[QUOTE=honeybuns;1009542]Okay, what lessons are you teaching them about financial responsibility? Over $200 a month JUST for cell phones? Yikes.[/QUOTE]
It costs what it costs. I don't make the rates. The difference between regular phones with a texting plan, and smartphones that have everything is $30 a month for the whole family.
No different than cable or FIOS TV. We have a decent package that includes internet. It isn't the top tier. It costs $140 a month.... Do I want to pay that much? No, but that is what it costs where I live. Maybe where you live the same thing would be far cheaper. I have a friend who live out in the boonies in Indiana.... He has a similar TV / Internet package.... he pays $90 a month..... but where he lives people make a lot less money than where I live, so they have to charge less. It's all relative.
But as far as financial responsibility? I teach them EVERYTHING. At age 11, my girls know what the stock market is about. They understand credit reports. They know about paying and getting interest...... Why? Because I sit them down and explain stuff. We have a deal in my house.... My wife teaches the girls about 'female" stuff, and I teach them about life stuff. Sure, we cross over and do some of each, but my job is to teach my kids about things like money. I make most of my money from investing so it is like my job. My kids know more about money and finances at age 11 than I probably did at age 18. I grew up relatively poor, but worked my way up the ladder and made a nice living for 20+ years. And I married a woman who makes a nice living. And I paid off my last house in 9 years, on a $169K mortgage while saving a big part of my paycheck.
So trust me, my kids understand financial responsibility at age 11.
I know people who pay for vacations with their credit cards...... and pay interest to do so.... That kind of thing won't happen with us. We live within our means. With the exception of cars and houses, we pay with real money, and don't take on debt. Credit cards are paid when the bills come in, in full. Teaching that to my kids is teaching financial responsibility.
Sorry if I sound harsh, but this is a hot button issue with me....[/B] and I won't tell you the whole story, but when I was about 27 years old, I was PENNILESS. I had my car, and HUGE debt. I was living with my mom, I was so broke. But then, one day the light bulb came on, and my life changed. I went from an extreme spender to an extreme saver. During the 20+ years in TV, I was saving 31% of my gross pay.... 31%. Not many people can save 31% of their gross pay.
[QUOTE=Mr. Anthony;1009566]PP, you know your kids/your finances/your preferences better than anyone. Do what you feel is right re: getting them a phone or not. I'm kind of surprised about the piling on here. I don't have kids, so I won't offer any advice beyond my general grouchiness about how many kids have smartphones at a really young age. Some kids do great with having responsibilities like that, some don't.[/QUOTE]
^This. A phone makes sense. A smart phone? Hell, I don't even have one so really do not see the need. That said, if you are a tech guy and they are tech kids it might make sense to get them one. My wife (the tech person in our family) has one and a tablet and all those other gadgets. She just looks at my phone and sighs.
Sorry if I touched a hot button. I don't have the money or wish to pay bucks for cable or expensive cell phone plans, especially when it would cost more than my monthly food budget. I should have thought longer before I posted.
PP, I may be a weird one here, but I am a proponent for allowing kids to have access to a technology. It isn't going away and it is going to be as important to them in their lives and careers as TV was to ours. In 10 years there will be no discussing when or if children should be allowed to have this or that technology. They will be. I keep thinking of Bill Gates and the 10,000 hour rule that Malcolm Gladwell proposes for someone to be an expert at something. If someone had told the HS that Gates went to that those kids were too young for computers, he wouldn't have had access and started his 10,000 hours so early to help change the world we now live in with his technological prowess.
My friend that has allowed his 12 and 13 yo sons to have Iphones says it is the best parenting tool he has. He checks their texts and photos often. It has allowed for more conversations about the world, about responsibility, about phone etiquette, etc. It seems to me you have a great relationship with your girls. It seems to me that you can discuss proper guidelines and develop boundaries as needed. And yes, there are bad people everywhere, so they need to learn how to think logically and strategically about how to properly use technology and social media to protect themselves.
If they become untrustworthy at some point in the future, you can cross the bridge then. And you know what, we all were teenagers. I was bad and untrustworthy without any technology.
[QUOTE=Primal Papa;1009457]Should I lock them in a dungeon til they are 18?[/QUOTE]
Honeybuns, I think it's often surprising to hear the numbers, but $200 for a family plan is pretty basic. I pitch in for my mom's plan since I can't afford to go on my own, and that's about $75. I'm hoping it's going to go down soon since I think she did some consolidation since Verizon changed the way they charge things to accounts. It would probably be about $50 just for a regular phone.
PP, I think you are well aware of the dangers, but remember that as they grow up, they will find ways to get what they want, no matter what you say or provide them access to (in terms of online applications). If they are well grounded with respect and honesty in a family environment, they're more likely to come to you than seek their own solutions that may be dangerous or inappropriate. It sounds like you are laying good groundwork for all of that though :) People don't seem to understand that no matter how much a kid may be a KID, treating them like one rarely bodes well. Respect doesn't mean having to be a push-over.
[QUOTE=namelesswonder;1010176]........People don't seem to understand that no matter how much a kid may be a KID, treating them like one rarely bodes well. Respect doesn't mean having to be a push-over.[/QUOTE]
That's the way I see it. I tend to treat them as much like adults as I can as it fits their comprehension levels. In today's world, it doesn't help at all to hold them back.
At age 11 they have already been warned over and over about things like sexting, drugs, smoking, drinking, and anything else as it pops up. They know how babies are made from my wife and I. They didn't learn it half assed on the streets. They know about so much more than I did as a kid.
In any case, the phone part is a certainty. I think it is smart for them to have one.
Now, I do have a question regarding texting, since I don't text.... can you tell by looking somewhere in the phone how many texts you have sent / received every month?
If you do one thing, get unlimited texting. My friends kids send well over 5k a month, like "whatevs", "yeah", "totally'.
Every statement will say how many texts were sent (in network and out of network). You can even log in online for Verizon to see who texts came from and who they were sent to (same with calls).
[QUOTE=Kymma;1010218]If you do one thing, get unlimited texting. My friends kids send well over 5k a month, like "whatevs", "yeah", "totally'.[/QUOTE]
THIS. I used to work Cingular customer service, and if people asked me if I thought they should get texting for their kids, I told them to either to unlimited or block it. No in between. At least for a few months until they see what their kids do. They normally laughed, then did unlimited.