Do you look at your kids texts?

Katherine - posted on 03/09/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )




From The Stir

So picture this. Your kid reaches that magical age when you decide they're ready for a cellphone (I'm not going to put a number on it -- you know your kid better than I do). For giggles, you throw a texting plan on there. And now you want to know: what the heck are they saying to their friends?

Do you: A) ask your state to pass a law that would require the cellphone company to give you access to your kid's texts, or b) talk to your kid about responsible texting. If you chose A, quick, get on a plane to Arizona! The Grand Canyon State could soon become the first in the nation to humor parents who would prefer the state take over the job of being a parent.

Oh sure, they're saying this is all about protecting kids from the mean old cyberbullies who send nasty texts, but let's call the plan introduced by Arizona's Republican legislator Rich Crandall what it is: an attempt by parents to circumvent the age old tradition of doing their jobs.

I know I'm going to be called out for oversimplifying things, but the older my (not allowed to have a cellphone yet) kid gets, the more I'm finding that the best answers to the most complicated parenting problems are the simple ones. If we're proactive as parents, we don't have to clean up a mess in the end.

More from The Stir: Tracking Your Kid's Location Via Cell Phone GPS - Do You Do It?

So let's lay this out. When you sign your kid up for a texting plan, the first thing you need to do is sit their little hiney down and have a talk about expectations. They are not to send pictures of themselves butt nekkid to their buddies. They are to tell you if they receive anything untoward from someone else. And as the person who is paying the bill, if they violate any of the rules, you will have the ability to yank that sucker out of their hands.

Wow! No need to get the state involved there, huh? And frankly, with open communication, you save yourself the headache of looking over a string of texts with no context and getting yourself freaked out that you're raising a serial killer because autocorrect turned "gunna" into "gunman."

What are the cellphone rules that you've laid out for your kids? Do you read their texts?

Not yet and I don't know if I will or not.....


Erin - posted on 03/09/2012




My boys aren't old enough for cell phones yet (4yo and 2yo). However, my husband and I have discussed this after we've seen and heard of 6yo taking cell phones to school. We don't have specifics yet, but at this point we've decided that the first phone won't be until they are involved in after school sports/activities. So probably about middle school ages. Add to that, their first phone will be on a pre-paid plan to teach them monetary responsibility. They can get a contract plan when they can afford it. As far as checking the records and text messages, I think it would be more of my money is paying for this, so I do have the right to check it if I think you're not doing the right thing. Same goes for their bedrooms in my home.

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