Sunday, January 21, 2018

Phone Rules For Tween Girls

For the past few years, Natalie has been begging me for a real phone.

"All my friends have one!" she'd tell me.

"Who they heck is everyone calling? They just know their parents," I'd answer and she'd roll her eyes at me.




I always thought I'd wait until she was 13 before agreeing to a phone. But I didn't realize I'd have such a social kid who talks to everyone. I was always an introvert. Sure, I had friends, but I'd honestly prefer to read 90% of the time. Natalie? Well, she's talking to this person, and then to that person, and to the old man sitting on the bench. Sometimes she'd be at her friends house, and I'd have to go get her when it was time to go home if something came up here. Sometimes it was going to dinner, other times I just wanted her home so she didn't overstay her welcome.

This would mean I'd have to pull on real pants so I wouldn't scare the parent, and, well, sometimes I didn't want to put on real pants when I was all cozy.

And then Natalie does after school activities, and I wouldn't know what was happening, so I thought, okay, maybe a phone would come in handy.

So. I gave Natalie my old phone, because I do not believe children should have better phones than adults unless they pay for them on their own.

She might have her own phone at the age of 10, but she has rules, and trust me when I say she needs to follow them or that phone is going away.




1. Do not, I repeat, do not ever write U for you or UR for your. It's ridiculous. Spell out the whole word. Proudly show that you completed elementary school. Always use the proper your and you're. It's YOU'RE welcome. It's pick up YOUR room. These are lessons learned in the second grade.




2. NEVER talk to people you don't know in real life. If you get a text and you don't know who sent it, delete. Block.



3. NEVER give out personal information before clearing it with me. You might come across people who SAY they are your age, but are really gross old men in stained underpants. I've seen enough episodes of Dateline NBC to know this.



4. Know that parents have the right to check the phone at ANY time. I go through my children's phones at the end of the day. I'll read texts and see what they've looked up or what sites they've been on. If they live in this house, there's no such thing as complete privacy. Sorry.





5. No Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc until you are 13. I don't CARE if all your friends have an account. You'll wait until 13 like your brother did.



6. Do not ever meet anyone you talk to online. That's a quick way to get kidnapped. Even if the person sends a photo of themselves looking like someone your age, know that anyone can do that. Remember the Catfish episodes we've watched?



7. If a boy asks to send a photo of your breasts or other body parts, bring the phone immediately to your father and I promise, the boy will never ask again. (Natalie was all, "Ew, why would a boy ask that? Most of the boys in my class are still farting and laughing about it," and I said, "Trust me. It'll happen.") If you're tempted to send a photo of a body part, just know there's a 99% chance it'll end up plastered all over your school and sent to many other people. I do not want to come face to face with your boob in the principal's office.


8. No cyberbullying. It's easy to be cruel when you're sitting behind a screen but remember the lessons you've been taught to always be kind. I don't care if your friends want to gang up on someone. It's not right, and I hope you'll always remember that. If someone cyberbullies you, let me know and I will talk to that parent and if that parent is an asshole about it, I'll go to the police. I don't mess around with this sort of thing.



My daughter has had her phone for about a month now, and it seems to be going well. She loves that she can send me texts from school, and I admit, I smile when I get them. Plus, when I forget she has an after school activity, she can text me about it. (Would I prefer that she write out no problem instead of NP? Yes. But at least she spells almost everything else out.)





I can also send her texts to come home so I don't have to put on real pants, which is thrilling.


What age do you think kids should have phones? 







41 comments:

  1. I like these phone rules for tween girls! Keeping away kids from social media until a certain age, we still need moderation in modern times! :D

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  2. My tween boy won't be getting a phone until he's a teen - he's much too young right now (he's 10), but when he does he better not ever use U or UR!!!!!!! So lame.

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  3. I'm in love with your rules, especially number 1! My oldest grandson (13) just got his first phone and he has these same rules. He's still not allowed to be on social media. LOL

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  4. I know I still have a long way to think of when my son will have a phone but that doesn't mean I don't think about it. These days it's really becoming tricky on what age is right but all in all the parent should be the one to decide and no one else should be poking their nose on your decision.

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  5. Gabbie just got a phone this year. She did have an ipod before where she could text!

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  6. My daughter is only three, but I know kids ask for phones whenever they reach 6-7. I am anxious to let her have her own freedom like that, but I know it has good benifits to!

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  7. i am sharing and taggin my sister so she reads this. my niece is 12 years old and already begging for a phone from her mother.
    Great rules!

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  8. Our kids got their phones around age 12 or so. It was a tough decision but they were heading to their 1st weeklong summer camp and I didn't want them to be away without a phone. So I think 10-12 is the perfect age but it really depends on the kid.

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  9. What some great rules, I think there are pros and cons to every child having a phone, especially as I see mine as a bit of a lifeline - if I panic in public I ring someone to talk to me.

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  10. Our daughter didn't get one until age 15 when she started babysitting. There was no house phone and she needed a way to call if she needed something. We set rules and always had the right to check her phone plus we always looked at the phone bill.

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  11. I was 18 when I got my first phone because it wasn't the done thing where I grew up but I think for me 13 is good but no social media until 16. lol

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  12. This is a really great idea. It is so strange that kids grow up with this technology now.

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  13. Tweens need rules on the phone. this is a fact of life if you went them to be okay. Love this one.

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  14. My son just got a phone for his 13th birthday. It came with a long list of rules for sure. I check it any time I want. He has to leave it in the living room at bedtime. No phone at night. We aren't doing social media yet either and we have access to his account.

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  15. I don't think there is one set age. I think the age a child gets a cell phone varies by family and situation.

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  16. It does seem like kids get phones younger and younger as the years go on... It's great that you've got a set list of rules though, so at least you know she is using it wisely!

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  17. These are good rules to have. Time limits is something that I would add to this. My daughter is 12, she got her first phone when she was 11. She is homeschooled, and she only sees her friends once a week at field trips of Sundays at church. This was a great way for her to stay connected with them. My oldest got hers at 11 as well. She was in middle school at the time, riding the bus, and I wanted a way for her to connect to me. She's almost 19 now, and it's all I ever see when I look at her. A freaking screen glued to her face. I wished she were still young enough to limit that thing! lol

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  18. I had my first phone at 15 when i started high school! I remember my mum checking the spelling every time i texted her ahah!

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  19. My children had their first phones when they turned 13. And it was just a simple call and text phone with no extra features. On their 16th birthday, they got their smartphones. There are so many dangers lurking around in the internet that me and my husband decided that smartphones will only be given to the kids until they are older and more responsible.

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  20. My daughter has been wanting a phone but I haven't given her yet. Maybe when she graduate from elementary, I would.

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  21. I can’t even begin to imagine growing up with cell phones the way they are now. If I wanted to talk to someone on the phone, I would have to stand by the wall right in the kitchen (meaning everyone in the house heard my conversation) since the phone cord was so short!

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  22. It's good that you have clear cut rules. I have no idea how I'm going to handle it when my kid is ready for a phone, but I'm definitely remembering your rules for then.

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  23. I think it’s important to think about your individual needs when it comes to getting a phone for a tween. One thing that I do like about it is that there is always a life line between parents and kids.

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  24. These are great rules! Good job! I find this funny but so true -> "If a boy asks to send a photo of your breasts or other body parts, bring the phone immediately to your father and I promise, the boy will never ask again." I think teens are a bit provocative and curious nowadays. It's a good thing you tell them these rules immediately.

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  25. Great tips! I'll be sure to use them and share.

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  26. This is such a great post! It is hard to know what boundaries to set and how to monitor them. I think these are great go too rules of parents!

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  27. I got my first phone when I was 12 but then from the ages of 13-15 I was grounded basically all the time, so I wasn't allowed another phone until I was 15. And I didn't even get Instagram until I started blogging and with twitter I got it 2 years ago. Facebook I got when I was 18 but I have cousins who are like 10 and are on it haha!

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  28. The use of a phone facilitates communication. However at such a young age parental supervision is necessary and you have done the right thing by making these rules.

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  29. These are great rules and I definitely think if you're going to give out of phone that early that these types of rules should be in place. I think a TracFone with just enough minutes for me to get a hold of them here and there when they're teenagers is fine, but Dad thinks unless they can pay for one themselves they aren't getting one.

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  30. Your rules are wonderful, thorough and very age appropriate! I feel like 10 is a good age for a phone. School accidents (shootings,fires, etc) are becoming more and more commonplace, and it’s a measure of comfort for kids to be able to call home if need be. Love that you’ve laid down the law (and also that she can’t use text shorthand. LOL)

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  31. These rules are all great and definitely important. I'm a millennial who went to middle school 15 years ago, so I'm lucky I didn't have the gravitational pull towards cell phones. When I have a child, I will definitely be implementing these rules. It's important to use and have fun with technology, but not let it interfere with everyday life.

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  32. These rules are great, I'm a milennial and while phones were kicking off when I was in middle school they weren't as huge as they are now. WHen I was in high school I was surprised becasue so many kids from elementary school has phones so I think it is great that you are setting rules. It helps.

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  33. You are such a pro at parenting!!! These ground rules make complete sense & would be so well when implied.

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  34. These are great rules for the phone,not only for tween,but also for us adults too.I don't like when someone text me with short language that I cant understand clearly.As you said,U instead of you and so on...

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  35. Sometimes I fear having kids these days -- yet I've birthed two and am looking forward to having our little girl this April. Thanks for the tips. More so the one about meeting people online. It's a scary world.

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  36. The big rule we had was that the phone was never allowed upstairs, especially at night. The rule still stands even though she's 16 now.

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  37. I love this! My younger brother who is 11 was given a phone as he was started high school. His behaviour changed drastically after being given the phone and my mum has now had to put some rules in place because of this! I should show her this post!




    www.nmdiaries.com

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  38. Many are unaware but these rules are simply unreasonable in a family court for children of divorce. Especially rule #4 which is an invasion of the child's privacy. THE CHILD'S PRIVACY?

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    1. That's crazy. The child gets no privacy in this house if I'm paying for the phone. Sorry.

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  39. I'm not sure how any would be unreasonable for children of divorce- both parents can follow through on any of these rules. And as far as I'm concerned, my child's privacy is privacy for their body. They can use the restroom, shower, and change clothes with privacy. Anything else- she can have privacy when she turns 18. Her business IS my business until she is an adult. She knows this and understands it.

    Also, my kiddo just got her first phone. She is 11 and will be attending a new school next year, so she will be walking to and from school as well as being home alone for a bit each day before I am home from work. I wanted her to be able to contact me, and ask permission from me rather than the other kiddos in our house. However, she got a flip phone- just like when we were kids. "Press '2' three times for the letter 'C'" kind of deal. She is stoked to be able to contact people, but she also knows these (and a few other) expectations are non-negotiable if she wants to continue using her phone.

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