made fun of and they should'nt have to go through that. But, I don't get my kids things so that they can fit in with others. I've always thought them that they need to be themselves. They don't need to worry about what other kids think and they don't need to please other kids. If they don't like my son because he isn't like them, then they aren't very good friends.
As for the phone, my 14 year old son has a cell phone. It's not a prepayed and he is on my plan but, he has a phone that I can program. He can only call the numbers i've programed into the phone to be called. He can only use so many minutes that i've programed the phone to allow. There are child safe phones available for kids, so that parents have the control still. Also I don't see any need for kids to have phones unless they really need them. My son only got a phone because he is in many different sports. I have three boys and a business and I can't be everywhere at once. The phone allowed me to keep track of my son and it allowed him to call me when he needed me to pick him up from one sport and drive him to the next. Unless is leaving the house for sports or on a bike ride etc. He isn't allowed to have the phone.
I know that this is just one way of handling this subject and you might not agree with how we do things in our home, but I hope it helps.
A.D. answers from Portland on May 03, 2008
Eight years ago I worked with a single mom of a teen son. We worked in Hillsboro and she lived in Portland. When I found out that he was using her cell phone and had it most of the time, if not all the time, I was shocked. How absurd to give a child an expensive mobile phone. My opinion was that children don't need cell phones.
Today, my opinion has changed because of the way our society functions now and how unsafe the world has become. (Just look at the recent home invasion with the teen still home. She used her cell phone to keep in contact with her mom until help arrived. I feel the phone saved her life.)
A child in my sons second grade class (7yrs old) went to live with her dad this past winter. He bought her a cell phone. I thought that was even more absurd. When I sat down and thought about it, the cell phone made more sense.
He is able to call his daughter at anytime and check on her and her brother. Also, she can do the same.
Since the single mom I worked with lived so far from work, she was able to keep track of her son and make sure that he was safe.
My suggestion is that if you are able to afford it, consider a cell phone for him. I know that phones are very expensive, so check out what is available before you buy. Find out if you sign up for a specific plan and he runs out of minutes if they will stop activity on the phone until the next month renews, without having to get a prepaid one. That way you can avoid overage charges and it makes him accountable /responsible for his actions.
Personally, if my son/sons were on the verge of outcast, I would do what ever it took to keep them in the group. (This is because I was an outcast/band geek and picked on all the time.) I don't want my children to go through that.
I know that some will disagree with me, but sometimes it's a matter of fitting in not principle.
Best of luck to you and your son.
J.B. answers from Portland on May 03, 2008
I have a 13 and a 16 year olds and they have cell phones, but they are only allowed to text, which all teenagers love to do anyway. With our plan, we have unlimited texting for $30/month.
Since cell phones are their life-line to their friends, they also give us a lot of leverage in parenting.
I would strongly recommend Love and Logic materials for parenting. They are wonderful, simple to do, and miraculous in their results. They have a lot of books and CDs covering kids of all age.
And, Yes!, I agree with you that kids don't need to just have everything they want, but they can certainly earn it. Putting their own sweat equity into getting it will make them appreciate it, and know what it takes to have things in your life that you really want. In other words, they will be prepared for life.
You can find love and logic online (www.LoveAndLogic.com)or you can find the books and tapes in your local library or bookstore. In our family, they made a huge difference. (and, no, I am not selling them, even though I probably should since I talk about them all the time. I am just grateful they exist, and want to share them with all the parents!)
R.M. answers from Portland on May 03, 2008
YEEEHAW!! I LOVE,LOVE, LOVE ALL of the responses you got regarding a cell phone for your son!! They are all soooo right! The only thing I wanted to add is that IF he is really insistant on having a "real cell phone", you could show him one of those "Disney phones"---they have 4 preprogrammed numbers in them--you can't make any other outbound calls, and can have unlimited incoming...and they come in cool colors like bright pink or green (I am being silly here...) SO, IF he really wants one, just tell him to do the research with Cricket, or Verizon--whoever--and once he comes up with the downpayment, and can stay 1 month ahead on the expected phone bill, he can have one.
Good luck, sweetie!! I am sooo glad mine have all moved out,and they have to figure it all out on their own now...(its sooo funny to watch! VERY cheap entertainment for me!)
B.L. answers from Jacksonville on May 03, 2008
I know you've already done the "so what happened", but I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. John Rosemond, my favorite parenting author, says that children should get everything they need, and little of what they want. I would recommend any of his books, such as John Rosemond's Plan for Raising Happy Healthy Children. He speaks of bullying and friends and all sorts of topics. I bet there's at least one other kid at school who doesn't have a cell phone, and who could use a friend like your son. Good luck to you!
D.M. answers from Anchorage on May 02, 2008
You are right as far as I'm concerned. None of my kids have cell phones. Infact they still carry -are you ready- QUARTERS!
My 15yo may get a cell when he gets a car but he will need to pay for it unless it's prepaid for emergancy's only. If your 13 yo is complaining he is old enough for a paperroute, odd jobs, ect. Don't worry, If it is a social must for him to have it, he will work for it. You could even offer the kids payment around the house for such things. Also, you could require a deposit to have him on your plan or talk to the phone company about limiting his mins.
Junior high is sooo hard. Spend as much time as possible with him now. Parent are very uncool at this age but there is an end in sight!
D.B. answers from Anchorage on May 04, 2008
Yes!! I completely agree. Children get WHY to much for nothing. To many parents just hand them things to keep them out of their hair. Not to mention the moral problems in todays world.
We have allowed our son the have a cell phone. However HE pays for it totallt by HIMSELF!! We have him on a unlimmited time and texting plan through AK Digital. It's cheaper if you go to Costco. It costs HIM $55.00 a month.
Everything has it's down falls. IT's great leverage. When he pulls the teenage attitude or fights with his brother I take is phone. I also scan through it occationally to see who he's talking with and what they all text back and forth. Of course he don't know I look. That's the beauty of it. I never devalge the things I find. I just hold them to myself or sometimes talk to dad about them.
M.B. answers from Seattle on May 02, 2008
If all the other parents jumped off a bridge would you? This is what it sounds like to me. Everyone else is doing it, so you should too. I think that's a pile of S***. I would give him the choice, either he can have a prepaid phone, or no phone at all. If it's "not the same" well too bad.
Part of his attitude is the age, part of it is hormones and part of it is peer pressure. Encourage him to be his own person, not succumb to what his "friends" think. Most likely after school they won't be friends anyway.
Hope this helps,
N.Z. answers from Portland on May 03, 2008
We went ahead and got our son a cell phone. It's really convienent when we are out and about or when he needs a ride home from an activity.
The problem Test Messages. You can't block them, you can't refuse them. Everyone sends them! I can't say how many "'sup?" TM's he's gotten. My phone bill spiked between 40 and 60 bucks a month!
The prepaid are the only way to go and take the phone away at night. I found out he was on the phone at 11:00 at night with his 12 year old girlfriend. Her parents were unaware too. Keep the limits. If he wants a "real" phone bad enough he'll find the money to pay for it. That is our new rule. If you want it you pay for it.
Hope this helps. More parents need to parent and not let the electronics do the job.
J.W. answers from Seattle on May 03, 2008
A cool cellphone is not the reason your son is not invited over to other boys' homes. Maybe it's because he doesn't want to go to other boys' homes. His teachers say he's well liked at school, talks alot (maybe too much :-)), you say he's smart and attractive.... Could it be that he knows more about these boys than you do and just doesn't want to go to their homes? Maybe they do things or talk about things that they'd like to do and he doesn't want any part of that? Yes, kids will want what's cool, it's "keeping up with the Jones 101", but you set guidelines and limits. You can get him a cell phone that has spending limits attached, hit the magic number and off it goes. Or you can get him a phone/line attached to your cellphone plan and establish a relationship with him and the bill. Review his calls, his texting each month when the bill comes. Start with a foundation of trust, keep it by exhibiting good behavior and responsibility. My three kids all have their 'electronic leashes'. I have two in college and a high school junior. We have a shared plan. The phones were bought/added so they would always be able to contact one another, me and the house at all times. Yes, they call their friends occassionally, but there are limits, and the limits are the shared plan minutes we have. I use the phone for my business/volunteer activities as well as keeping in touch with my kids, my mom and my husband. They can get in touch with me. Our daughter, the oldest, has used more minutes each month due to her activities at college, she's involved with student government... but we have managed to stay within affordability and sanity. Why? because we talk about the money involved and where it's going to come from. Give your son a chance. First month he exceeds his limits or is irresponsible, take the phone from him and ask him to find a way to pay for the additional airtime he has consumed. You can watch who he's calling, it might give you a whole new perspective on your son. 13 is too young to have a pnone at school. If he takes one, it has to be turned off, left in his locker during the school day. Teachers don't like them in class and will confiscate any that are out and in the open. If you're involved with the phone you're out of touch in class. Your older sons are feeding you a line of stuff about their little brother being a loser, this is just big brother speak.The cellphone rules apply to high school students as well. You ought to see the box full of phones, MP3 players and other electronics that are stored at my sons high school office! Maybe it's hair and clothes that they believe set him apart. When he goes to get a haircut, do you ask him what he wants or do you set the standards? As they get older, you set the outside boundaries about appearances and they get to color within those lines, but as we all know, every picture can be unique depending on what colors and strokes are used within those lines. Those lines can be affordability (a budget for clothing), condition of clothing (neat, no rips or tears, clean), fit (no droopy drawers or walked on cuffs)..these are my lines. He can be his own person, set his own image well within any lines you give him, providing there's some room to 'color. And don't be so quick to judge the ex-spouse. Kids are known to play both ends against the middle to their advantage. Raising teenagers is difficult, it's a tug of war with their emerging independence and your need to still maintain complete control, that and they are experiencing this tumultuous change of their bodies, their hormones, their emotions. Change isn't easy for anyone. Six kids is alot of change going on all at once. Provide that stable, constant routine where they have a foundation that they can come back to, depend on to be there and the unconditional love that is needed now more than ever while they are 'under construction'. And don't ignore the fact that you are changing... time has a way of effecting our bodies, our hormones, and the choices we have available on a daily basis as parents. Enjoy these times, you have an opportunity not only to be a Mom, but to grow and establish a whole new demension to your relationships with your your emerging adult children, that being a friend as well as being their parent.
A.L. answers from Seattle on May 03, 2008
I agree, I do think children are getting too much too early but life today is so different than when we were growing up (I am almost 40) and my mom stayed home with us kids and I remember her always being on a budget and going to McDonald's was a real treat not dinner on a weekly basis. In our family both my husband and I work and their isn't much of a budget...we have one son and he like most kids has grown up with all the toys of technology he has been dying for a cell phone (he just turned 9) I never told him at what age he would be able to get a cell phone but all it took was a shopping trip to Costco and they had a amazing deal for a second cell phone with T-mobile. The phone was free and they were offering a kids monthly plan of $20.00 a 100 minutes that they could use for texting and calls and after that 100 minutes that he would always be able to receive and make calls to me. No overages ever unless I want to buy him more minutes. The only down fall is that it is a 2 year contract and I told my son that if he loses the phone he will need to save his own money to replace it. I am will be honest he doesn't need a cell phone but it has been really nice to get calls from him at lunch just to say hello and he has enjoyed making videos with his friends and taking pictures (the phone they gave him is way nicer than mine and it is a "real" phone my son told me he didn't want a "kid" phone either.....) but what I am trying to say is that he is learning some responsibility and now I have something to take away if he is not finishing his homework or chores around the house....the most effective form of discipline in our family. Good luck for whatever you decide to do!
J.C. answers from Yakima on May 03, 2008
I agree that kids in general are geting way to much to early. I have to say though that pre-paid plans are a good way to go. Both of my teenagers have pre-paid plans with AT&T which they both enjoy very much. They have alot of the cool phones to go along with the pre-paid plans. AT&T also offers unlimted texting, and unlimited night and weekends, with the pre-paid plans. So if your son is afraid he won't be as cool as the other kids because his is a generic pre-paid plan, then look into what pre-paid plans they offer with your best local carrier, most offer a variety of different phones to choose from and he will have the same carrier as his friends and know one will know the difference.
L.G. answers from Seattle on May 03, 2008
I agree, do not put him on the family plan as you will never have enough minutes. Children do not seem to have a sense of time when talking. If he will not accept the prepaid type of phone then he should not have one until he is old enough to work and purchase it himself. This is how we did with all of the grandchildren and they all survived. The oldest is now 26 and she is greatful that we did not give in as she has now discovered how much things really cost. She is a doctor and her sister a nurse and her brother is a Marine. They need friends but they do not need things and he will be OK.
J.M. answers from Portland on May 03, 2008
Have you looked into a Cricket phone? Cricket is only in some areas, but the plan is a month to month and has unlimited txt and minutes for starting under $30 (I think). If you cant pay a month, you just dont have service, but the next you can pay. You get the same number and everything.
I dont believe that kids this age should have a phone JUST to be cool or talk to friends. It does make them easier to find if they hang out with friends after school or are involved in extra activities. I wouldnt worry about your boy having friends over to play. My brothers rarely brought friends home, they always went over to their friends houses. They have friends though, and your son sounds like he has no problem socializing. Good for you for not wanting to keep up with the Jones' at the expense of your child. They need to learn wants from needs, and responsibilities.
P.J. answers from Seattle on May 05, 2008
A friend of mine told me about a plan they did for their son. He had to have 2 months paid in advance to them. Then he could have a cell phone on their plan. If he couldn't make the monthly payment then he had to turn over the phone, and if he racked up too many minutes they had 2 months of his money to make up the difference. He also had to pay each month as it came. He learned once that too many minutes lost him his phone and cost too much money! He also learned that it wasn't too hard to make $20. a month helping neighbors and his family with chores. I thought that was a good plan on cell phones. My kids are too young for them yet, but I want to implement this plan with them as a repsonsiblity learning tool. Life isn't free and you are never too young to learn that. Good luck, I hope both you and your son come to a plan that works for both of you! My time is coming! P. J
S.B. answers from Seattle on May 03, 2008
I feel for you and your son. We went thrugh a similar experience with my daughter "needing" an authentic Cabbage Patch doll. The other little girls wouldn't let her play with them because she didn't have a real Cabbage Patch. I tried to make one, but it was ugly. I was embarrassed for her. Eventually I was able to get her one on sale.
At 13 your son is old enough to sit down with you while you do the bills. You could even allow him to make out the checks (sans signature). This might help him understand where the money has to go. Maybe he will begin to understand that it would be ahardship to provide him the cell phone he thinks he needs. Also, point out what shallow friends he has who would avoid him because of a cell phone. These friends are not worth his time. I'd like to see me getting a BMW just so my friends at work woould talk to me!! Good luck.
C.T. answers from Spokane on May 05, 2008
I totally understand what you are saying. I got my son a cell phone in Junior High School because of sports. I love that he has one and he is very good at being responsible about the minutes, we never go over in "talking" minutes but I have had to upgrade with the texting. He also is good in school and doesn't ever do things with friends but he will text for hours. Most of his friends are on our plan so I just let him be. I do completely understand about the being a stranger. Once my son started having more girls around he treats me differently and acts differently. I don't know what to do about hormones. My son didn't want the prepaid ones either and we are not made of money so he may not have the best phone out there but if he wants a phone he has to take what he can get. I am going to let him "upgrade" his phone but he has to pay for the upgrade.
best of luck
Best of luck.