Do you have limits for cell phone use during homework and/or during sleeping hours?

Kathleen - posted on 01/11/2012 ( 140 moms have responded )

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In our family, we have asked our kids, both mid-teens, to hand-in their cell phones during homework and by 10 PM in the evening. We did this after observing our teens texting late into the night. For one of our teens, we noticed that grades dropped when cell phone use began so we felt that restricting use during at least brief homework time would work. Needless to say, we are meeting with some resistance and claims that no other parents limit cell phone use. What do you do in your household?

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Kimberly - posted on 01/13/2012

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Ask them if they want to lose the phones for good!!! That stopped most of the challenges at my house- I simply told them that it was a non-negotiable rule. You get good grades, and no late texting on school nights or your phone goes away. Phones are not a right- I think your kids are goning to be out of excuses when they see these posts!! "mean" parents unite!!

Katherine - posted on 01/11/2012

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I don't have teens YET. But I think that's more than reasonable. Especially if their grades are suffering. I think even 10pm is late. I'm sure there are other parents in the world that do the same thing. Your house, your rules and I would stick to them.

Lori - posted on 01/13/2012

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It sounds perfectly fine to me. Don't let your kids intimidate you with what they say is going on in other homes. They mostly say that stuff to get their way. It is your house and your rules. They need to understand that and when it is their house they can make the rules. I do agree though that 10pm is a bit late. 9pm sounds better. Make it about a half hour earlier for every time the grades drop or what ever. Eventually they will lose the phone all together. They will learn.

Lynn - posted on 01/13/2012

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We just bought our 11yro tween a prepaid cp for Christmas. He's been longing to have one for over a year now since most of his friends have one & he wanted to be part of the in crowd. He doesn't necessarily need one since we know where he's at practically 24/7 & if necessary, he can from the school phone or when he's at a friends house. We thought starting off with prepaid cp would test how responsible he is with his usage. Of course we discussed rules & if abused, it would be taken away from him. We initially started him with 150 minutes/month ($15) & now we've upgraded him to 200 ($20). He has the option to earn more minutes, by doing household chores & getting good grades. If we feel that he is responsible enough (maybe in the next few months to a year) we may add him in our family plan.

Adrienne - posted on 01/13/2012

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We have schedule. Cell phones are allowed after homework has been checked. All charges are in the kitchen near my bedroom and are expected to be there before going to bed. They wouldn't dare take a chance on leaving them on and take the risk of them going off and waking me up.

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Sheena - posted on 10/29/2012

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Good job with the cell phone rules. My 25 year old received her first cell phone when she went 16, that was when she was allowed to ride a motor bike, that's only because of any emergencies while being on her own, now that we didn't have to drive her everywhere. My middle daughter received her first phone for her 14h birthday, because she started to go to her activities by bus. My son received his when he was 13 for the same reason. They asked at younger ages but we told them they didn't need them because whenever they go anywhere they were with us or another adult and they could use our phone or the adults phone they were with. They struggled for a little while because their friends had one, but they got thru it. We actually would request that they give us the phones once they get in the house. Then as they followed that rule we changed it to 8pm, they never have it all night even weekends. We don't see any reason to have it after 8pm, or at the dinner tale or when we are having a conversion face to face. I feel real life cmmunication is very important. If they disobey the rules, the cell phone gets taken away for a

length of time.

Melissa - posted on 03/19/2012

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Our kids did not get cell phones until they drove by themselves, they were not allowed to use them at all while driving, no phone usage after 10pm, and no use during family meals. My son violated it and ran up a huge bill one month and had to pay it back. You aren't the only parent who has rules. Stand firm!

Kathleen - posted on 03/19/2012

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Thank you for your support of this critical parenting issue and all the good ideas all of you have shared.

Elizabeth - posted on 03/17/2012

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I also would like to point all to the excellent point made by Sandee N. on Jan. 24. Homework and grades are important, but to me the emotional safety of my children is so much more important, and there is so much psychological harm that my children can receive from overuse of cell phones, facebook, etc. Limits are to protect them, as most of our rules and limits in parenting have always been.

Elizabeth - posted on 03/17/2012

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After posting my own similar question on this great site, we decided to have the rule of no cell phones in the bedroom at all. And cell phone must be charging in the living room at 9:00 pm. We also of course have the rule of no cell phones at table. No giving out other people's cell phone numbers, and no 'cell-phone-use while walking. I personally thing that the habit of walking and using cell phone at the same time is dangerous and this is the time in their lives when such habits begin. It's a good habit to help them in the next step of no texting while driving. I let my kids have a little down time (cell phone, tv, whatever) when they get home from school, then it is cell phone away until homework and piano are done. I received a lot of good advice on my post "vote yes or no on taking cell phones away at bedtime" and this helped me come up with our rules. The rules have made life a lot easier. I thought I was alone in this dilemma but quickly found out it is a huge parenting issue these days that we all struggle with.



My child claimed the same about being alone in this, and she may be close to right in her circle of friends, but that's ok. She recently told me that she is amazed, after checking her messages in the morning, how many texts come in from friends around 11 pm. She may also be one of the only ones getting a good night's sleep! Best wishes!

Jodi - posted on 03/13/2012

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Teens in our house are not allowed to have their laptops or cel phones in their rooms after 10 p.m. They have to leave them to charge for the next day downstairs in the kitchen.

Diane - posted on 03/13/2012

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I have been thinking of doing the same thing as my daughter has been texting obsessively and till 11:00 at night. She makes straight A's so just waiting to see if this texting has interfered at all. Time to make a change either way and yes I am paying the bill so if she does not like it I will only let her have it when she is not home for emergencies. You did the right thing.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/02/2012

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I agree. It is very discouraging. I have told my daughter that she cannot delete texts and I check them frequently. I have found things I don't like and then have to use that as a teaching tool about appropriate phone/communication behaviour. It's tough. Hang in there!

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 01/31/2012

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Melissa, that is the exact type of plan I have for my 13year old, I love it!! ;)

Melissa - posted on 01/30/2012

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I dont have kids old enough for cell phones yet but I do work for a very large cell phone company and my years with them have had a huge impact on what rules my children will have. I believe you have established fair effective rules. And no, youre not the only ones by far. As a matter of fact my company has a feature that allows you to automatically cut the phone off at certain times and after so many minutes/text messages/etc. Have been reached.

Melissa - posted on 01/30/2012

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I dont have kids old enough for cell phones yet but I do work for a very large cell phone company and my years with them have had a huge impact on what rules my children will have. I believe you have established fair effective rules. And no, youre not the only ones by far. As a matter of fact my company has a feature that allows you to automatically cut the phone off at certain times and after so many minutes/text messages/etc. Have been reached.

Janine - posted on 01/27/2012

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I think your rules are very reasonable. Personally, I have regretted ever getting my daughter a cell phone because I no longer know who she is talking to or what they are talking about. Suddenly, their social life becomes a complete mystery. Not a good thing at that age!

Janine - posted on 01/27/2012

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I think your rules are very reasonable. Personally, I have regretted ever getting my daughter a cell phone because I no longer know who she is talking to or what they are talking about. Suddenly, their social life becomes a complete mystery. Not a good thing at that age!

Fiona - posted on 01/25/2012

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Hey, I thought my mom was totally unreasonable. Everyone does. And in actuality, she was very strict. (My theory is that immigrant parents, like she was, tend to be strictest.) But I realized that, on a lot of things, she was right. I won't be as strict as she was (like no makeup/earrings until 16, etc), but there's something to be said for being a parent and doing what you need to do to make sure your child grows up to be a successful adult. And I realize now that her rules (even the outdated ones) were out of love. That doesn't make you feel better now, I know.

Carla - posted on 01/25/2012

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Thanks, Fiona. It sounds like the collective parenting from the replies is the same.



Is that because everyone does this, or only parents who are really concerned about it are paying attention to conversations on sites like this?



Either way - I am sure I still hold the title for meanest parent - and 'the only one who does this' in my son's eyes. But, the phone is a privilege, not an entitlement.

Fiona - posted on 01/25/2012

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Do what you have to do. You are the parent. I think if grades dropped, they should be grateful to even have a phone. Your rules sound totally reasonable. (I'm not looking forward to the cell phone battle)

Quanda - posted on 01/25/2012

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The famous claim "no other parents are limited their children's cell phone use". Doing well in school is a responsibility that should be taken seriously. If cell phone use has caused your child's grades to drop because they are not getting enough rest, due in part to late night texting when they should be sleep, you should restrict cell phone use immediately. I use seasonal standby. Your cell phone carrier will temporarily interrupt your child's cell phone service (no phone calls or text).

Additionally, How other parents raise their children that have excellent grades and respect the rules are stories u could appreciate. However, camparisons are unfair and unrealistic so I would just state that u are not concerned with how other parents are raising their children.

Keri - posted on 01/25/2012

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I say to your kids: tough luck. If they can prove the cell phone doesn't affect their school work, let them have it - texting is the new phone call, it's how they communicate. If you're still feeling guilty or getting attitude from the kids, use it as a reward. For every "A" or "B" grade they bring home they can keep it near there during homework. A "C" changes nothing, and anything below that, cell phone use is even further restricted. Once they bring home five good grades, they can use their phone an extra 10 or 15 minutes (or whatever you choose) past 10 PM (five grades = 10/15 mins, 10 good grades = 20/30 mins, etc.)

Samantha - posted on 01/24/2012

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I have a 9 1/2 year old who has a cell phone, but I have not really had to enforce any rules with her on it. She stays off of it if she has homework, unless she asks me permission to call her friend to discuss a homework assignment, and for the most that's what they do (though I'm not saying they don't chit chat about other things too), and she's never on it past 9 p.m. as that is bedtime for most of her friends she talks to. If I have to in the future, I would do the same and restrict use if I noticed grades dropping or texting late into the night. Each household is different and I feel if you notice an action and/or behavior that is affecting their grades, health, etc, then action by us parents is important, after all we only want what is best for them and for them to do their best in all aspects of their life.

Carla - posted on 01/24/2012

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I think you missed the point of the question. Its not about whether kids should have cell phones, but do others take the phones away during homework & at bedtime.



Clearly, as parents of teenagers we wouldn't put up with the distraction, if it wasn't for the convenience of them in other situations.

Candi - posted on 01/24/2012

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Should kids have cell phones? There is not a clear-cut right or wrong answer on this hotly debated subject. There are, however, advantages and disadvantages that each family should weigh for themselves and make the decision that’s best for their situation.



The advantages of kids having cell phones are as follows:



Kids can be easily reached. Is it time to get all the kids in for dinner? Rather than hunt them down in the neighborhood or holler their names out your back door, you can just call each of them on their cell phones. Oh, and no more panic wondering where your kids are.

Parents can be easily reached. If you are scheduled to pick up your daughter after her club’s nature hike at 7:00 p.m., but the hike is concluding early, your daughter can use her cell phone to let you know that she needs to be picked up earlier than expected.

In the event of an emergency, kids can more easily contact their parents. If your kids are on a school bus trip when there is an accident, your kids can call you and tell you that they are ok and they are being taken to XYZ hospital for an examination.

In the event of an emergency, kids can be located using the GPS that is built into cell phones. If your teen has gotten caught in a blizzard, the white-out conditions caused him to veer off the roadway and come to rest off the shoulder of the road, and he doesn’t know where he is, you can have law enforcement find your son before hypothermia sets in by using your son’s GPS in his cell phone.

Your kids can learn to keep track of and protect their assets. By being responsible for their cell phone, kids can learn to keep track of it (not losing or misplacing it regularly) and protect it (not damaging it negligently or intentionally).

Your kids say, “I’m bored” less often. On long road trips or other occasions when your kids express boredom, cell phones give kids opportunities to stay in contact with their friends, play games, surf the Internet, and do other things that keep them from feeling bored.

The disadvantages of kids having cell phones are as follows:



Cost. Cell phones themselves, monthly contracts, etc.: all involve cost.

Loss of familiarity with your kids’ contacts. If your kids have a cell phone, they may be speaking with or texting a group of people... http://blog.nannies4hire.com/kidscellpho...

Emily - posted on 01/24/2012

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Absolutely YES. We have a family rule of no cell phones at meals (this applies to parents too). My kids aren't old enough to have cell phones, but my friends do. They require cell phones are turned in at 9 PM. My friend's daughter got an "F" on a progress report so she put parent controls on the cell so it could not be used during homework time or late at night on week nights. Amazingly, the teenage girl got her grade back up to a "C" within a week.

Sandee - posted on 01/24/2012

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I have my teens hand in all electronics ( cells, Ipods, computers ) at bed time. They do not need to be texting and facebooking when they should be sleeping. When I was younger if I was not getting along with someone they had to call my house to discuss, or yell at me, which few friends ever had the courage to do. Now kids can follow you right till you drop in your bed through texting and facebook, who can rest after that. My kids know the rule, I have always had this rule and its been a couple yrs for my oldest so the younger ones , one who is 13 and just got a cell phone, does not even complain.

Carla - posted on 01/24/2012

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Absolutely & regardless of what your kids tell you, I am the world's worst mother & I am the only parent out of all my son's friends who resorts to such cruel behavior, such as taking away the cell phone, Xbox, iTouch, etc. - until homework is done - & before bedtime.



Its midterms this week & the phone, itouch, xbox cords, tv remotes are put away & not available.



Priorities as they are - mine anyway - school comes first.



Good job on being a PARENT who sets limits & understands that kids will abuse the limits, if you let them. That is all part of being a teenager.

Beverly - posted on 01/24/2012

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We also have restrictions on our daughter with her cell phone where certain times I have it until after a meeting (church or something along that line), during homework, etc. We also take it away for times or punishment (works better than anything else at this age with our 13 year old). She realizes it is a priviledge and not a right. We still monitor her use, and although we have unlimited texting on her phone, if she goes over what we allow, she looses her phone priviledges for a time period. She is responsible, but also still just a kid.

Paula - posted on 01/24/2012

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As a parent of 4 kids age 8 - 19, i will tell you that I've found that my rules were indeed more strict than some of the friends. My oldest kids (17 & 19) now, received cell phones at age 15 - specifically so they could call me when practices were over, etc. They had to turn their phones in at 9pm. I wasn't met with too much resistance on that issue because they knew it was pointless. I heard all too often that "this friend or that friend don't have that rule or that curfew or whatever" and my reply was always the same.... "well that friend is not MY child." I had to make them understand that as their parent, I would always do what i thought was the most beneficial to them - and that would not likely always be a very popular rule. I think they appreciate that as they get older. Stand your ground - in a society where it seems kids do not have discipline & morals - we very concerned parents have to work overtime to raise responsibile kids.

Della - posted on 01/24/2012

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Yes, there should be very clear boundaries. Each family is unique. We have two boy who are not crazy about the phone for now. It's the music I'm dealing with bad langage and too loud.



badartworld

Marla - posted on 01/24/2012

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My 15 year old has a 10 o'clock curfew with his phone except on weekends or if he is out. Yes, we do get resistence but I pay for it so he has to follow my rules. I know many parents who do the same. I hope this helps.

Kristy - posted on 01/23/2012

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i take the phone before dinner and she does not get it back until the next morning, we try and spend evenings as a family. My thought is I grew up without a cell phone and managed to have positive relationships with friends so im sure my daughter can do the same with limited use of a evening. Weekends are different she has her phone all weekend but week days the rules apply.

Kashawn - posted on 01/23/2012

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This is a GREAT idea! Even if my son wasn't doing poorly, I think it's still a reasonable limitation. You need focus and sleep. The phone is a privilege.

Kristy - posted on 01/23/2012

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well I have had the same issue and have pretty much done the same as you. The time she has to hand it over is just before we eat and she gets it back in the morning. Before we brang in this rule her sleeping pattern was a mess and was not wanting to get up for school, her grades were not slipping at all which suprised me but her whole routine was out due to the phone, so far things are doing well but like you we have had her protesting about it, my thought is if other parents want to let their teens have unlimited use of cell phones go for it but my child is being raised by me, I am responsible for keeping her safe, happy and healthy so trust your decisions as these are your kids and you know them best!! good luck with your rocky teen road :)

Candice - posted on 01/23/2012

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Wendy,



Really you ask to view all your teens txt's, emails and phone calls. Is there no trust with your teens. I have a 15 y/o and I do not check his txt's phone calls or listen to ANY of his voice mailes if he has them. I also do not to read any emails he has. He has never given me a reason not to trust him. He has all A's and is usually in bed by 10 during the week. I can count 2 times I have taken it away. But a teen has to have some freedom. All 3 of my kids never disrespect people and very well behaved. I think that it is a little excessive to punish because your teens want a little privacy unless they have done something to have that trust taken away then I agree. But if not, I treat my son the same way I would want to be treated in return.



Candice

Candice - posted on 01/23/2012

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Helen,



I have a 15y/o and I am the same as you. I have given my teen freedom until he messes up or gives me a reason not to trust him. He has a cell phone and he is in charge of it. We pay the bill. He has all A's in school and plays sports. He is in charge of getting his homework done and getting up in the morning. I do take him to school. I have taught him to be very responsible. Respect is earned and he has never given me a reason to take it away nor ever to regulate or monitor his cell usage.



I have to agree that it sounds like there is not much respect or trust with many of these teenagers. Unless I have a reason not to trust my son he will continue to have my trust and respect and responsibility.



Candice

Amy - posted on 01/23/2012

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until they were out of highschool - our boys had to turn in and not use their phones by bedtime (and if we caught them using them during homework - they lost the priv. of having them for a day (and up to a week).



We never had more then one time they had to turn it over for a day! (3 boys). Now it is just our 16 year old and we have more trouble with him keeping his phone on so we can call him. We also make him turn in his laptop to us every night.



It is always a good thing to have limits.

Angela - posted on 01/23/2012

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I'm not sure which carrier you have but you might check into parental controls (for AT&T it is smart limits) It costs us about $4.95 per month but we're able to set time of day restrictions, not allow any purchases or downloads, amount of texts and minutes allowed to be used. It has saved us a lot on our cell bill and we don't have to worry about monitoring them like hawks because the provider has become the bad guy for us :)

[deleted account]

My kids were given freedom until they lost it. My 18-year-old isn't limited, because she turns her phone off and goes to bed at a decent hour. The 15-year-old constantly loses her privileges and we go "unplugged" until all homework is done and during certain hours. This includes cell phone, laptop, iPod and television. Otherwise, she'll be up at 3 in the morning talking and texting and tired and grumpy the next day. It just depends on your child.



I'm sure other parents don't enforce it. That is one of the biggest complaints I get from my kids on everything. I just tell them that God gave them to me to raise for a reason and that I have never and will never base my parenting on what other parents do. My job isn't to be best friend, but parent. They have enough friends.

Lisa - posted on 01/23/2012

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My daughter, a young teen has her phone on a time restriction thru our cell phone provider. So she is unable to use it during homework and while she's in school. I also have it turned off at 8:30 pm This way there is no temptation and she won't get in trouble at school.

Quanda - posted on 01/23/2012

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My teenager has to charge her phone in my room at night. All electronic devices are charged at night in my room. My teenager stated to me that her friends do not have such a rule.

Quatavious - posted on 01/23/2012

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My son has let his grades slip and so he has to be punished. As well he just turned 15 less than 2 months ago. He has to earn respect by showing that he is responsible until then he will be treated like a child.

Maxine - posted on 01/23/2012

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I Think all of your replys are great. I feel so much better. Ii spent the week end with my grand-daughter, whom I love so much, and love being around, Well at dinner time everyone was on the phone. I said my goodness, do u guys really do this at dinner time. So my grand-daughter said," those were your rules. This is my house and in my house, my rules are different. I was blown away. but she was right. It is her house and her rules. So many younger moms, think that the old fashion way of respect is to much for young people. i call it making moral and needed rules to discipline your younger ones, who really need rules, because rules are a part of life in every situation. Thank all of you moms who are still making kids realize tht rules are important. Maxine Gladney

Jill - posted on 01/23/2012

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absolutely agree! but i'm someone who thinks kids should not have cell phones in school. i'm a strong advocate of not having cell phone use during homework, classroom, dinner time and family activities. kids see their friends all day long in school, so they dont need cell phones that much to talk to their friends, at least nothing that a family phone couldnt get the job done. oooh, my kids are going to hate me when they get older!!!!! :)



i've heard way too many stories (and my stepkids were perfect examples, too) that as soon as their child got a cell phone, all hell broke lose: grades dropped, secrets began, sneaking in/out for whatever. cell phones provide a lot of privacy for kids that they dont necessarily need at a young age. there's nothing wrong with talking to a friend on the phone. if something needs to be texted in private, it shouldnt be said, right?

Heather - posted on 01/23/2012

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I totally agree with you mom especially if the grades are dropping good job keep enforcing it

Anne Marie - posted on 01/23/2012

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I agree that limiting the cell phone and allowing it only during certian times is a good idea. Advice to all those parents who have not yet given the cell phone to their kids, start it right at the beginning. You have a cell phone from this time to this time, exceptions applied only by the parents. It is much easier to control it then and you get less resistance later. That way when they do get the phone later or for an outing it is respected as such.

Michele - posted on 01/23/2012

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Cell phones are 'turned off and turned in" at 9:00 on school nights and 10/11 on other nights depending on activities and whether or not drama is evident. We also don't allow the kids to have a phone until 8th grade.

Jodi - posted on 01/23/2012

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My kids are not as addicted to their phones as some. There is a kid in our carpool who is constantly texting and my daughter had a friend over the other night to watch a movie and her friend was texting the whole time! My 18 year old son does not have any rules about his cell phone. It was never a problem with him, all he ever did was leave it in his pants pocket a couple of times and it went through the wash so his only rule is to empty his pockets before he puts laundry into the hamper. My daughter can have her cell phone as much as she wants but at bed time (10:00) she has to leave it plugged in in the kitchen to charge it otherwise I know she'd be up late using it.

Brandi - posted on 01/23/2012

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I have a rule of no electronic devices on school nights... unless there is a computer needed to do homework. I am always walking by the computer to make sure he is on task. Of course, I don't have cable television which helps. My son does not have time to do much on school night because he is a swimmer!

Apryl - posted on 01/23/2012

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I have a teenage daughter and she does the same thing. I take her cell phone from her around 9pm when she is grounded. But, I believe I will do it regardless, or she will stay up late texting. Great idea!

Christiana - posted on 01/23/2012

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I don't have to worry about that yet. But I will probably use the same rules that I do everything else. Nothing until homework is done, I don't know how late I will allow it but 9pm sounds good to me. I also will probably take their phones away at night because if there friends don't have the same rules, they will probably will try to call/text. This is something that I have learned from my friends with older kids.

Tricia - posted on 01/23/2012

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I had heard a talk on the radio about this very talk before we ever got our daughter a phone. Our plans were to have her turn it in at night, however, we found something even better! We have Verizon and we pay the extra $5 a month for parental controls that allows you to 1) control hours the phone can be used 2) control how many phone minutes they get 3) who they can call and receive calls from 4) allow certain people, like parents, to be able to call during restricted hours.

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