if your teen is paying the monthly bill for their cell phone is it right to put parental controls on

Melanie - posted on 11/17/2010 ( 44 moms have responded )

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Right now my daughter is on my cell phone plan and so i have put parental controls on her phone so it is off during school & its turned off by 830 & turned on again at 6 a.m.I told her in a few months when she turns 16 I want her to find a job (or at least try more than she is trying now)so she can pay for her own cell phone bill.She has to have a co-signer and that would be me so I would still be able to deal with her phone,She says it doesnt make sense to put parental controls on the phone if she is paying for it,she can understasnd if I am paying for it,,am I wrong to do tha if she is paying the bill?

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Jackie - posted on 11/18/2010

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I think that if you think she's responsible enough to have a job and pay for HER cell phone, then she should have the privileges that go with it. At least at first. If she abuses the privileges then set the parental controls back up but only if it's interfering with school and other responsibilities. If she jacks up her phone bill with minutes, texts, ect... then it's on her to pay it and you shouldn't pick up the slack.



If you don't think she's mature enough to handle the full responsibility then she shouldn't have to pay for it.

Sherri - posted on 11/18/2010

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If she is a minor and has no rights then she shouldn't have to pay for it either!!

Dana - posted on 11/21/2010

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Parental controls, even if she is paying her own cell phone bill, is about caring, not control. All these parents who think they're doing their kids a favor by stepping aside & letting them do as they please with their phones are the same parents that the court system & social workers & behavioral health therapists talk about - because they let their kids do what they want & don't exert the proper parental guidance over them. Yes I said it. I would know, cause I'm in the system. It's crazy to think that they don't need some kind of guidance or even protection from what unrestricted cell phone use can bring. If a child becomes too rebellious & it's causing lots of strife in the family, beyond what a family can withstand, you might have to let go more than you want to, because sooner or later you'll have to regardless, but in the meantime, if a parent sees fit to continue to exert rules over phone use, well, they ARE still the parent. Just because a child is growing up (re:not grown) doesn't mean that they don't need parenting anymore. If that was so, then they'd be out of the house.

[deleted account]

I still have several years before I'm faced with this decision but here's my take on it for now. I would look at a cell phone just like I would look at a car. Even if my son gets a job and pays for his own car, I will still restrict his driving as far as how late he can go out, where he can go, what time he has to be home, etc. Same with the phone. Just because he pays for it doesn't mean that I won't still place restrictions on it. He'll have the rest of his life to have free reign over his decisions but until he turns 18 he is my responsibility.



On the other hand though, kids all turn out so differently. Some 16 year olds can handle responsibility well, others not so much. I guess it all depends on the type of person my son is at that age. I mean, if he's proven time and time again he's responsible enough to handle his phone without restrictions then I probably won't place any. But if he's more interested in texting than doing the dishes after dinner then yeah, restrictions are in order, no matter who's paying for it.

Laura - posted on 11/18/2010

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Emma, parental controls are coded settings that can be programmed into cell phones. These settings can control everything from the time that the phone can be active, to blocking certain features like texting, for example.

There is no right or wrong way to handle this issue! There are valid points being made on both sides of the argument and you will need to figure out what will work best for you and your daughter. She does, after all, make a reasonable and logical argument--if she pays the bill for her phone it is reasonable for her to have full control over it. You also make a reasonable and logical argument--she is a minor and you are the parent who is still responsible for her safety and care and contractually bound to the cell phone!

I suggest you two sit down and negotiate NEW terms of use for the cell phone. Brittany makes an excellent suggestion: A pre-paid "tracphone" would be something to consider. From what you have written about your daughter, she seems like a smart and reasonable kid that would be willing to work on a negotiated compromise that would satisfy both parties. While legally she is considered a minor, she is a young adult and is attempting to grow as such by taking on this extra responsiblity. Communicate with her your concerns and what you would be willing to change as far as terms of usage and parental controls. As the parent, if there is any one particular control that is a "must keep" --let her know that that point/feature is non-negotiable but you will be flexible on other points/features. Let her share her concerns and ideas for changes in usage and parental controls. Write stuff down if you have to! If each person gives and takes a bit, a solution to this problem should develop that will work for everyone. You will hopefully retain a few controls and your daughter will have gained some new freedoms and responsibility.

One last point: As the parent, you have every right and obligation to create and enforce consequences (punishment) for either breaking the agreed upon terms or for mis-use of the cell phone. You can attach conditions to it's broader use such as maintaining her grades in school. By communicating and negotiating with your daughter, though, you are giving her an opportunity to demonstrate more adult oriented behaviors and responsibilities. You are also acknowledging the fact that she is growing up and deserving of these new opportunities. This attitude can go a long way building trust between teens and parents. Hope this helps and and good luck!

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Ariel - posted on 09/23/2012

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It's not fair to make her pay for it thendont let her feel like she has her freedom. U can still have it set up to where u can get notifications when she is using it when she shouldn't but she should have her independence. Care but don't smoother.

Barbara - posted on 11/22/2010

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Dana, that was so very well said. Good parenting is caring and the greatest gift I believe you can give to your child is their independence. That doesn't mean you don't have to prepare them for it. Letting a child do whatever they want is the same as child abuse in my eyes. Guidance is love.

Michelle - posted on 11/21/2010

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I wont put my teen an contract so she has a pre pay mobile that if she has been good she gets her pocket money and if she needs credit then she puts it on her fone. my mobile bill would go thru the roof if i put her on my 1 so i would give her the responsibility of a pre paid mobile instead of a contract mobile then its meetin in the middle which gives her the freedom but its down to her 2 top the fone up

Tracey - posted on 11/20/2010

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make sure she is paying it first because you will be footting the bill if she doesnt, our daugher has a pre paid sim, we still pay as she isnt old enough to work that way she cant run up a bill. with our company we have free calls in the network so she can call us even when she has used the credit as long as she has 15c that may be the way to go till she gets used to having to pay it. otherwise i think parental control is the right thing till she is wholy responsable

Diane - posted on 11/20/2010

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You are still the parent and you have the right to put parental controls on her phone even if she is paying for it because she is not an adult and you don't have to let her have a phone in the first place, remind her that you have to co-sign for it and maybe she'll understand that since she's still a kid and the phone company isn't going to hold her responsible but rather you then yes, you definitly have the right to put parental controls on her phone.

Kimi - posted on 11/20/2010

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If she's paying for it she needs to be given all control. If you don't want her to have that level of power than you shouldn't tell her she needs to take over the bill.
She shouldn't have a job until she's finished with school anyway. Her grades will suffer and I don't think that's worth you being able to save $50 a month over a phone bill. A job over summer break would be a nice learning experience but don't overload her with both.

Barbara - posted on 11/20/2010

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She is still living in your house and you should have parental control. I think it's good that you expect her to pay for some of the costs. Don't forget, Mom, when they are thirty they thank you for all those things.

Charmaine - posted on 11/20/2010

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Oh No!! You put them on girl. Im one of those, :When-youre-21-you-can-blah-blah-blah.." In this day and age, rules at home is the only thing we can still controll a part of a teens life. Where i live, scruples and morals fly out by the window becouse there is no ground rules. Ground rules are very neccesary.

Justcat1 - posted on 11/20/2010

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I think I would be inclined to keep some parental controls..But I would ask my daughter to help out with the bill not pay the whole thing. If she pays the whole bill then it's hers to do as she pleases, in my opinion. I have a 13 year old and she pays $ 5 a month because she wants more texting than I am willing to pay for....but I restrict use at night...

Amy - posted on 11/19/2010

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Until she is 18 you are responsible for her and thus should have supervision over phone usage. Does not matter who is paying bill. My 17 year old daughter pays her bill but I have her on my plan to manage. She doesn't even question it.

Lydia - posted on 11/18/2010

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I'd say give it a try. It requires maturity to not fall into bad phone habits as a teenager... if she'll use it in school and get in trouble for it, or if she's on the phone all night and sleepy in school I'd put the control back on. Maybe make a deal with her. Tell her you'll let her have the freedom but as soon as there are problems you'll put the control back on. Also let her know in a side note that if the phone is used more often the bill is going to be higher and you are not paying for it. Maybe she'll want the control on then...

Crystal - posted on 11/18/2010

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You have to put your self in her shoes on that one..... If you were paying for something would you want your mom to put a control on it?

Tyrae - posted on 11/18/2010

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Letting her have full control over the phone if she were paying for it would teach her a lot of responsibility. Right now you are restricting the use of the phone at certain times and to do certain things, in real life people aren't controlled like this. She needs to know what her limits are, and having her pay for all the use she's putting her phone through would show her how to manage herself and how to set her own restrictions. If she goes overboard with the texting and it costs her more money she'll know for the next month to not do that. I personally had a pre-paid cell when I was that age, bought it myself and paid for it myself, and when I went overboard with the texting or phone calls I learned not to do that again, because it just cost more money. I feel a the age of 21 that now I have a pretty good understanding of bills, and how to not go crazy with stuff, how to be able to save money for the things I want, and how to only buy the things I need for the most part. It's a good life lesson. Going along with what the others have said, a pre-paid phone is probably the best way to go, it will save your credit if she does screw up and doesn't have the money to pay for it, and it will also teach her that she can't always get what she wants. The pressure of one bill won't drive her crazy with schooling. There are monthly plans that you can do while on the pre-paid, like have unlimited texting for $30 a month, and you can have it set up so that if you have the money on the phone, it will take that $30 and allow you to have unlimited texting for that month. It's easy to set up.

Stifler's - posted on 11/18/2010

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Oh. I wouldn't put parental controls on my kid's phone. If my kid wants a phone though it'll be a pre paid and they'll be paying for it themselves. I'm 22 and still have a prepaid phone.

Angie - posted on 11/18/2010

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If you expect her bear the responsibility of paying her own cell phone bill then I think you need to let her bear the responsibility of how to be a responsible user. I don't think it's wrong but I do think it's inconsistent in the message; your are responsible enough to pay for a phone but not responsible enough to use is properly.

Erica - posted on 11/18/2010

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I dont know if you have thought about it this way or not but...If you make her get a job then unless you plan on taking her all the time she will need a car, which means gas money , ins money and anything that goes wrong with the car. My son is 20 and he had to get a job at 16. He was responisible for gas and ins. I think I would keep the phone on your contract and maybe have her help contribute the the bill. This way you still have complete control over it. I understand what you are saying about controls though. My niece is 21 and pays us to be on our contract. she would go over minutes, use mega bytes (that we dont have on our plan) and rack up a huge bill she couldnt pay, So I blocked them!!!! Why not take them off for awhile and see what happens , then if need be block them again.

Lisa - posted on 11/18/2010

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If she's a minor, you still have control. A minor cannot enter into a contract meaning that unless you sign on the account, she cannot get a phone.

In my opinion, a cell phone, like having a car, is a privelege for a teenager, even if they pay for it. Allow her some control, but tell her that you will monitor it and if she doesn't follow the rule, the parental controls go back on.

You are still responsible for her while she is a minor, whether or not she pays the bill or someone else does. If she bought her own clothes, would you allow her to wear whatever she wanted, even if it was inappropriate??

[deleted account]

no you are not wrong you are still the parent. These kids are totally obsessed with these phones. I am thinking then with age comes some freedom, maybe not off by 8:30 but by actual bedtime. If you let them they will be up all night texting. I deal with my 16 yo son so I know. My rules are "not at the supper table" and off at bedtime. You can decide whats best for you but as they get older we have to let go a bit as long as they are not abusing it. As long as she lives in your home she has to abide by your rules. Never feel bad as a parent to be the parent. They need us to set boundaries for them. Good luck!!
Amanda

Kelly - posted on 11/18/2010

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She is under 18 she has no rights!! keep control of the phone until she proves she can be responsible with it.

[deleted account]

You are still her parent, are you not? My opinion is that's it's fine for her to take on some of the responsibility of paying for the phone. It's a good life lesson to teach. Maybe come to a compromise. Take the controls off the phone until she's proves untrustworthy. If her grades slip because of phone usage, or she gets in trouble over it at school, just put the controls back on.

Amanda - posted on 11/17/2010

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shes responsible enough to take on the bill, she should get the privileges right along with it

Sherri - posted on 11/17/2010

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She is only 15 and I am sorry her #1 priority should be school and really should be her only concern at this age. She should not have to worry about bills until she graduates high school. I understand making them responsible and getting a part time job. However, I would never allow it on school nights, Fri, Sat and Sun only and of course any day during the summer.

I have to say if you are making her pay her own bill then no you no longer have any parental controls over her phone. If you want parental control then you need to continue to pay the bill. You can't say you want her to be more responsible yet not allow her to be more responsible. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

[deleted account]

If she is under 18 it most certainly IS your right to put parental controls on anything and everything she has access to. If she doesn't like it.... she can go start paying ALL her bills and have all the 'freedoms' she wants.

JuLeah - posted on 11/17/2010

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You are the mom. Your rules. She doesn't have to agree or understand. She will earn your trust and earn the right to have control over her phone.

[deleted account]

First off I would do a prepaid phone instead of a contract. That way your credit isn't hurt if she doesn't pay it.

If she's paying it then really she should get control. As Jennifer said, if she screws up then she's the one paying for it and you get control over the phone again.

[deleted account]

Paying for the phone herself will teach her a lot about responsibility. She is still a minor, so I think you have every right to put parental controls on it. Maybe you could renegotiate the controls you put on it and that can be her reward for being responsible and staying out of trouble. If she screws up then the controls get changed.

Monica - posted on 11/17/2010

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I don't think it's anything wrong with putting reasonable limits on the phone even if she is paying for it. The restrictions may be less so she can exert more freedom but a's a teen she should still have a time when the phone is turned off like during school hours and bedtime but u may a's example leave it on over the weekend. It's still important to monitor sites and texting. There is a lot of inappropriate behavior that happens through cell phones... Paying bills is a way to have teens understand responsibility and contribute to the household.

Jodi - posted on 11/17/2010

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My son pays for the credit on his phone (he is 13 and does extra chores around the house, and also helps me with some of my work to earn the money) and I absolutely control his phone use. Sorry, but my house, my rules. If he earned enough money to buy a TV for his room, I would also place rules on the use of that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you having the parental controls in place.



Having said that, however, I have not felt the need to put parental controls on my son's phone, because so far, he hasn't broken the rules with it. I trust him to use it appropriately. I can check his phone and I have, at random, on occasion.

Colleen - posted on 11/17/2010

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If you want her to get a job to teach her responsibility then thats good too, but school is the number one priority for her age.

Colleen - posted on 11/17/2010

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I think a 16 year old shouldn't have to pay for her own cell phone. I had to completely support myself at 16 and it wasn't fun. It took a lot away from thinking about school and I was more focused on making more money. Don't worry I have a point.... I think the way u are doing it by u paying for it n keeping parental controls on it is a good thing. She needs to understand that she is only 16 and shouldn't have to worry about "bills" while in high school. You could slowing take off the controls and monitor the time of her calls ( I know verizon u can) You can turn it into a trust thing, if she doesn't follow your rules then you simply take the phone away. A 16 year old needs to feel trusted by their parents. I tell my daughter I trust 100% until you prove me otherwise. Let her prove to you that she can follow your rules.

Megan - posted on 11/17/2010

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I have to agree with the other ladies, if you make her pay for it, then it should be under her control not yours.

Katherine - posted on 11/17/2010

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I agree. If she's footing the bill, the phone should be in her control.

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