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  • #16
    33.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by MPMD View Post
      one of my old partners had a pretty good approach to this with his middle school aged kids who had phones:

      1. it's not your phone, it's my phone that you borrow during the day
      2. no phones in bedrooms or bathrooms (i think this one is absolutely critical)
      3. when you get home from school phone goes on charger in the foyer, if you want to check it go to the foyer
      4. mom or dad can look at the phone at any point
      5. if you don't like rules 1-4 you can avoid all of them by not having a phone at all

      honestly i think there is a tech solution coming on this. i don't really care if my kids text with their friends when they are old enough but it seems like having phones that could send only text (no pics or vid, no social media) would be a really good thing.
      It’s astounding that everyone doesn’t follow the above rules with their children.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by fatlittlepig View Post
        I recommend installing the Life360 app. It’s a game changer for tracking your kids in real time.
        A lot of drop offs after school activities so had at age 10 with Life360 installed. Entire extended family -3 generations- on life360. Age not the issue. Appropriate apps are the key for the that. A nintendo switch is no different than a smartphone

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        • #19
          My daughter was 13.5 and in hindsight it was about 6-12 months too early.

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          • #20
            But is only for emergencies …

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            • #21
              Originally posted by VentAlarm View Post

              It’s astounding that everyone doesn’t follow the above rules with their children.
              i agree especially with bedroom/bathroom

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              • #22
                Phone and text is typically not the problem.
                The internet data plans add access to the “information highway”. I find it curious when parents give their phone to kids to play games.
                No wonder the 8 to 12’s sit in a corner playing games alone at family gatherings.

                But then it wouldn’t be a smart phone. How smart is that? Not much competition for the bottom spot (or profits).

                What? No camera? No internet?

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                • #23
                  We had a rule as long as we could inforce it , no phones at dinner, no phones at family functions, and no phones at night. They would leave them down stairs.

                  It always annoyed me going to a family function, some times not seeing relatives for months, and everyone, looking down at their phone , randomly scrolling through face book or instagram , just to avoid personal conversation.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Lordosis View Post

                    I am surprised there is not a "kids" phone that is slaved to a parent model where you can control and view what is happening. Maybe this exists and I don't know about it. My kids will not be getting phones anytime soon.

                    Maybe a Switch, but I might be more excited for that!
                    We just went through this with our oldest daughter, who is 15 now but was 14 at the time we got her the phone. We thought it was important for her to have a way to reach us when she needed to, but didn’t want her to have unfettered access to social media and the internet. There are lots of studies that highlight the damaging effects to mental health of early social media access, but as has been brought up in this thread, so much of the current social environment as a teenager is done via text that they would miss out on without a phone.

                    The “dumb phones”, such as the old flip phones, are about the only option available that come pre-configured to not have social media or internet, but the method of texting is so cumbersome that it makes that choice less than ideal. We actually settled on a phone from a company called Pinwheel. It’s a Samsung Galaxy phone, so has all the functionality of a smart phone for things like texting or taking pictures, but is controlled by Pinwheel to only allow contacts and a very limited selection of apps that have to be approved by parents. The apps are productivity or school related apps, so she can still do what she needs on there, but there’s no TikTok or Instagram or Snapchat. There is also a parent portal where you can log in and see their location as well as every sent or received text. You can also set modes so certain functions are only available at certain times of day. It’s about $15-20 a month for the Pinwheel service, plus the cost of whatever mobile plan you choose. We chose Mint with the lowest data since she only really needs that to send pictures via text or use the apps when she isn’t on wifi, plus they didn’t have an unlimited talk/text option without data. So that’s another ~$15 a month. There was also a Gabphone (I believe), but we liked Pinwheel better. It has worked out pretty well for us so far.

                    When she shows us she can be responsible with this for a couple of years, we will love her onto a real smartphone with rules like MPMD had laid out. We already have those in place as well.

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                    • #25
                      I'm sure there are ways for kids to circumvent safety devices.

                      Texting on an old school flip phone is easy with T9. I'm sure you can even find a flip phone with a decent camera.

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                      • #26
                        MaxPower, Pinwheel like a fabulous option!

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by MaxPower View Post

                          We just went through this with our oldest daughter, who is 15 now but was 14 at the time we got her the phone. We thought it was important for her to have a way to reach us when she needed to, but didn’t want her to have unfettered access to social media and the internet. There are lots of studies that highlight the damaging effects to mental health of early social media access, but as has been brought up in this thread, so much of the current social environment as a teenager is done via text that they would miss out on without a phone.

                          The “dumb phones”, such as the old flip phones, are about the only option available that come pre-configured to not have social media or internet, but the method of texting is so cumbersome that it makes that choice less than ideal. We actually settled on a phone from a company called Pinwheel. It’s a Samsung Galaxy phone, so has all the functionality of a smart phone for things like texting or taking pictures, but is controlled by Pinwheel to only allow contacts and a very limited selection of apps that have to be approved by parents. The apps are productivity or school related apps, so she can still do what she needs on there, but there’s no TikTok or Instagram or Snapchat. There is also a parent portal where you can log in and see their location as well as every sent or received text. You can also set modes so certain functions are only available at certain times of day. It’s about $15-20 a month for the Pinwheel service, plus the cost of whatever mobile plan you choose. We chose Mint with the lowest data since she only really needs that to send pictures via text or use the apps when she isn’t on wifi, plus they didn’t have an unlimited talk/text option without data. So that’s another ~$15 a month. There was also a Gabphone (I believe), but we liked Pinwheel better. It has worked out pretty well for us so far.

                          When she shows us she can be responsible with this for a couple of years, we will love her onto a real smartphone with rules like MPMD had laid out. We already have those in place as well.
                          seems convoluted, why not just tell them they can't use facebook, snapchat etc.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by MaxPower View Post

                            We just went through this with our oldest daughter, who is 15 now but was 14 at the time we got her the phone. We thought it was important for her to have a way to reach us when she needed to, but didn’t want her to have unfettered access to social media and the internet. There are lots of studies that highlight the damaging effects to mental health of early social media access, but as has been brought up in this thread, so much of the current social environment as a teenager is done via text that they would miss out on without a phone.

                            The “dumb phones”, such as the old flip phones, are about the only option available that come pre-configured to not have social media or internet, but the method of texting is so cumbersome that it makes that choice less than ideal. We actually settled on a phone from a company called Pinwheel. It’s a Samsung Galaxy phone, so has all the functionality of a smart phone for things like texting or taking pictures, but is controlled by Pinwheel to only allow contacts and a very limited selection of apps that have to be approved by parents. The apps are productivity or school related apps, so she can still do what she needs on there, but there’s no TikTok or Instagram or Snapchat. There is also a parent portal where you can log in and see their location as well as every sent or received text. You can also set modes so certain functions are only available at certain times of day. It’s about $15-20 a month for the Pinwheel service, plus the cost of whatever mobile plan you choose. We chose Mint with the lowest data since she only really needs that to send pictures via text or use the apps when she isn’t on wifi, plus they didn’t have an unlimited talk/text option without data. So that’s another ~$15 a month. There was also a Gabphone (I believe), but we liked Pinwheel better. It has worked out pretty well for us so far.

                            When she shows us she can be responsible with this for a couple of years, we will love her onto a real smartphone with rules like MPMD had laid out. We already have those in place as well.
                            It's an idea, the problem you'll quickly learn if you haven't already is that the text threads themselves include links to TikTok and Insta and YouTube videos so now she feels even more left out because she knows everyone is watching something and commenting and making funny messages about it but she can't see it.

                            Also a lot of students use productivity apps like Google docs to text.

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                            • #29
                              When my kid turned 5 in kindergarten and was asked what he wanted for his birthday, he said "phone." He's very introverted. Interesting that he never expressed an interest in this prior to kindergarten, even when he was in daycare.

                              The spikes in age make total sense. ~12 is when kids enter middle school, ~14 is when they enter high school. That's more a function of their school year than their actual age.

                              Personally we'll probably let kids start (with heavy restrictions) at age 12, or when in middle school. Right now kids go to after-school care when elementary school is over. This isn't an option in middle school, so kids would be at home for some period of time potentially with no parent around and would need a phone to get in contact. Also, perhaps we need a separate poll, but do most of you not have a landline? We don't have a landline. If that's true, don't your kids need a phone when out and about, particularly in middle school and beyond? I'd wait on giving a phone if we had a landline but I can't justify the cost or reason to have a landline these days.

                              Finally, as someone who spends some time in public and private high schools these days, there isn't a kid in the room who doesn't have a phone. Many kids on their phone during class. Annoying but I take the personal responsibility approach. If their grade suffers b/c they are on their phone and not paying attention, they deserve the grade they get. Some, but few, teachers make the kids put their phone in a bag or box when they enter the classroom. Why only some/few? Because it's then a constant battle with the students, not to mention their parents sometimes as well.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by fatlittlepig View Post

                                seems convoluted, why not just tell them they can't use facebook, snapchat etc.
                                I’m sure as a kid you never did anything your parents told you not to do, right?

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