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The only thing she wants for Christmas is a cell phone...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

My 13 year old daughter says the only thing she wants for Christmas is a cell phone. We had a agreement she could get one after she raised her F up in school, now not only does she have one F she has two. She is trying to talk me into getting a cell phone first and then I will be amazed at how much her grades will go up because she will be happy, and right now she is very unhappy, hates it here and wants to go live with a friend. I am thinking I will stick with our agreement about the grades or no phone. Is it worth it to cause such a battle of her possibly leaving the house? Thank you. please help.


Anonymous said...

If this is her first phone, definitely get her a prepaid cell.
It's easy and cheap.

The only drawback is having to keep refill her minutes when she uses them all.

All prepaids are different though.
I've had T-mobile & Verizon.

I loved verizon for the internet and night mins for 2$ a day, but my minutes flew by becuase it texted also.

T-mobile should be ok if it's only for occasianal uses.

If you want her to be able to talk frrely and text with no problem then you may want to add her to your plan.

Just set limits.

Anonymous said...

Pre paid for right now. You should see how well she uses her minutes with the pre paid cell. If she is really good with it, then I would give her a real cellphone and add it to your plan. But if she's horrible with her minutes, then she should stay with the pre paid phone.

Anonymous said...

As a parent of a 14 year old daughter who's had four cell phones now, I can speak directly to this.

The good thing about her having a phone is safety and communication. It's far better than the old advice we got: "Keep a quarter in your pocket on dates so you can call us if you need to." She can pick up the phone and call you at any time she needs. It gives you both more security.

The cons vary by the child, but there are two very real, potentially expensive cons:

1. She will probably lose the phone at least once, requiring you to replace it or abandon the idea.
13 year olds are not known for being able to keep up with something, much less something that small that's to be used only sparingly. Does she keep up with a purse yet? That's a big indicator right there. My 14 year old hasn't even been able to keep up with her purse. She lost two of her four cell phones.

At minimum, I'd wait until she can keep up with something everywhere she goes, like a purse. You can even make that her goal, in order to get a cell phone. It will teach her to be more aware of her surroundings, too.

2. Less likely, but still probable, she will go over the minute limit or waste prepaid minutes talking to her friends.

You may be thinking the answer here is to buy prepaid minutes, but if she uses up the minutes talking to her friends, you have to re-load it or she can't communicate with you if she needs to. You're still subject to her judgement and restraint in order to experience the main benefit of her having the phone to begin with.

If you go with a monthly plan, I'd go for an unlimited plan. One of the cell phone providers has one, not sure which one at the moment. Anywya, they're a lot more expensive, but believe me, it's better than paying 40 cents a minute overage charges.

I guarantee you she can't keep up with how many minutes she's talked, or have the discipline to stop when it's too close. She is not mentally mature enough for that kind of decision, no matter how responsible she may be. It's a developmental concept that's not developed until the teens.

I'd also invest in text messaging service - as many as possible. Most phones let you text message whether you pay for the service or not. The difference is that you pay something like 10 cents a message if you don't pay for service. If you pay for service, it'll be something like 500 messages for 4.99 or something - a penny a message.
Text messaging definitely WILL get used, the important point is that you'll pay much less for each message if you go ahead and subscribe to the service.

If you can find ways to overcome the cons, by all means, I'd take advantage of the technology.

As for my daughter, I didn't give her a cell phone and wouldn't have. Her losing it did not shock me in the slightest. Her dad bought it for her and paid several $400 cell phone bills when she ran up the charges. This wasn't a surprise either.

Now, at 14, she's doing better keeping up with it, but she talks more than ever on the phone. I'm just glad I'm not the one paying the bill.

Anonymous said...

This program doesn't say to reward or punish bad grades.

Find something for her to do to earn the cell phone that is totally unrelated to grades. She should also earn her minutes.

Anonymous said...

Nobody seems to be addressing the issue on this post.
Your daughter is blaming you for her unhappiness and her bad grades. Going to live somewhere else is not going to change who she is or the fact that she will find someone else to blame for her poor performance.

The deal was that she would get a phone when she improved her grades. If you get a backbone and stop feeling like you're to blame for her bad grades or her unhappiness you will start to set yourself free.

Once you're free of her controlling your emotions you can start running things the way you expect them to be run.

I just started listening to this and up until this point I have been getting very upset frustrated and down right angry with my girls over their lip and the things they do, don't do. It just raises my blood pressure and eventually solves nothing when I lose control. So I'm learning to apply the principles to myself first, which is much harder since I'm the adult ( You would think or hope) and I have to change my bad habits of 'acting out' when things don't go my way or the way I would like them to go in my home. Enough said.

The deal was her F improves. She gets a cellphone.
2 F's no deal. Changing that now to give her a phone so you can feel she's 'safe' and reachable is not only disastrous but ridiculous. Parents today act like if their children didn't have a phone they'd never know where they are or if there's something wrong. Unless your children are trained and responsible they will lie to you about where they are if they shouldn't be there and they won't call you if they're in trouble until trouble's got them in a real pickle. A cellphone is not a preventative measure for your inability to control where your child is and what they do and being informed about their whereabouts.

Nuff said.