Setting ages for things kids do to early???

Elizabeth - posted on 08/01/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I was wondering if it will help or hurt to set a few ages on when they can do these things.
No cell phone till 13 or older
No dating till 15
No shaving till 13
Have to get a job 14 - 15
Only one sport a season...

I just want to know if these guidelines will help or hurt. Will they just lie or learn to be excited about the small stuff..... ages 4 and 8 now time to give them a heads up...

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Denikka - posted on 08/02/2013

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I personally don't like placing a specific age on certain activities.
I have 3 kids, all very close in age (less than 4 and a half years between the oldest and the youngest).
I don't want to say *oh, you can have cell phones when you're 13* and have one need it and be mature enough at 12, and have another not mature enough until closer to 15 or 16.
I was raised by my (maternal) grandparents and my freedoms were always based on my mothers behavior. She totaled the car they bought her when she started driving at 16. So I wasn't allowed to get my licence, they wouldn't even help me pay for a car, gas, insurance, etc (I lived far outside of town and couldn't get a job until I had transportation). And, even if I HAD gotten my licence, I had no one to drive with because they wouldn't go with me (even after I got my learners at 20 and had bought my own car, they wouldn't let me drive with them). All based solely on my mothers behavior.
There's a million and one stories I have like that.
So I don't like putting my kids under one blanket age requirement, because if I tell them that they can do X at a certain age, and one of the older kids make me rethink that, it's just not fair to the younger one/s.

Not to say that I don't HAVE age restrictions, I just don't think I'll be telling them to my kids, that way I can keep them kind of flexible. I'll just evaluate as I go along and when that kid starts asking and is ready, we'll talk about it.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/02/2013

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It is never inappropriate to set limits for when things will start, or need to be done by.

For example, my kids had cell phones but not before middle school, and only prepaid, and only for texting or calling, no web capability. As they got older and more responsible, if they wanted to purchase web capable phones that was fine, but we are still all on prepaid. No contract, no hassle, no overages, and no outrageous charges.

Dating at 15 is a little iffy, unless you want to play chauffeur for them, which is up to you. Mine went on group outings until they were 16, and then if they wanted to date (neither of them have as yet), they could.

Shaving starts when facial hair growth starts to either A) be a problem, or B) they are uncomfortable with facial hair.

The job thing...well, once they hit HS, they have a lot of demands on their time. If you want your kids in sports, and you want them to get good grades, and you want them to get a job too...that's a lot of extracurricular demand on their time. Will the job leave enough time for study and sports? Would you expect them to give up sports to get the job? DON'T GET ME WRONG: A job in HS is a good idea, but you don't want their grades to suffer. If you want them to earn their spending money, there are plenty of ways to do that without an official "job". They can mow lawns in the summer, shovel snow in the winter. Paper routes are excellent first jobs. Yardwork for neighborhood people. Chores in and around your house in exchange for set allowance.

One sport a season, I think, is always a reasonable limit. That way YOU don't get to overwhelmed with practices, games, extra meetings, and all of the extra logistics that go with each sport. We only tried it once, where mine played football and soccer in the same fall season...LOL...and I swear by my grandparents' graves I'll never recommend that to anyone! It was a mess!

Ida - posted on 08/02/2013

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Hi Elizabeth! Sometimes I wonder the same, especially when my 6 year old keeps asking me when I am going tot buy him a cell phone. This is what I think so far:

No cell phone until 10 or older. (I figure most kids have them and if he has good grades and keeps them up, then I will get him one)
No dating until 15 (def agree with you there)
No shaving until 13 (or when his facial hair is getting a little crazy)
Sports: My son already plays a couple so that is up to him (and good grades)
Video Games: only 2 hours or so a week. (i'm not a big fan but I know he is going to want to play so I restrict the time and must be age-appropriate)

There are just so many things. This is what I came up with off the top of my head. I also have two step-kids but their parents can decide on the age limits for them!

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/02/2013

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LOL..I guess I should have added that my boys never knew what my set limits were...That way, one didn't feel slighted if the other got to do things earlier.

The other thing to think about is that, as Denikka mentioned, each kiddo is different. For example, my eldest didn't even WANT a driver's license, and I had to basically strong arm him into it because I needed to have an extra driver in the house in case of an emergency (Hubby is disabled) My youngest wants that DL NOW!!! LOL And he's not quite mature enough, even though he'll be 16 in a month. So, he's going to wait a bit longer, and do a graduated permit.

My eldest didn't want a phone! (I know, what kind of weird planet was he raised on, right? A teenager that doesn't want a phone???) Again, had to point out the emergency contact benefit, and that's the only reason he carries one...but, again, younger one is more impulsive, so he had to wait until he could prove he was responsible with minutes, etc. My main thing with the phones is...no kid really needs a phone if they're under the age of 10, unless you live in a very remote area where other types of contact are not readily available.

Denikka, I can SO relate to treatment as a result of what my mother did as a teen, only she was the one thinking I was going to be a scummy slut, sleep around, and get pregnant before marriage, because she did! LOL.. I can relate, hun!

Elizabeth - posted on 08/02/2013

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Thanks, yup same with my 8 yr old wanting that cell already. She can't even remember to turn off and put my Kindle on the counter instead of in the couch. Glad to know some parents still set guide lines in this crazy tech world.

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