Saturday, March 31, 2012

cell phones


Do you pay for your teen to havee a cell phone? I don't do this but I am very upset about not being able to contact my son when he was babysitting. The deal was she wanted to go out but my son didn't come home until the next day. He says no phone and no internet there. My husband is against giving him a cell phone but I just feel so frustated.

9 comments:

Karen said...

A no frills cell phone will cost you $10 a month if you put him on your plan. For the longest time, after my son moved out, I paid his cell phone bill on ours, and his car insurance bill on ours, and had a mutual checking account with him. That way, I knew he would not be in trouble....I could contact him, he would not get a ticket, or worse, go to jail for an accident without insurance, and if he needed to borrow money, he could...on my terms, and I could easily put a few dollars into his (his and my) checking account.
He is still on my cell phone bill, and car insurance, and we still have that mutual checking account. However, now his wife (Id like to say he, but really his wife- lets keep it real) sends me a check monthly to cover the costs. And the mutual checking account is just an extra account for him if he needs it, he rarely uses it.
Once he was 20 he wanted more stuff on his cell phone and that was when he had to budget to pay me for the extras, and then a year later, he started paying for the cell phone and the car insurance monthly.
A cell phone can be a lifeline for a teen. WORTH every cent of the $10 add on. He did, however, lose a couple of his cell phones, so I bought him used ones on ebay when he started doing that. All a part of growing up.

Wendy said...

I wouldn't want to get a cell phone for my teenager (but I don't have a teen yet, so I'm not sure how I'll feel when I do!)

How can the parents of the child he's babysitting leave him without a phone? What if there was an emergency? How is he supposed to call 911 or the parents? I wouldn't be comfortable with that part of it. Can you try to insist that they leave a phone just for emergencies - maybe they can get the no frills cell phone and leave it there?

birthmothertalks said...

If anymore babysitting jobs come up I will insist that they have a phone as long as his phone situation stays the same. I am hoping that this is an oversight on their part due to more people having cell phones and not home phones too. It's something I should have thought about asking too.

Pam said...

Our teen uses MY cell phone and it is not supposed to be with her past 10 on school nights and 11 on weekends. She finally follows the rules. A few years ago she didn't like that she didn't have unlimited texting and showed us by texting a $300 phone bill.

I would get him a cell phone after deciding the rules, mutually signing an agreement list and getting a phone that has parental controls. Other parents helped me more than phone store employees on which phone to get.

Our daughter calls the iPhone her tracking device.

birthmothertalks said...

Sometimes, around the house, I will give my son my cell phone or my husband's to use but this isn't something that he can really leave the house with because we don't have a home phone and I work second shift and I wouldn't want to be without my phone. I am probably going to look into getting him a phone for him.

Jeannette said...

My boys share a cell phone. They are ages 15 and 17 and go to the same high school. They just started part time jobs (up to 5 hours a week). They have decided that they do not want to share a phone. My agreement is if they want their own phone they have to pay half of their phone bill. If they can not pay, then their phone will be temporarily turned off for the month.

birthmothertalks said...

I love your idea of sharing phones if my kids were closer in age. We were going to add a line to my cell phone but I was given wrong information so now I am still at the drawing board at trying to find something that won't set us back too much money.

Karen said...

Just an FYI also, with the $10 add on to your own cell plan, you can decide to have NO texting added, and NO data connection to it. Just a no frills cell. However, you might need to make sure you have enough minutes on your family plan. We only have a 750 minute family plan for myself, my husband and my son, however, any cell to any cell (regardless of the company) is unlimited, so that frees up a lot of minutes. The only minutes used are the ones to a land line, even long distance. Texting and data will really raise your bill though if you don't make sure it's cut off from his cell phone. He won't know how much data he is really using if you don't, and even downloading ring tones uses data. Our family plan has unlimited texting for $15 a month (one cost for all three phones) Husband and son both have unlimited data plans and my son pays an extra $50 for his data plan...but he has upgraded to an iPhone now that he is paying for his own.
A cell phone is also something you can use as a reward when he is doing good as well. You can have the cell phone company cut off his usage all together for a day, a week, a month, and it doesn't cost you anything to start it up again...it just goes on "vacation" when you take his privileges away. He's going to be out and about anyway, might as well be able to get in touch with him when you need to, and you can always take it away...if you have to take it away forever, you can simply give it to your younger son if you are still on a contract with it. I wouldn't give it a second thought. It's not about him deserving one, it's about your own peace of mind while he is out and about. But, you can use it as something he needs to deserve to keep. Where we live, there are no longer pay phones anywhere!!

birthmothertalks said...

Karen, thanks for all your suggestions. I did end ordering my son a phone thru my company. I will write about it later. We too don't have pay phones. I am not sure my kids would know how to use one. :)