My Daughter and Her Cell Phone

Updated on October 03, 2012
S.H. asks from Troy, TX
27 answers

My 12 y old daughter haS had Her cell Phone for a few years now without any issues. She knows that we monitor her usage as well as the content of her texts Messages from time to time. Recently she has asked for us to add Internet to her phone which we are pretty much against. Most of her friends are on Facebook constantly and I think it's dangerous and just unnecessary and unproductive for her age. She does have a Facebook but is only on it once a week for about 15 min. We have a computer
In our family room which she is allowed to use pretty much anytime. Alot of her friends have both laptops and like I said Internet on their phones which the access freely and pretty much unmonitored. Most of her fiends actually. I was just wondering if most people are ok with Internet on the cell? Laptops at 12 in her room?) Do you monitor texts? Facebook?

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much. We were never really planning on getting internet on her phone, I just wanted to see what other moms did because I often feel like our rules are so alot more strict than that of her peers and it makes me second guess things. Also,I didn't mean to make it sound like she is always glued to her phone. She doesn't even use it all that often and she is involved in alot of other activities, she cheers,plays softball and volleyball, plays clarinet in the band and she's a singer.

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answers from Phoenix on

When she can get a job and pay for a cell phone and internet, then by all means, all power to her! =)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

The kids that I know of that have internet access on their phones are on their phones ALL the time. It's almost disgusting. There is more to life, but unfortunately they will never know because they don't look up from their phones.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My kids are too young for this yet but you are wise to set rules from the beginning. My personal opinion is no unmonitored internet (on a phone or laptop) and wait until at least age 14 or high school for Facebook. You would be wise set things up so you can review everything she is doing online (you would have all her email and FB passwords).

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answers from Washington DC on

My 13 yo does not have a computer of her own or a cell phone. My 15 yo has a phone but the most exciting feature is that it takes pictures.

You are her mom. Ask her if all her friends jumped off a bridge would she do that too.

I bet most of her friends do not have instant access to the internet at 12.

And if she continues to push your buttons on it cancel everything. Cable, internet, phone.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Laptop in room---NO
Texts - NO
Facebook acct - NO

Kids/young adults much older have posted things that will affect their future possibilities. Don't let her grow up too soon.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I agree to each his own as to what is provided and allowed for their kids. But I have to say I'm old fashion and I don't get the craze with adolescents having cellulars, laptops, ipads and what have you, when they should be doing other more constructive things. Another poster said it best, when they can afford to purchase and maintain those things for themselves then they can have them.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

I have a 14 year old son. He has a cell phone with text only - no data and I have blocked 3rd party charges to his phone.

ALL of our electronics are in the family room....I know what he is doing and who he is doing it with. I keep parental controls on the computer so I can review a report of what websites he has visited and when, and I occasionally scroll through his text messages and see what is being sent and received. His password for his FB account is saved in the computer so I can log onto his account and check that also.

He is one of the only boys in his group of friends that does not have data access on the phone - he occasionally grouses about it, but I explain that when he can afford a smart phone and the additional monthly fee for data then he can have it. That pretty much ends the discussion. LOL

I am a permissive parent to some extent, but I just don't think my teen needs to "wired in" every place he goes.

Good Luck and God Bless

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

I wouldn't care what her friends' parents are letting them do. In my opinion, 12 is too young to have total freedom around the internet. I'd keep the computer in the family room & not give in to internet on the phone. Not yet anyway. We never monitored our daughter's txts, but did limit her computer use at that age. The internet is a scary place....even if you do take steps to make their computers "safe".

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

No 12 year old child needs access to the internet on their phone or via laptop. I have a high school senior and a high school sophomore. We don't have texting on the phones. We don't have internet on the phones. We only have one computer in the family room.
My oldest will get his laptop when he goes off to college in the fall.
All the internet does is create problems. Stick to your guns.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Hi S.,

Go with your gut! You're right on all counts. No child needs to have access to everything on the internet at that age. The computer in the family room is a great idea. My daughter hit me with this request and this type of info a few years ago at 12....we said no. The "friends" that have had all this stuff for the last few years we monitor very closely because they are not the same sweet kids anymore...

Stick to your guns...


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

There is a reason you have the computer in the family room, so you can monitor her at this age. Way to go! We didn't allow our kids access to much at that age. We monitored everything. The older they got, the more often we monitored.

As soon as you allow the Internet on her phone or in her room, you are giving her private access to a lot of dangerous stuff. Do you know how common sexting is now? People dare each other to do a lot of stuff. We used to have dare contests but it was never something that could stay in our lives forever and come back to haunt us.

These are scary times when you see most of her friend's parents act so clueless (or not want to make their child upset with them or don't want their kids to say anything negative about them, etc.). I'm so glad to hear that you have stricter rules with your daughter. It is our job to protect our children.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I think it's totally per each family / there is no right or wrong answer.

My son (8) has had a laptop now for about 6 months... he saved for 2 years to buy a macbook. I have total access to it, so I have no concerns about it whatsoever.

He has an iPhone, and it's internet connected (for the tracking & music) but he's not allowed on it (internet) w/out permission. My mum keeps letting him use her facebook account, which drives me nuts, but as he doesn't have his own acct (and won't for some time) so I don't have to monitor his usage of it. It'll be nice when he's older, though. We parents today have SO much more access to our kids lives than our parents did.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My 12 yr old son doesn't have a cell phone and we're not getting him one for the foreseeable future.
He doesn't have a Facebook account. My niece has one (she's 10) because my sister is an idiot and I'm considering turning her in for being under aged - Facebook clearly states you must be 13 or older. I wish they raised their age limit to 18. It was originally intended for a collage aged crowd.
My 12 yr old does not text and he gets to use the computer in the living room for school work, Smart Music for clarinet practice and 2 hrs of game play a week. He doesn't get to use it when ever he wants to just like he doesn't get to turn the tv on when ever he wants to. Most the time he wants to read anyway and I keep him well supplied with books since he brings home straight A's and he's never difficult over doing his chores and helping out around the house. He has a black belt in taekwondo and he helps teach classes and is well liked at school and every where else.
I think instead of more options and web surfing capabilities on phones you should sign your daughter up for horseback riding lessons or some other out of the house activities and find ways to cut back on her phone time.
When she's grown and on her own - and paying for it herself - she can do as she pleases.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

At 12 yrs old, what could a child have to do so important that they cannot do it with the basics? I don't think a child that young should even have a cell phone but to each their own. You already have a computer home for doing homework, I think that should be fine. Why does she have to be "mobile"? Does she have clients she needs to keep in touch with on a laptop? Anyway, you get the idea. Not because her friends are doing it and all have one does it mean she needs to have one too. Stick to your rules.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Hi S.,

Parent coach J. B. here. You've gotten a variety of responses from a number of moms in such a short period that it is obvious feelings run deep on this issue.

While electronics are not "evil" per se, we as parents need to be the gate keepers on what our kids can view. Our policy doesn't have to allow ALL access or NO access - we can choose what fits our values and our kids' maturity levels.

I recommend you err on the side of caution here. At 12 years of age, is your daughter ready to view everything she can see on the internet (or television)? If your answer is "no", then her internet and television access should only be where you can monitor it - in the family room.

Kids can get around most filters and blocks to get to sites and shows you wouldn't want them to see. Believe me, once they figure out how, they tell their friends. It may seem harmless at first, but a habit of viewing inappropriate videos and photos can adversely impact healthy sexual attitudes, sometimes even leading to addictions. This, in turn, can have a serious negative affect on healthy adult relations with future partners. People with such addictions often end up in therapy and struggle with it for many years.

I know - we all think, "not my child"! Hopefully, that is true for most of our kids. We don't give our kids the keys to the car until they've been taught to drive. In the same way, we need to gradually allow our kids more and more priveledges in the area of electronics as they show the maturity and self-control to appropriately handle it.

It is hard to undo the damage once a person has gotten in deep. So I do recommend caution as you decide what is okay in your family.

That being said, you get to decide what is appropriate for your daughter as she matures. My youngest had a Facebook account (that I monitored) from about age 14 on. That happens to be the age he became interested in it. My sons have phones that can text and one of them can take pictures. If they wanted more, we'd discuss why they are asking and look at their maturity levels. In our home, we have a variety of electronics that they enjoy playing on or using.

Take care,
Parent Coach J. B.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from College Station on

I am not okay with any of it. I do not think 12 yo need cell phones, either.
My 13yo has a cell and a laptop, mainly for school work. He was monopolizing the family computer for school work so we decided it was time for him to have his own. He is only allowed to use it in common areas of the house. The internet is timed and monitored. His game play is also timed.

He does have friends with iPhones, which I think is absolutely ridiculous at that age. Couple of q's- how do you know her friends have unlimited 'net access? From her or from her friends parents? Some kids like to look like they all the freedoms when they really don't.

This is just something you have to decide as a family and stick to it. Tell her these are the rules in your family and they're there for her protection. Or, if you do decide to give her some freedoms, say that they are conditional on her showing responsible, mature behavior. Outline your expectations of her usage and let her know all her electronics are subject to your snooping. It is your job as a parent to keep her safe.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

cell phones are pretty ubiquitous at this point, and have enough upsides to make them worthwhile. i think texting is an issue- so many kids now text when conversation is easier, text during meals, text during class. if i did allow texting i'd have it limited.
internet? no. as long as she has access to a family computer, there is no way i would allow phone access to the internet. sorry if that's old-school!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

okay, my younger son is 14 & has use of my computer which is in the living room. He has an email account, a Facebook account, & is on XBox Live. He also has a cell phone. He was 11 when he got his 1st phone...because he was walking to/from school each day.

He KNOWS that I regularly check his usage....all the way around. My older son is 23 & is horrified that I am so open with this. He truly believed that I never, ever checked his "stuff" during his teen years!! What a fool....he be!! He came into the house the other night when I was checking his brother's phone....omg, he was shocked! & didn't like it when I laughed at his reaction.

As for my younger son, he does not have internet on his phone. Our rule is: you have to pay for your own data he's out of luck until he's 16!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm sorry it appears you are being bashed for what your family does. What is right for one family may not be right for another. You have to do what is best for your family.

That said... my 16 yr old has had an IPhone since she was about 12. SHe has a laptop as well. She has internet on both. Her laptop is mainly used for school (Power Point presentations, and Word for essays, etc and research on the internet)

Everything in moderation. Daughter is on FB and has been there off and on for about 3 yrs. I have the FB password and check it occasionally. I don't read her texts, she does not text at meals, etc.

I have daughter on my cell plan.....low phone minutes, both of us including the data plan and unlimited texting I pay a little under $200/month. You might check that our before you agree to anything with daughter!

Hang in there and do what is right for YOU.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Just one more response. Technology is here for better or worse. Get in touch with it and let your child get in touch with it. Now is the best time for you to teach her cellphone, text and Facebook etiquette.
Several years ago, I "allowed" my teen daughter to get a FB account-she already had one that a friend helped her set up!!
So do you want your kid to learn from you or her friends??
My now 15 yr old has a phone with all features and posts on FB about once a week but it is a great tool for her to let me know if she is staying after school.
And it is now fun to watch my older daughter's posts from facebook as she makes new friends in college. And since she is comfortable with having her mom as a friend, has no problem when I suggest to her to delete something I think may not be appropriate!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

My daughter will be 12 soon and doesn't have a cell phone, a tv in her room, a laptop or ipod or on FB or anything else. Last year her grandma got her a DS which I was not happy about. She has my old cell that is NOT even "on", she uses it to take pics of her friends and keeps their phone numbers in it and records songs off the radio and plays them. I figure this is a good test to see if she is responsible enough to have a cell in the next year or two. I don't understand why parents feel they have to get their kids these things just because their friends "supposedly" have them. I'm sure my daugher (as well as my 8 yo son) have friends in their class and neighborhood who have a lot of things they don't have, but that doesn't mean I'm going to run out and buy all of it. And frankly, other than my 8 yo wanting his own DS like his sister, neither one of them ask for phones. I have already told them they MIGHT get them in the next year or two but we will see. So I'm sure I'm in the minority but that's just my opinion.


answers from New York on

Mine is 12, she has a phone where she could send text but she drop her phone and she hasn't able to send or recieve text since then because the screen broke, she is now saving for a new phone.
We don't allow internet in her phone.
She does have a laptop, which my husband has put parental control and we also can log on from our computers and see what she is doing from our computers. There are many places she is not allow.
She doesn't have a Facebook account and will not have one for a while, I am thinking open one myself and let her play what ever game is that they play in there but for now that is as close as she is going to get from FaceBook
She does have also a Deviant Art account because she is very into drawing, I do check this account very often.
A little more then a year ago she went in my computer to a website (nothing bad, but she knew she had to ask ) that she didn't ask me permission before.
She was punish for long time without Internet (she did kept her drawing tab which doesn't need Internet), she is now gaining trust back and she is doing very well but we still checking her e-mail from time to time.



answers from Duluth on

My son's way too young to start thinking about cell phones, but my opinion is that she does not need internet on the phone. My parents put me on their cell plan and gave one to me in my last year of high school, I didn't even want one. I only had it because I'm legally blind and cannot drive, so I'd call them when play practice was done so they could pick me up. I guess times have changed and pretty much every kid has a phone now, but I just don't see them as something very necessary. I never had a computer or tv in my room. I had a huge stereo that I saved forever to buy and spent my time composing music and listening to it on the radio. I know kids nowadays think they can't live without a phone, but it's true...they can, especially without internet if it's already provided at home.



answers from Dallas on

My 14yo daughter does not have internet on her phone or even multi media texting (where she can send and receive pics), but they can still download a facebook mobile and access certain but not all things on their cell. I think it is mostly notifications of friend requests, being tagged in pics, etc. She has a laptop which stays in the living room and is only used in spare time on weekends. She can't use it during the week. Don't be pressured by her friends and their rules, you know best.



answers from Tampa on

I would advise against it. The internet is a great place for knowledge, but at the same time, it is also a very dangerous place. For example, what's popular with kids these days are social networking sites, which includes "Tumblr." I know about this because my friend's daughter was on it, and my friend expressed concern about it when she saw some inappropriate photos in their computer's My Documents folder. Apparently, her daughter got them off Tumblr. Tumblr, on first look, is not really that bad. It's some of the people that use it that's the problem. They upload nasty things, and anyone that "follows" their account will be able to see those uploads.

You can allow your daughter to use the internet, but keep monitoring her online activities. DON'T give her a laptop with internet access that she can bring in her room, because it's just not wise (for example, instead of studying, she might just spend most of her time on Facebook while online). Keep the internet in the family room.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I wouldn't give her internet on her phone or a laptop in her room.

My 12 year old has a cell. She's allowed to text, but knows I will be regularly checking them (she even gets texts from one aunt which she always has me read first, because they tend to be inappropriate). She's never asked for internet. We don't have net on our phones either, though.

My kids have all talked about wanting a computer in their room. The answer is always no. Always will be. Even if they saved up and bought their own, it would reside in the family room. It's just way too easy to get into trouble with internet, especially when the computer is not in a common area where others can see what you're doing. Same rule for the adults - even my husband and I don't take the laptop into our room.
As far as Facebook ... the law says they have to be 13, and fb won't allow you to sign up if the birthday you entered puts you under 13 ... it's child protection laws. So not sure how she got an account already. But either way, always always monitor what she's doing and her messages on any social networking site. If for nothing else, you can catch and put a stop to any internet bullying going on (it's surprisingly common among teens!), and also see if there's anything else fishy. Sometimes kids just don't quite see the dangers.
But internet on the cellphone is soooo much harder to monitor. So I would say definitely not.



answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter is 11.5. Here is where we are at. No cell phone. She has an Ipod touch, which she used for a time to text and face time friends. She lost the charger, and basically seems to have lost interest, even though she can charge it on her radio/speaker system. She hasn't touched it in months. We have wireless internet set up at home so she had internet on her Ipod touch at home, but had no connection most other places. We will probably get her a cell phone for her birthday late this summer. Part of it will be a gift. Part of it, including the insurance, she will have to pay for with some of her allowance money. She will have to invest more of her own money if she wants more features. I'm not sure how internet will play into this yet. She is mostly interested in texting, so I'm not sure she would care much about internet on a cell phone. Yes, DH and I will monitor it closely. We will have strict rules, and not hesitate to take it away if they are broken. Laptop, she has her own. She uses it quite a bit for school work. Yes, we allow it in her room, but it has STRONG, STRONG child security software. Anything and everything controversial is blocked including all social networking sites, and we get an email detailing everything she attempts to access which is blocked. So I trust it to be in her room. Facebook, no way. Not even going to consider it before she is 13. It goes against all of our values to green light her lying about her age.

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