Texting guidelines--what works for you?

Diane - posted on 12/31/2008 ( 24 moms have responded )

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My daughter and her boyfriend could text all day long if I let them. We recently established a time period from 7:30 - 9:30 for texting, assuming the homework is done. That works pretty well, but I just wish they would have a 30-minute CONVERSATION each night and forget the texting! Big sigh. Does anyone have a solution to this problem?

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Kelly - posted on 09/11/2009

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Hi I just want to say that all you moms that are putting restrictions on their kids use of cell phones....ARE AWESOME! You are doing the right thing...in my opinion of course. I have a 14 year old daughter and she got her first cell phone in April 2009 and it will be her last one from me and she lost use of it in Aug. 2009! I am sorry to say that we put her on a Fav. 5 plan for texting which allowed her to text 5 people unlimited anytime all the time. As a result she went way over her texting allowable. She texted outside of her fav. 5 and did it often!!! To short`n the story some what she now owes her parents for a $2000 phone bill. I guess I just want to say that we can think they will be happy with what is given to them but that`s not true...they WANT MORE!!!

You know i tottaly understand that we are living in 2009 and its not the 40tys any more but why do we need to be playing around with our abilities to socialize with people! All this texting,e-mail,facebook,twitter etc. I think is ruining us. It is so much easier to type a word than to say a whole sentance..........its like hiding behind your body guard...its a safe zone and so much easier to say things when you dont have to look anyone in the eye. Please continue to encourage your children to express themselves vocally with their language skills as apposed to using these other forms of comminication. They will thank you for it! I think texting should be looked at the same as choosing not to eat junk food...........everything in moderation and you will be fine!

JoAnn - posted on 02/15/2009

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My daughter is 17, and I know about the receiving texts in the middle of the night! We just started taking the phone after 10 pm (we're up with her till that time). We homeschool, so there is no phone allowed till all school is done for the day. That has helped a lot. Also, we do check her text messages. She used to hate it and even started deleting her messages, but we told her if she deleted them anymore, we'd take the phone for good. Now she doesn't delete them till we get to read them, and we find the accountability keeps her from texting too much, and she is more careful what she texts. We also keep her accountable in the email department. We have found her to be much more responsible since setting these boundaries and she vontarily shows us her texts now and we laugh together about some of them. Don't get me wrong, we had arguments about this, but it makes a difference to stand your ground. Hope this helps.

Amy - posted on 03/12/2011

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Unfortunately there is no solution, it is the culture now a days but setting those guidelines is a very good start. What my husband and I did in addition to setting that block of time for texting is we put a limit on amount of texts for the month. Once our daughter hit 1,000 text (which she could do in her block of time 4-9 PM) it would no longer allow her to send or receive texts. We have the parental control option through our cell phone carrier.

CHEREE - posted on 12/17/2012

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So glad to find you guys. Our 15-yr-old daughter is a blessing -- best kid ever. No drama, no boys, no problems... But entering these high school years we're starting to see her moods change and her priorities a bit--we changed our plan to unlimited texting and she's gone nuts with it. We're going to have to throttle it in. Grades are still good, but she's not as involved in our family activities as she used to be. I know it's normal but we've always been so close it's hard for me to adjust to.

We want to remind her to be responsible & keep expectations high (with boys, with time usage, etc) and remind her how imperative it is she stay close to the Lord, but trying not to be so preachy about it or set boundaries TOO tight such that it causes her to rebel.

Oh if they could only stay little. The time has slipped through my fingers way too quickly. i'm a working mom and the guilt somedays just overwhelms me.

God Bless

Kathy - posted on 06/28/2012

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Reading of all these posts has really been a great incouragement to me. I have a 13 year old daughter who has a phone. We have set restirctions but she repeatedly steps over the boundries we've set so she has lost her phone for 6 months. When she got it back, she seemed to be a bit more responsible but now is starting to slack again. We've just set a time limit of 7pm to 9pm. She is so irate about it because she wants to talk to her boyfriend. I never talked to a boy everyday over the summer when I was 13! Sometimes I feel overprotective and very old school but it just seems like too much at such a young age. Does anyone else feel this way?

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Angela - posted on 04/16/2012

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Quite surprised at some of the responses on here, to be honest. In the UK, most phones that young people have are on the "Pay-As-You-Go" tariff. You have to be at least 18 to have a phone on a monthly billing account. Frequently a young person will save up their allowance and buy their own phone. They will then finance it themselves - keeping it topped up with pre-payment credit.

This then begs the question that if they are paying themselves, what right do the parents have to look at their phones. Also what guarantees do the parents have that the teenager is not deleting texts? How do the parents know that their child even owns a phone? Or if they do know (having provided the phone) can they be sure that this is the only phone the child has?

I worked for a phone network and owners of pre-payment phones were still encouraged to register their phones. It's a myth that they can't be registered simply because they're on a "Pay-As-You-Go" tariff. Anyone aged at least 5 can register their phone in their own name with their own private password. Parents can register their child's phone & number in their name and have the child's name added as the "user" of the phone - the parent and child both named on an account can have the same password or different passwords. They do not need to tell each other their differing passwords for the same account!

Finally, there are websites where free texting to any mobile phone number in the world is allowed!! They don't even need a phone to send a text!

Victoria - posted on 07/29/2011

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I A trac phone is $10 and even can go online. It teaches them to monitor their time, wisely.
As for setting limits on when he can use it, I say the time, and if I happen to see a text outside the time (yes I look at his phone and he knows it) I will give a warning. If He does it again, I will only give it to him for his allotted times. If it rings, or he receives a text, it is ok. He will get it later.

Amy - posted on 03/12/2011

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Unfortunately there is no solution, it is the culture now a days but setting those guidelines is a very good start. What my husband and I did in addition to setting that block of time for texting is we put a limit on amount of texts for the month. Once our daughter hit 1,000 text (which she could do in her block of time 4-9 PM) it would no longer allow her to send or receive texts. We have the parental control option through our cell phone carrier.

Jennifer - posted on 01/17/2011

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That is the reason we let our teen girls have phones, for their safety and knowing where they are. We went through the interuptions and laid down the rules. I'm sure they break them sometimes. The agreement is, their grades better stay up there or there will be consequences.

Bek - posted on 01/10/2011

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Can I just ask? Why does a teenager "NEED" a phone that has all the texting and other extra features. In my opinion, the purpose of giving a teen a phone is so that I can get in touch with the kid or they can get in touch with me, not so they can expand their social network. The only feature my children had on their phones was a GPS tracker so that if they lost it, we would be more likely to find it, and, If they fail to check in or whatever, we could triangulate their basic location as long as they had the phone with them. All kids need is a phone. plain and simple. The extras are just that, extras.

Kathleen/Deborah - posted on 11/30/2009

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Hi I am fairly NEW to COM! I have a 15 yr old boy that can text ALL night long! Thank GOD for T-mobile's plan! It is called the FAMILY ALLOWANCES! This is a plan that costs about $2.00 per month. Well worth it. You as a parent have TOTAL control of his/her time spent on the phone. You can set limits, you can schedule times that they can talk. You can take away and OR add to minutes and or texting. Take a look into that.

God Bless!

Donna - posted on 10/27/2009

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my daughter is 14 she did not have texting on her phone til the last few weeks. When she wanted to text she would use my phone and I would be able to look at everything and make sure it was appropriate. I Never commented on any of the conversations that she was having to anyone but her. THey are her private conversations. After about 2 years of using my phone we decided to let her text on hers, but i can take her phone and read them anytime I want to. She is good with that. She also know that if she texts during school i will take the phone away. I sometimes will call her phone to see if it is off. She alos knows that if she goes over her texting limit she has to pay for it.

Shanon - posted on 06/08/2009

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I am just starting to deal with this my self and i take the phone and nothing after 9. It is so hard they don't under stand my hardest prob right now is the dress code. we were having a praise test but now the shirts are long enough but they are so tight. and shorts. my O my she just stays upset with me but i guess that comes with it.we just have to stick together I dont have a good support with this alot of the times i am the over the top mom that need to find a happy med. but then i loose a mile. idk i am standing on God word. Train them when they are young and when they are old they wont depart.

Christine - posted on 05/27/2009

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Time limits are pretty much the way to go. I, too, have time limits for my boys. And I also check their texts AND pictures they send to each other. (We just had an issue over the pics) I told them as long as I am paying the bill, they have no guarantee of privacy. They had to agree to this before I would let them have a phone. even if they take over their portion, I would check their phones until they are 18. I figure if I am legally responsible for them until 18, then I wioll do whatever is in my power to do to keep them as safe as I can. It's not easy, nor always rewarding (for right now), but I konw that in the future, they will appreciate it (I hope!!) : )

Terrie - posted on 04/27/2009

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Hello Diane, my name is Terri. If you don't mind my asking- how old is your daughter, and her boyfriend?

Karen - posted on 04/18/2009

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i agree with how it interferes with everything in our lives. it also depends on the parents and if they allow texting into their daily routine. when I was a teen i talked for 3 hours to my friends and now you have texting so handy and it stays with you. My daughters friends tend to get mad if she doesn't text right back. We allow texting with her and she has had a phone since 10 i think it was. We do not have home phones and this is why. I think limiting it is a good idea and starting them later with a phone. i wish I would have done things differently because if they do not have it at first then they do not miss it. If you take it away after they have the luxury then it is very hard on them. So all of you moms with preteens or young 13 yr olds. Just limit the texting and have rules and then they will not miss it.

Cindy - posted on 04/18/2009

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I'm a mean mom. I barred texting from my kids cell phones. Our kids are 22, 20, 16 and 14. I pay for the phones so it's my way or pay for your own.

Once a girl did a text to landline for my son. She didn't notice his 'landline' was here at home not at college. It woke me up. I then called my son, who found the young lady who was mortified. Personally I found it hysterically funny.

Kerri - posted on 02/26/2009

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My daughter is 11-years-old and still does not have a cell-phone because I cannot figure out which guidelines to set for her.  My teenage son has a cell-phone but he requested through the cell phone provider to have text messaging turned off because it irritated him so much.  My step-sons text constantly and it seems to interfere with everything.  We now have a requirement that phones cannot be brought into the dining area at all and are not allowed to be out on the table if we go out to dinner.  It seems to interfere with everything they do, i.e. homework, social outtings, etc. 

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Hi my name is Annette VeNard and it is so nice to meet you ladies.  I also have ATT, so it is really easy to limit this as I dont have an unlimited plan, my son is 19 and is required to pay for his own texting and he has chosen on his own to the 200 texts a month wich allows him only 6 1/3 (lol) a day.  Therefore, texting is not the main focus.

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I have att for my cell phone carrier and you can check the texts coming in and going out. it gives you the numbers and the times. My daughter is to turn her phone off at 10pm and I can check on their website to make sure she does so. It seems to work well.

Ginger - posted on 02/11/2009

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Set a limit on the amount of incoming and outgoing texting. Like if you have a family plan that offers a certain amount of minutes then establish the amount of minutes they can use a day for texting and the same for phone calls. My kids have a total of 250 mins a month. This seems to work b/c I can keep an eye on who, what, and when they text and they can too. So they learn to set restrictions for themselves.  

Karen - posted on 02/06/2009

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no it goes on all night if you don't take the phone. My daughter gets texts in the middle of the night. yeah I don't like it at all. You hate to be so strict and say give me your phone every night, but that is the only option.

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