Texting...... - Bethesda,MD

Updated on February 06, 2011
J.A. asks from Bethesda, MD
28 answers

Hello moms!
I know by posting this I'm going to open a can of worms but I really need to understand the different sides of this story.
My daughter is almost thirteen. Even though she is one of five girls in her classroom, she has managed to get along with all of them, in spite of a few incidents where my husband and I had to addressed them to the principal. The problem my daughter is facing these days is that "texting" is what apparently the coolest thing to do while parents are sleeping. I have a cell phone for my daughter that she takes with her when she has a sleepover with other friends, but she never uses it as toy to be calling or texting other people like the way these other girls do.
According to my daughter they are using this to show off and make her feel bad for not being part of the crowd doing it. When she's been asked why their text messages bounce them back, (I set the phone to not receive only to send text messages), she tells them that we don't approve the waisted time that "texting" requires when she could be reading, doing something more productive or sleeping, but if she wants to do it, she could do it but she will have to pay for them. Besides, if they have something they want to tell her, they could call on the phone.
Now, what I would like to hear from you moms is if am I being "not cool" for limiting this way of "communication" to my daughter with her "so called" friends.
My husband decided to block text messages from our cell phones. We both have been tested by other grown ups about texting, but we don't find it necessary. If he needs to say some thing he call, same with me. Some moms have tried to get me into too but they stop after realizing that if they were asking me something in the text, I called them right back.
Besides that it so disrespectful, tasteless and rude from the person thinking that he is having a conversation with you while texting at the same time.
But, I do want to understand the reasons you moms give your kids "unlimited" or "free" texting.
I do want to understand your reasons for giving Internet access 24/7 on their cells / Blackberry/ I-Phones to your "kids".
Why is it important for "you" parents, that your kids have to have the whole package.
What is the benefit?
One of my good friend's daughter who used to be a model to be followed by all, started to spend so much time posting, sending, receiving, texting and writing on facebook that she ended up being expelled from 7th grade.
When I talk to my daughter about all these gadgets she agrees with me that it does not do any good the misused that a lot of kids do to them.
Before I blocked text messages from her cell phone. The sound of text messages, that I could not get rid of, could have been interrupted piano practice, reading, homework, dinner, you name it!, by lots of text messages. That, by the way my daughter showed them to me later, with only "non-sense" written....
I have a excellent student, and avid reader, a gifted piano player, a great sports player and a very humbled daughter.
Do you think that I am harming her by denying her the _______?_______ of not being part of the group?


Just for the record, we do give our daughter entertainment time of their choice. But always in a healthy way.

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So What Happened?

I want to thank each of you for taking the time to write the side of your story. It seems that all posts have their validate reasons weather they support it or not. There’s not doubt of the benefits and pleasures for texting for some. Like someone said: “What it’s ok for a family might be absurd to another…”
As for myself, I will keep doing what I’m doing. My daughter’s school has a policy that all cell phones must go to the office and they can be picked up after school is over. If parents need to reach their kids, it has to be through the school office and vice versa. If one gets caught with a cell phone will be expelled. The two girls who mainly led the others into the texting at night dare each other to defy the school. They were expelled last Friday.
It’s obvious that the creation of this new “need” is here to stay for a long time but for what I’ve seen and experienced, I think it’s important for people to know why, I still feel the way I feel.
As a mother and as a teacher I see that the creation of this instant way of staying in touch is leading to a number of problems. This new need leads to anxiety (Would you survive without a phone two days?), failing grades and sleep issues not to mention a collective increase of attention deficit disorder. A difference of texting, interrupted task takes longer to complete and seems more difficult, and that the kid doing it feels increased annoyance and anxiety.
With this trend we already authorized a culture of ongoing interruptions and enabled the continuous partial attention as a substitute for full attention. I worry about the effect of texting on your kids as future communicators as well as the bad social habits it seems to encourage. If this is the future, don't you think we "desperately" need new manners about texing to be explicitly introduced at home and at work?
When children, teenagers — even parents — text during dinner or other activities we should be doing as a family, it sort of defeats the purpose of “family time.” In the past I’ve had to asked a few kids, who had joined us for dinner, as young as 10 up to16, to put away the phone because they were texting non-stop under the table. These kids and others still like to come and have dinner with us. They love to talk about their day, the sport they play, their favorite subject…
It’s depressing to hear teenagers trying to run a “romantic” relationship purely through texts and sexts. As a 16 year old was doing it. She told me that her parents rarely talk, they text each other. She was right! Her mother was constantly texting him giving him the steps on how to cook the meat on the grill!, from my kitchen to the patio where I could see my husband annoyed already for trying to have a conversation with him! And she thought she was having one with me. All I could get from her was: Ugh… aha… yeah…
However, I still agree that individuals should be free to text . . . just as others may be free to decide not to associate with them on future (informal) occasions because they would not be missed if they were absent.
Do I worry about my kid behind in texting skills in college? Not in a millions years! When they’re in college or grad school, they will still text, but much more selectively and subtly. Nothing compared with the average of 2,539 text messages for boys and 4,050 for girls in a month between 12 to 17 years old. It’s 85-135 text messages a day (2010, Nielsen Analytic Company). You’ll be surprise about how the numbers drastically reduce in college students and older groups. Besides how long did it take your kid to learn how to text? Years?
Now think about the ridiculous sidewalk/malls accidents that occur as a consequence of texting. Funny right? Now think of an accident your carpooling friend caused for texting while driving with you child in there. Not funny right?
Wouldn’t you then, raise the question as to whether the general population is sufficiently intelligent to use texting effectively and safely! I would.

Just food for thought…

Featured Answers



answers from Lincoln on

I have a 12 and 13 year old that both do not even have cell phones. They have no reason to, at that age they are still children and need a lot a supervision. My son got an ipod for Christmas and started using it for texting, however we got rid of that App.
I don't care if I'm considered a cool mom or not. I'm a good mom who looks out for her kids and does what she thinks is right for them. I want my kids to be more attached to their family then friends.

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answers from Washington DC on

you are not harming her one single bit.
i work part-time at a restaurant, and i teach enrichment classes at the local community college. texting is not allowed in my classroom. i tell my students that they are certainly welcome not to pay attention to the class i've worked hard to prepare for them, but they need to ignore it from outside the door. i will not raise my voice to talk over conversations taking place in my class, and i will not have homer and gilgamesh competing with OMG hes 2 hawt!!
i'm appalled at how many kids sit at a table in a restaurant and text the whole time. i had two last night, ages about 7 and 9. no conversation, little attention to their food or the surroundings or the event currently taking place in their lives. little people just texting away non-stop.
no child is damaged from being denied participation in something that eats their lives.
you're a good mom.

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answers from Dallas on

This is something that each family has to decide what is best. What is ok for one family may be absurd to another, believe me, I've had hate mail over some of the most stupid topics.

Our daughter has had a cell phone since 4th grade. She is now in 10th. She did not do much texting at all until she hit middle school and even then it was usually to one of us and a few friends.

It is the primary communication now with her and her friends. Hubby and I text a LOT as well. It is nothing for the 3 of us to have thousands of texts per month. We all have IPhones with unlimited texting, data, internet, etc. Her school does not ban cell phones, ONLY during classtime they can be taken up.

I am one of those parents who received a text one day with "ld" meaning Lockdown. I was glad my daughter had her phone and could let me know what was going on. I also received a text once when she was at a party that got out of hand and she knew she did not need to be there and it was before she was driving. SO, I "called" her and said she needed to come home and I would come get her. That way, no one realized she "wanted" to go home.

So Yes, my daughter has all functions of her IPhone enabled. I like it for safety reasons as well. When and if rules are broken or not followed, the phone is the first thing I take away. Believe me, I've not had trouble with my honors student and athlete because she loves her phone and form of communication. I think we've only taken it 2 times since 4th grade.

You just have to do what is right for your family and not worry about what anyone else thinks.

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answers from Washington DC on

Just wanted to say that I wished MORE parents say no to texting, in addition to giving cell phones to children that are way too young to have them.

There's gonna be peer pressure about everything. You have rules. Why let what the other kids are doing change that? It doesn't matter:)

I grew up with a bunch of "no's" from my mom. I'd say she overdid it, but some times the "no's" were QUITE helpful, cause it gave me an excuse to not do them. I could just blame my mom:) I bet your 13 year old needs the sleep anyway.

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answers from Phoenix on

I think it's a personal preference. I didn't allow texting til my oldest was in 10th grade---but he has siblings 4 years younger--so they were in 6th grade. But you need to understand it wasn't such a big deal as it is now. My oldest (19 and in college) just got the internet access on his phone for Christmas. The reason my other kids don't have it is because they have no way to pay for it--and I'm not paying for it. I didn't have an opinion about texting one way or another. But the day after I put it on their phones--I was at the high school waiting for my oldest (who couldn't drive at the time). No one was coming out of the school for over 20 minutes and I received a text "In lockdown". You don't know how relieved I was to get that text. He obviously couldn't have called in lockdown--but he could text. So for that reason right there--I have allowed texting. If it ever effected my kids' grades or anything like that (sports, music etc..) I would shut it off. But it hasn't--and I have 3 high schoolers and a college student. It's all personal preference. But I haven't regretted it. It REALLY is this generation's way of communicating.

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answers from Norfolk on

Wow, I could have written this post! I haven't read any of the other responses yet, but I can totally see where you're coming from. My husband and I recently spent an evening with some college friends--people we haven't had a chance to get together with in over a year--and BOTH of them were so busy texting, sending pictures to people, and otherwise generally being rude that we both felt quite marginalized. And these were adults!! Personally I do not text, I don't even have a phone that takes pictures! I know, I know, I'm in the dark ages. But hey, I'm happy here! BUT I admit, I don't yet have a teenage daughter. But I was, once upon a time, a teenage girl myself, and I remember keenly that desperation to "fit in." Now, in the '80's, in my junior high and high school, "fit in" had a different definition, basically it seemed to involve hanging out at the mall unsupervised and having friends over when parents weren't home. At the time, I loathed not being allowed to do what others did. Now I'm older and can see my parents had my best interests at heart. I was not permanently damaged by not fitting in. One could even argue that it builds character. But it's tough when you're in the moment! I would stick to my guns on this issue. And even if you were comfortable with her texting, I wouldn't allow it at night when she's supposed to be getting rest. Who needs teenage drama in the middle of the night?! Maybe, as a nerd myself, I don't feel pressure to help my kids be particulary "popular." Trust your gut. You sound like you are doing a great job. Keep it up!

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answers from St. Louis on

If I was caught in school with a cell phone I would have been suspended. What happened to those days? Yes, and what happened to just calling someone? NO, I dont think you are denying her of anything. There is no way my 12 year old would have a cell phone with texting and internet. I dont even have internet on my phone!!! Its too expensive!! Those parents are crazy. I am so glad your daughter is on the same page with you! What a good kid! Maybe once shes older and has a job she can buy all that stuff herself, but then I would be worried about her driving and texting! Eeek!

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answers from Chicago on

I have to say that I'm personally not a fan of texting. I also prefer a phone call. But kids these days (even my 24-year-old) regularly communicate by text. It's just the way they like to chat I guess. And I've gotten used to texting my older daughter. Sometimes it's nice to be able to chat with her when she's working and on break and can't take a call, or if we're somewhere where I wouldn't be able to hear well, like a sporting event.

My junior high-aged daughter has unlimited texting, and uses it alot. But the phone is shut off at night and during school hours. If your daughter is basically a good kid and tries hard (which it sounds like she does) I'd think about relaxing your rules a bit. You can always monitor what they're texting, but like you said, it's mostly nonsense. It's really important at that age not to be the one on the outside. I don't think you're "harming" her by prohibiting it, but it's not helping either if she's the butt of jokes or feeling bad that she is left out. With such a small class of girls, it's going to be obvious that she can't participate. And this doesn't seem like such a big deal that you couldn't give her the priviledge of trying it out.

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answers from Washington DC on

I am my children's mother. I say NO phones until you need it. So my 18 year old son got one until he got a job. My 15 yo daughter got one when she stayed after school for clubs 2 years ago.
My next one, 13 isn't getting one unitl she goes to the high school. She is homeschooled and in 7th. No need for one.
And number 4. He's only in 4th and doesn't even have a Ninterndo DS.

My son graduated from hs with no cable, no phone, no computer access unless he had a report due, no car until the job and he paid for the insurance.

I am not their friend, I am mom and according to them I am mean, so be it. My son calls me every Sunday and texts me from his phone that he loves me. He thinks I am too lenient on the little ones.

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answers from Chicago on

My daughter is 14. She has limited text messaging. It shuts off during school hours and also at night time. This is how the kids communicate these days...times have changed. I also text message. She does also talk with friends on the phone and get together and have sleepovers and whatnot, so I don't see any harm in the texting. She knows when texting is not allowed, like during homework and at the dinner table. I think that if you limit them to what they cannot do, they may go behind your back and do it - I have seen it. So I make sure that there are limitations and I am very open with my daughter to make sure she makes the right decisions in everything she does.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

My kids aren't that old yet but when they are I will limit it like you do. you are a good mom-stick to your guns. Oh-and the girls that are giving her a hard time about not texting at night are bullies-not sure if you want to go down that path-depends how bad your daughter feels about it. If she is not troubled then let it go-if she is I would talk to the school.

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answers from San Francisco on

Food for thought. All this technology is their future. They need to learn how to handle it. Texting is now the number one form of communication. I use it all the time to keep track and in touch with my teens. They get so many texts that no one notices they are answering Mom. If you call, everyone can tell that Mom is checking in. The goal is to keep in touch, the method is not important. My suggestion is to think about how you will let your daughter slowly learn how to handle this technology. It all has it's good and bad sides, like most anything else in life. At younger ages you might want to take the technology away at night, as she gets older she learns to turn it off herself. I agree the texting all the time can be very rude. I think society is struggling with what is new etiquette. When do you turn it off? When do you excuse yourself to deal with it? I have had schools be very upset if they can't reach you immediately on the cell phone. In my job I can't always immediately pick up the cell. I do think the cell phone is very important when they are driving. Just tonight my daughter's battery died. She is much safer calling AAA from her car than wondering around looking for a phone or hoping some nice person stops to help her. They can get directions on their cell phone. This can also make things safer. In general I believe this technology is their future. My job is to help them learn how to be safe with it. Having said that, they are better with the technology than I. So it's hard to convince them that there are dangers out there. They think they know everything. I want to be present in their lives as they learn about this. I don't want them to turn 18, go to college and suddenly be free to do as they wish. They need to learn to slowly take over their lives, not all of a sudden. Not sure I am being clear here. They will make mistakes in judgement. We all do. We need to be there to help them through the consequences of bad decisions. If you think back, we all usually learn the most by our mistakes. Preventing all/most mistakes means you are denying an important chance to learn. In
the meantime you pray the mistakes are not too bad.

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answers from New York on

The texting thing is a dilemma. I have a 14 yr old daughter and an 11 yr old son. The texting thing can be a great tool or can be a horrible distraction. Like anything else it's all about how it's used. None of these things are good or bad in themselves - but it's all about applying limits and boundaries. We have unlimited on all of our phones because texting is cheaper when it's unlimited. It's sometimes more easy to access the kids, or my husband than calling (in meetings, at the office, etc.) - my husband and i will text eachother often when it's just about who is picking up which kids from where.

As for teens and cell phones - it's equally important to teach them about the photo capability. We don't allow photos to be sent or recieved on the kids phones becuase we want to prevent any possiblity of involvement in "sexting". We've also warned our daughter about other kids taking pictures of the her with their cells phones. Warned her that someone who is your best friend today and takes a picture of you at a sleepover can be your worst enemy 6 months from now and use that picture against you.

But back to texting - we have placed limits. We have cell phone free hours at our home (homework, family time, etc.) when the phones are deposited in a bin in the kitchen - and they must be turned off at night by a certain times as well - depending on their age. My kids also know that cell phones and texts are subject to random audits. Since we pay the bills and house, clothe and feed them their lives are subject to our random audits. Privacy is only assured once they have their own place and are paying their own bills. We will, from time to time, pick up our daughter's phone and read the texts. It's all the same drivel. (So far there hasn't been anything shocking - except when a crazy girl was threatenting ours - but our daughter showed it to us so we could help her. It wasn't only texting - she had called 42 times in a 12 hour period. But that's a different story!!!)

Texting is how all teens communicate these days. There are real drawbacks because emotions don't get communicated. But consider that there was a day back in the 1930s and 1940s when parents probably questioned the neccessity of allowing kids to use the home phone for the same reasons I'm sure.

It sounds like you are sensible parents - and if you place appropriate limits on your kids. So if you apply the same limites and boundaries to texting it can be used a communication tool; and nothing more. And finally - don't let your teen drag you in to the whole "everybody's doing it and I'm out of the loop". That's not the right argument for allowing texting. We've told our kids many many times over the past 5+ years that they should get used to us saying no since we'll be doing alot more of it in the years to come - and it's our job.

Good luck!

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answers from New York on

No, I don't think you're harming your daughter by not giving her unlimited texting privileges. I have 2 teens, one away at college and the other in high school. Texting is MY preferred means of communication with them when they are not at home. Especially with my daughter, who is involved in so many different things I can no longer keep track of her schedule, and simply does not have time to sit on the phone and talk with me. A quick "good morning" or "how's your day going" or "sweet dreams" allows me to get a response from her just to ease my mind that everything's ok, without having to have an entire long conversation. With my son, I can keep track of him when he's out by requiring him to check in with me from time to time. If he needs to be picked up, or there is a change in plans, he can send me a text to let me know - it saves ME time and trouble, and that's a good thing! We do not allow picture mail or internet access on the phones - it just doesn't seem necessary to me, but the texting, yes, it's been a godsend and I can't imagine going back to the days when we didn't have it. It's been a great convenience for ME! :)

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answers from Columbus on

I was nervous about getting my son a phone for that very reason. However, he is VERY good about not spending much time texting. He usually leaves it in his backpack or forgets to charge it!

I have to admit that I would much rather text than talk most the time. So, for me, I am very happy to have the feature. I would also say that there have been several times within the last (almost) year that my son has had his phone that I'm thankful he's had it. One, was when he as at a friend's house and there was some stuff going down that he was very uncomfortable with. He was able to call me to come get him, whithout having to alert the whole family to the issue he wanted his "mommy", so to speak.

While I agree that blocking texting is not "harming" your daughter, I think allowing it with stipulations would be a good start. You could allow texting during a certain time period ( from 7-9) or something like that. Kids will find any and all reasons to bully and make fun of other kids. If it's not the texting, it will be something else. So, I don't think it's exactly giving in to peer pressure. This form of communication is not going away. But, there's no reason there can't be rules regarding it. Everything in moderation. My so doesn't really enjoy texting like his friends do. I know a couple of them, at least, have had their phones taken away for over-use, but it doesn't really sound like your daughter will have that problem. She sounds like she has a really good head on her shoulders. It could be a very good lesson in responsiibilty and a way to handle the situation. She could say to these girls -" Look, I'm allowed to text, but I just don't think it's all that fun or important. It's not that I'm no longer allowed, it's now my choice and I don't feel like spending a lot of time on it." It could be empowering. Just a thought.
Good luck!

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answers from Milwaukee on

Texting, whats that... ok I know what texting is but we do not pay for all the extras on our phone. To us we can see that money spent on family time or save. Now I do not have a teenager, yet, she is only 4 years old but I work at a college and highschool.

I do not understand why kids are allowed so much freedom on their phones. Yes I know they are in a new age and are a new generation but we as parents still have this great opportunity AND parenting job to teach our children how to properly and safely use these online all the time technology devices.

At times I am so appalled working with the students. They talk with the texting abbreviations, or ever other minute pulling out there phone to check for a text, send a text, make a phone call, check facebook, or internet. This is ALL done while they are suppose to be working at a paying job or involved in an extra curricular activity that THEY signed up and volunteered for.

How are bad habits formed? Well from doing the same activity over and over and over again. Guess what, it is the parents JOB to not let these bad habits form. I have already had to fire 3 college student workers because they could not leave their phone alone and do their job that they were being paid to do. Their defense, we have done this since we were in 7th grade, get use to the new ways. I an only 28 years old, so I am not so far removed from this new generation but half the kids I work with have horrible respect for adults, no work ethic and parents just give the kids whatever they want. Personally I think that this would not have been an issue if only the parents had not started the bad habits in grade school and highschool.

I do not think all parents who give texing & internet phone options to their kids are horrible or irresponsible BUT I have seen many kids with amazing parents misuse their phones. I do let the parents know of the misuse, nonetheless nothing much is done about it because the kids whine about not be cool any more if it gets taken away, So I think as parents, as you are doing, need to be wise and guide our children in being responsible first. Just because there are these new ways out there does not mean they are good, right or the best for society so it is the parents responsibility to stand firm if something is being used too much or misused. I have gone to THREE highschool students funerals and TWO college students funerals, sadly ALL were either caused by them texting while driving or the other drive texting with driving... SERIOUSLY parents, even the best kids make bad decisions from something they did not need in the first place.

Thank you for letting me get on my soap box. I really hope that enough parents do stand firm and say no texting or internet usage on phones because it seems to really be effect the children as the grow up.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I totally second what T.F said. We have EVO 4G's around here. We have always had the same phone as our daughter, and she got her first one at about 10. She is 16 now, and Honors Student, who worked hard to get herself into a great Arts High School. She spends all of her earned/allowance money on books and art supplies, and is not a "silly" frivolous girl. She knows the electronics in her life will be the first to go if a problem arises, but rarely does even the threat need to be verbalized. Shes a good kid.

I hate being on the phone, much prefer texting and email. I can reply, usually quickly, but at my pace, in a noisy room (I do home childcare). We never had texting until we got "smart phones" about 2 1/2 years ago. I needed a full keyboard! We have the full unlimited plans as well, and no home phone.

Every family will be different, but I do know, where we are at, its really tough to not have a cell phone and texting. I do know many of my daughters pals have "pay as you go "type phones, or some sort of paying for their own phone situation (one good pal of hers has a monthly stipend "allowance" deal. It is to cover her phone, coffee house runs and carpool and any lunches off campus).

Good luck in what you decide.

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answers from Cleveland on

I am right on board with you! My son who I have joint custody of was given a cell phone at 12 yrs. AGAINST my wishes. I cannot take it since I didnt buy it, and its aloud at their house anyways. Now at 16 he texts people NON-STOP. I hate it. I think it's ridiculous and rude. When he's with us i tell him to put the phone away. I catch him at family parties, christmas sneaking off to text. We butt heads about it all the time. kids are given way too much freedom, which in my opinion leads to nothing but trouble. And causes them to slack off on school work and more important issues. Stick to your guns, she may resent you now at times but thats part of being a parent. If you dont keep hold on what she's doing and whats going on who will? Unfortunately for us alot of parents don't see it this way and give in so their kids dont bug them to death about it. Keep up the good work!

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answers from New York on

You aren't harming her your decision but here are some things to consider.

She is almost 13 and in 5 short years she will be 18 and on her way to college or be an official adult. What age is appropriate to learn how to control and limit yourself? How long will it take your daughter to learn boundaries and time management? Texting is an important form of communication to this generation and she will need to know how to be current (in line with the times) but that doesn't mean she needs to learn that now.

My 16 year old son, has a cell phone but since he still struggles with boundaries and limits and restraint we are forced to help him. My phone plan has unlimited texting but I restrict him to 2000 texts a month. (Seems like alot still but he actually had over 4000 texts in less than a month. Even though he can't use his phone during school hours.)

Long story short, he now has to show he can be responsible with the texting along with many other things.

Long story short, teaching your child how to live a balanced life is important. I just believe in allowing them to make their mistakes under my protective umbrella knowing that eventually he will learn on his own or not (he will be grown and on his own).

I hope this helps.

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answers from Minneapolis on

For setting limits, you are a great parent. I think since the beginning of time, there were always kids teasing other kids about they were not allowed to to, not getting to stay out late, not being allowed to go to certain places, etc. Texting is just another one of those things for this generation. I know my older daughter has most definitely felt left out, thinking people "hate" her if they cannot text her. There is A LOT of peer pressure on the current tween generation.

My girls do not have cell phones, but they both have Ipod touches, and my older daughter has a laptop. They used the facetime feature to talk to their friends sometimes, and my older daughter uses email and is starting to use a free-for-one month talk and text feature on her Ipod touch. We have rules, too. No electronics during homework time. And I take Ipods and her laptop up to our bedroom at 8pm for the younger, 9pm for my older DD. She HAS had a "friend" get furious with her for not answering her "facetime" calls later in the evening than she was allowed her phone. But after some conversation, I do think she gets why we set limits, and why we place so much value on sleep, studies, and pursuits outside of staring at a screen. I know she understands that the kids who are better friends do not give her a hard time about limits set by her parents.

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answers from Dover on

Well of course you aren't being "cool" but you're her mother not her friend!!!! They do go overboard w/ texting other technological communications and many have trouble communicating one on one or in person because of it. Anything in moderation is not a big problem, the trouble is we as a society no longer seem to know moderation!

At first I limited my son's texting too but then I ended up increasing it to actually save me money (they don't seem to get...send one text with more than one or two word rather than 10 with one word responses because it is cheaper). As for them be interruptions on other activities...the phone can be turned off or at least the alerts off. I do agree that the phone should be off at night to allow for uninterupted sleep.

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answers from Milwaukee on

You are not harming her at all. I stand strongly for the no facebook rule for my daughter for the same reasons and the hurtfulness to other children when they decide to talk about each other. My oldest however has a phone and all the way to school this morning as he was late he was texting away. I was so angry. Every time I see him he has that dang phone in his hand. My daughters friends are on their phones constantly too and it's all nonsense. I can see if they need it to call their parents but they just play on it. One girl was here while her mom was at a funeral and she called her mom over and over. I would have been so angry! My daughter actually got rewarded for not having a FB at school because it's using up a lot of the principal/school officer/teachers time disputing fights. Some of the kids go on Fb while at school too. I would not support something that lets them break the rules such as sneaking on FB at school or texting late at night. Stick to your guns mom. If she weren't getting teased for this it would be something else,right?

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answers from Victoria on

I don not have children that age and so i'm not there yet, but I do have cousins, nephews that are and I plan on allowing my children those things if they are keeping up with their "jobs", which in my house is school, and chores. I would have rules and limits, which would include no texting past say 9:00-10:00 pm, of course no phone calls after that either along with no computer, or tv. I would monitor each and everything going back & forth as it is my job to protect my children. Hope this helps you and for those girls that have access to all that 24/7, they are going to have horrible consequences for it. I would maybe give your daughter a time period she can use to be social with her real friends, like 30 minutes each evening where she can check her mail & messages and return them, but other than that I would say she is going to have to just figure out a way to deal with those mean girls.



answers from Washington DC on

My kids are too young to be into texting yet, so I haven't really been confronted by this issue as a parent. I will respond to you as a daughter who grew up in the 70s and 80s and whose Mom forbid TV except very rarely -- a show that she personally approved. I will tell you how that affected me as a kid and as an adult (I think there is a parallel here because TV was the thing kids talked about then). In a negative way, I was out of the loop with the kids at school. They would make jokes or talk about TV shows and I had no idea what they were talking about. It still happens on occasion. People my age will make references to very popular TV shows or even a particular episode (Happy Days or Welcome Back, Kotter or MASH) and I can't relate. This will happen with your daughter -- she will feel like a bit of social outsider with the kids at school, because they are in this texting loop and she is out of it. They will refer to some text or facebook string and she won't know what they are talking about. It may make her feel somewhat lonely and will surely make her feel unpopular at school. But, that's about the extent of the damage. You can probably mitigate it, by 1.) finding her friends who do other things besides text -- who possibly are into music, for example and/or 2.) give her a limited time to communicate electronically with her friends per night -- set down ground rules -- you don't text or get on social media before homework and piano practicing is done and certainly not at dinner or at bedtime. That means, probably that she's going to have about 1/2 hour at night. I'm not sure how much she could run up your bill in 1/2 hour...
The plus sides in my experience of what you are doing are many. I too was a very accomplished pianist by the time I was in junior high and high school. I was a very good student. I read simply everything I could get my hands on -- I literally read War and Peace in 12th grade on my own time. I also did a lot of helping out on my parents farm and rode horse constantly. College was pretty much a breeze for me and I am now a professional writer. For a number of reasons (the least of which was my not watching TV), I really struggled at first in my professional life with the social part of work. So, especially girls, I think you have to prepare them for that. Being humble, being quiet, being compliant really pay off as a student, but not as a professional.
So, as a parent, I kind of take a middle road with these things. My kids watch TV, of course, but we don't have a Wii, which my son has been begging for. We will probably get one eventually, but because he has a tendency to become addicted to video games, I want to wait until he can handle it. Also, where we live, none of the parents really monitor the video games, but I do. So, I'm trying to walk a middle road on these issues. I don't know how it will work out, and I think it's hard. I wish you all the best. I think your daughter will be fine as she has parents who are really looking out for her.



answers from Dallas on


OK. First of all peer pressure stinks! Second, I will not tell you that you are harming your daughter in anyway because she is your daughter and this is your decision. What I will tell you is what we do with our daughter.

Our daughter has had a cell phone since 4 th grade. It is because we just moved and she was going to be taking the school bus to school and I wanted to know that if she needed me in an emergency she could get to me. Now she is in 5th grade and we have moved to another state (yup we have moved a lot). She still has her cell phone, but she cannot use it at school. Also, she is NOT allowed to give out her cell phone number to the kids at school. When asked she gives them my cell phone number. She does text. She has unlimited texting ability because of our moves. It lets her stay connected with her best friends. The people who she texts is her two best friends (who live in another state), us (her parents) and other family members. That's it. She knows our rules. She also knows that if she misuses it, she will loose it. We have blocked her internet use with the phone. By the way, it is a simple phone, not a smart phone. If she or someone tries to unblock the internet, we will know. We check her phone regularly. Not in a spying way, but in a parental way. No we do not read her diary or snoop in her room. She knows we look at her texts and that we respect her privacy. Her phone is put onto the kitchen counter at night to charge. She does not have it in her room at night.

With all this said, we feel were are still in control with the texting and cell phone usage. I hope this helps!


answers from Chicago on

Well, one of the reasons our daughter will have the data plan and unlimited text with her phone (she's getting one for her birthday) is because it's a part of our family plan with the service provider, but we'll have rules.

You are not harming your daughter by setting phone usage limits.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I hate texting becaus I have numbers on my hone and not a keyboard. If I could actually type I wouldn't mind texting. I hate pressing 7 four times to get to the s.

I always call my friend back to answer her questions unless it is a quick yes or no. When I call her back and she says she doesn't have time to talk I tell her it would take me 5 minutes to text the answer and I can say it in less than 30 seconds.



answers from Athens on

I applaud you. I wish you well with it. Hopefully your daughter will not cave into peer pressure.

I also limit my daughter's txting at night. Her phone shuts down at 9 PM and stays that way until 3 PM the next day. She thinks I am mean because none of the other parents limit their kids txting. Even tho we have unlimited txting on our plan, she only get 1500 a month.

It is a big waste of time. I totally agree. I txt, but not much.

The only problem I have with your post is that you are willing to let her pay for the txting. Unless you have an unlimited plan that she pays her share of, I wouldn't do it. Txting without a plan can be shocking expensive. Parents usually end up paying the bill because they can easily quickly climb into the hundreds of dollars. I don't know how much you give your daughter for allowance, but it would take mine years to pay off a $700 phone bill. I have friends who kids txted them bills worth $1200, $900, and $450. all in a month. Now this was ranging from 6-3 years ago.

The new way to jack up your phone bill with a teen is downloads.

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