We have three phones at our house. Mom’s cell phone, Dad’s cell phone and the “Kids” phone which acts like a Home phone since we don’t have a land line. My kids are allowed to take the “Kids Phone” with them when they need to. It doesn’t have a data plan. They can not play apps on it. They can only call and text. This is what we use when one of them needs a phone for a certain activity.
So maybe a better title for this post is “Why my kids don’t have a DATA plan!” But I know that if I titled the post like that it wouldn’t have caught your attention 🙂
Let me tell you a story. My daughter has a friend. This friend has a phone, with a data plan. This friend NEVER looks away from her phone. My daughter asks her friend to put her phone away. This friend doesn’t put her phone away. My daughter takes her friends phone away and locks it with a new password until they are done hanging out. I’m so proud of my daughter!
I bet that story sounds familiar to you. Maybe your daughter is the one with her nose buried in her phone all day long or maybe your daughter is like mine and likes to actually DO something when she is hanging out with her friends. I know you know this is a problem, and if you don’t, maybe you need to put down your device too.
Another reason my kids don’t have their own cell phones is because I believe when there is a recurring charge (like a cell phone bill) they should be paying for it on their own. Not me. Period. My kids aren’t old enough to have jobs, so their not old enough to have a recurring charge.
They need to learn how to work for the things they have. Now the fact that they are not mature enough to have a cell phone is a whole different reason. Having the power to post and text pictures or text whatever comes to mind to someone, all day long, everywhere they go, scares the life out of me.
Can I just tell you how much I HATE the fact that teenagers these day’s can’t see the world or the people around them because their faces are stuck looking down at their phones?
Can I just tell you how much I HATE the fact that they are addicted to games?
Can I just tell you how much I HATE the fact that they think they can say whatever they please just because the person they are texting to isn’t right there with them?
Can I just tell you how much I HATE the fact that they can take pictures of anything or anyone and instantly post them on social media sites regardless of permission from the person who’s photo they just took?
Can I just tell you how much I HATE the fact that phones are now being used as a bullying device?
WAKE UP KIDS! There is a beautiful world around you. There are beautiful people around you who would love you to LOOK THEM IN THE EYES when you are talking to them.
Now to answer some of your questions:
1. Your kids don’t have a cell phone? NO
2. How do they call you when they need a ride home? There are such things as land lines people, and guess what? My kids friends have cell phones so they can just use theirs 🙂 Yep, I’m mooching off your kids.
3. How do they get a hold of you when they are in trouble? Refer to answer #2
4. How do they listen to music and communicate with their friends? Media Player, and they use their mouths.
My kids DO have media players. They asked for them as their only gifts for their birthdays (since they were expensive). They also used Nana’s birthday money to help pay for them. They take better care of them knowing they had to pay for them themselves. They know how much they cost and how much they’d have to work to get a new one if theirs was broken. I can text them through an app when they are connected to the internet at HOME. My kids do not take their media players with them when they leave. They stay at home. Safe and sound.
I know my kids will eventually have cell phones when they are old enough, so we are teaching them the appropriate way to use them right now. I’m trying to be a good example to them by making sure that I’m using my cell phone appropriately. I don’t use it all the time. I actually call a person when I have something I want to talk about. I only text when it’s a quick, short update or reminder to someone. I tell them all the time “Don’t ever text or email anything to someone that you wouldn’t say right to their face”.
It’s our responsibility as parents to teach our children how to use their phones. It’s our responsibility to teach our children when and where it is appropriate to be using them. It’s our responsibility to set time limits.
At home internet restrictions are a way I can control how much media my kids are exposed to. We don’t have cable in our home, but we do have Hulu and Netflix. I can password protect my internet and give the kids the password when their chores and homework are done. That’s hard to do with a phone.
So here’s my point. I can’t stand the fact that kids are not learning respect for others because their noses are constantly buried in their phones EVERYWHERE they go. They don’t look up when they are talking to someone. They aren’t learning how to actually have a conversation with their friends when times get hard. It’s all being done through texting now days. This is doing them a disservice, how are they going to know how to actually communicate with a spouse or their own children if they don’t have to deal with conflict in person?
It’s totally fine to play with apps and text friends, as long as it’s at an appropriate place and for an appropriate amount of time. Not all day long, everywhere they go.
I know some of you will argue that giving kids cell phones will keep them safe, but I would rather give my kids problem-solving situations and have them figure out what to do rather than calling me all the time for every little thing. My kids know how to get a hold of me when they need to. There has NEVER been a time that they haven’t been able to get a hold of me. Think about how the world was before there were cell phones. I survived, did you?
So now that you’ve heard my rant about why my kids don’t have cell phones, you can judge me all you want. 🙂
And then watch this video:
It’s honestly like a cult or something. It makes me sick to see this everywhere I go. The fact that parents just don’t seem to care about the problem. They might think it’s cute, but it’s not. What have we become and what are we allowing our children to become? If this keeps up, the next thing you know our kids will prefer to experience life, literally, through a computer. They’ll just sit in their room hooked to a digital fantasy world. I’m still very young, yet I feel like an old man when I see people so stuck in their phone like this. That video is so real. That’s EXACTLY how it is. Are we just going to let this happen?
I Commend you. We did not give our children cell phones until high school. They did not have texting privaedges until Senior year. My oldest daughter is 25. She texts, but uses proper grammar and spelling. Our youngest is 19, she does not use proper grammar and spelling. I nag at her that adults will judge her for her unpolished texts; however I am Mom and thus know nothing. Do not even get me started on on the internet and and Facebook. It is refreshing to know that there are parents like us.
The truth says
Typical old fashioned woman. Get with the times.
I’m proud to be old fashioned Craig. My kids are all the better for it 🙂
My almost 13 yr old wants one. Mainly due to the fact that teachers ask if she has one when she wants to go to the office to call to tell Moshe forgot something, which this year in middle school was once. Another time she had to use the main office phone because she missed the bus. They asked if she had one. A friends mom asked her if she had one when my daughter asked for a ride home. So she wants one to not be embarrassed. But I am a stay at home mom with a lot of neighbors who are friends. I feel like she doesn’t need one. She isn’t a social butterfly going out all the time. She does not play sports. There have been a few occasions where I wished she had one. But not worth the $50 a month extra. That’s not even with a data plan. We arenot poor, but not rich either. She is a young girl. Very innocent. I don’t think she needs one. I searched for articles. I feel so pressured into getting one by stupid society. Any other tips?
I agree 100%! My oldest are turning 12 and 13 this year. They’ve asked me off and on over the past few years about when they can get a phone. I tell them the same thing every time- when they are old enough to drive AND have their license and permission to drive somewhere on their own, then we will have ONE phone that is a “kids’ phone”, meaning that it will be shared among any and all of their siblings that are old enough/mature enough to also drive off on their own. That phone will NOT have a data plan, and if I can find one that doesn’t allow texting, only calls in/out, that’s the one I’ll be getting. My oldest has a tablet, but it has strict parental controls on it, and he isn’t allowed to take it with him to any social events (church, family gatherings, youth activities, family vacations), unless we are traveling a decent distance to get there and then he can use in the car. There is simply no valid reason for my children to have a phone for any other purpose. Maybe it’s a necessity for other families, maybe it’s not and they are just okay with that. That’s their decision to make. But for my family, we are going this route.
My daughter is ten and does not have a phone. I explained the dangers to her, and also, that she doesn’t really “need” a cell phone right now. Who does really? Remember when a car phone for safety was enough? Thanks for this article… sometimes I feel like I’m the only one. More and more environmental scientists are saying that all the EMF around us is dangerous, and to me, it just seems like a no brainer, plus, will they ever be able to say it is dangerous? What would all the cell phone companies do?