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  1. I'm interested in hearing from others who have used Google Hangouts and/or TextNow with their children. We have Wifi at home and this would be a way for them to use a device to text me (so I could receive texts on my phone when I am out, and communicate with them). We have a Kindle Fire and also an older iPhone 4S that we use as a ipod now. I spoke to someone last night who recommended either or both of these applications. Of course, there's the security thing too though. Thoughts?
  2. It's only been a week since I got her a data/phone plan for my old iPhone 3. I've been appalled at how much time she spends on it. I really wish I had thought it through before, and I feel like I need to put the brakes on this behavior NOW. I'm not even really sure why. I mean, I spent hours in the kitchen on our Trimline phone chatting with school friends starting in 7th grade. Is this any different? Well, yes it is. We dropped her off at a field trip, and instead of meeting up with her in-person friends, she was continuing to text with her BFF. I'm sympathetic to her plight, as she complains that she doesn't have many friends (Where did all the homeschooled middle school girls go?), so I want to enable her social life as much as I can. But texting in the presence of actual people doesn't help her make new friends. What sort of limits do you place on texting? Is it harmful? I wonder if I limit the phone to after school hours, she would just instant message online. Thank you for technology parenting help!
  3. Um, you can guess why I'm asking...:glare: Assume you are setting boundaries for a 16 yo who has a very full life, lots of school work (bar set higher this year), extracurriculars and a part time job. IOW, the phone is not the only link to "a life." What do you all do in your family? Said teen says that none of the peers' parents care what is going on in their households. That surprises me, but before I circulate a questionnaire amongst IRL friends, causing all kinds of mortification and angst, I thought I'd ask here. :lol: P.S. I should say that based on what I'm seeing, remembering that it takes two to conduct phone conversations, *some* other parents either do not care or are not aware.
  4. http://www.boston.com/community/moms/articles/2011/03/27/on_call_all_night_can_leave_texting_teens_tired_out/ Connected, exhausted: Texting teenagers who stay ‘on call’ all night pay the price in lost sleep By Beth Teitell Boston Globe Staff / March 27, 2011 ... With teenagers sending and receiving an average of 3,276 texts per month in the last quarter of 2010, according to the most recent statistics from the Nielsen Co., it’s no wonder that Michael Rich, director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Center on Media and Child Health, is starting to see young patients who come in exhausted by being “on call’’ or semi-alert all night as they wait for their phones to vibrate or ring with a text. He and his patients’ parents were initially baffled by the children’s increased sleepiness because bedtimes hadn’t changed, he said. “Who would think to ask a kid, ‘Do you sleep with your phone under your pillow?’ To us, it sounds like torture.’’ Children who text late into the night do not fall asleep as well, he said, and they don’t enter the deep sleep of Stage 4 REM sleep, “which is crucial to moving experiences and lessons of the day from short-term into long-term memory — in other words, completing the learning process.’’ Anticipating texts, Rich explained, leads to a bad night’s sleep in the same way as an early morning flight or other predawn obligation. “You’re so focused on not screwing up your wake-up that you don’t sleep as well.’’ A Pew Research Center study from 2010 reported that more than four out of five teens with cellphones sleep with the phone on or near the bed, sometimes falling asleep with it in their hands in the middle of a conversation. Pew researchers did not ask whether the phones were on, but Amanda Lenhart, a senior research specialist, said “many expressed reluctance to ever turn their phones off.’’ <rest of article at link> I see under the keyword "texting" some previous discussions of this topic. If teens are overusing their phones so much that their health and studies are suffering, parents should take away the phones. In general, a weakness of the rigid age-based school system is that some children, especially in middle school and high school, come to think of age-mates as being the whole universe, making the family and the rest of the community of secondary importance. Teens who need to talk to someone could turn to their parents or siblings instead. In the last millenium, when teenage girls spent a lot of time talking to each other on land-line phones, at least parents could monitor how much time was being spent. They should still do so.
  5. This sounds completely crazy to me. http://articles.cnn.com/2010-10-15/tech/teen.texting.mashable_1_texts-teenagers-age-teen-males?_s=PM:TECH When I was in that age range I was on the phone for an hour a day or so, but in one big chunk. (And I laugh because I really dislike talking on the phone now.) Maybe they only spend an hour total, but the constant distraction...yikes. How can these teens focus and get anything done? Maybe they're wired differently? :confused: Any parents of teens who text this much? Does it seem like less than what I'm imagining this looks like? My kiddos are still very young.
  6. Today I read a news article that said there is a pilot program where students are encouraged to text instead of raising their hands to answer questions. The text messages show up on an overhead projector. Maybe others find this to be a great idea, but I do not. First I assume there to be text lingo used instead of real words and sentences. Everyone is in the same room why can they not communicate to each other? Using your voice and being heard is part of learning. I certainly home this is not the wave of the future.
  7. Do you have a tv or computer in your bedroom? Do any of your children? I'm curious because I was looking at ideas for teen boy bedrooms online and was hitting some Ikea design sites. Every single one had big tvs and computer arrangements in the model rooms. I don't have a tv in my own bedroom (and don't want one) nor a computer. My boys don't either. If you have teens with computers in their rooms (or laptops they can carry around) how do you monitor use?
  8. ...I feel like a dinosaur. I cannot see the need or even understand the fascination with kids having or "needing" cell phones. The kids (and parents) I encounter through our children's sports are all convinced that these things are necessities for their young children. Kids (outside our home school bubble) without cell phones are seriously ridiculed ( I have heard horrible stories!), and those children who do have phones text constantly. One mother just told me her daughter's grades had slipped from all A's to B's and C's. She was furious so she gave her what she thought was the ultimate punishment... she took her phone away for 2 days. What???!! I just don't understand it. Why do 10 year old children need to text their friends constantly? Is that even healthy? I must sound like a grandma, but I just can't "go with the flow" on this one. What are your thoughts?
  9. Okay, now that you've clicked . . . you have to help me with this grammar question! I heard this imperative in a great commercial last night. It was spoken by a famous Harvard grad. Is it acceptable grammar to say "their" when the speaker does not know the gender of the person of whom she speaks? I think I heard once that it is acceptable. But my question is--is it correct? If it is not correct grammar it is funny (to me!) that it was used in this particular sentence :001_smile: . What do you think?
  10. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/20/education/20wired.html Anybody else see this article? We are so abnormal...
  11. Thinking of taking the kids to CA and Disney. We would fly into LAX and drive to Anaheim, the ocean, etc. The thought of driving in LA kinda freaks me out. I can handle MNPLS/St. Paul, but LA?? Can I do it? I'm just overwhelmed with traveling half way cross the country by myself with three kids, driving in LA and handling all the logistics.
  12. I'm having one of those days today where I just doubt my ability to homeschool my kids. Socially I always thought they were great until recently we went to a friends house and my boys totally dominated the conversation, my eldest kept butting in (he is 10), my middle (6) called a lady "dude" :001_huh: My youngest (4) kept touching things like the piano and the ornaments. And they all over-talked and barely let any adults get a word in. I was pretty horrified and talked to them all afterward, but its like they have no social etiquette. I'm worried that its a result of them not getting enough interaction with people outside the home. We cant afford many activities for them, but we do use a drop in daycare once or twice a week where the kids have friends, we also have play dates and trips out to the museum and whatnot, but is it enough? The minute my 10 year old sees me he starts talking and he doesn't stop, he literally ALWAYS has something to say, I'm so tired. To top it all off the schooling is not going so well. My husband says its going great, but I worry that its not. My kids are poor at putting their thoughts on paper and constructing legible sentences. Don't get me wrong, I know what they are saying, but my 6 year old will use a word like "gooder" and my 10 year old will write the word "so" at the beginning of 20% of his sentences, urgh! Then I have my 4 year old who has been able to read for over a year, but cant write. :( My 6 year old also has terrible writing formation. He will do two circles for an 8, a circle and a line for a 'b'. (if that makes any sense). My 10 year old writes on a 2nd or 3rd grade level and I think his handwriting is abysmal. When I do dictation with my 6 year old, he barely makes sense and struggles to find words. On the positive side they are all reading 2 grades above level and my older two spell very well. My 6 year old is doing 5th grade math (MUS) 3rd (EPGY), but that is also a concern, since he is moving so quickly in math that I worry what he will do when he finishes high school math (in just a year or so at the rate he is going). I'm just feeling like maybe I need to put this in somebody else's hands. I look at my friends and my family and people who have kids in school and they don't have nearly the stress that I do about their kids. It looks so... well, nice. I guess I also just need somebody (other than DH, who is VERY supportive) to tell me that I'm not doing a horrible job, although I'm really beginning to feel that I am.
  13. I'm just curious on average how often you hear from your kids who are away at college (phone, text, email). When I was in college I only called my parents once a week (if that) and sent an occasional letter. Of course there wasn't email or texting back then but I can't imagine not hearing from my daughter for that long of a period of time. My oldest will be going away to college next year and I'm just wondering what to expect. She is on her senior trip right now and no phones are allowed. She can use a pay phone but I highly doubt she will use it. I know I have to get used to this but 5 days is a long time to not talk to her. She has gone to sports camp for the past few years but I would usually receive a text or two while she was gone. This seems so strange not hearing from her at all.
  14. What I'm looking for here is the TOTAL amount of cell phone expenditure you make each month, including all lines, all voice, data and text plans as well as any other taxes, expenses or discounts. The goal here is not to find out what the best deal is, but to get an idea of what homeschooling families spend in this category.
  15. I tried really hard to not let the kid-comparing bother me for the two weeks my that my house was full of relatives. I really did, but it finally got to me. Please let me just say - Its really cute that my 3yo nephew can sing the first part of that states song - It doesn't mean that my 3rd grader is behind in geography because she doesn't know the song! Okay - I feel better. Anybody else?
  16. It is starting to drive me insane! I keep seeing people use "prolly" instead of "probably" on Facebook all. the. time! :glare: I though at first it was just a teenage thing, since I mostly saw it used by my 14yo cousin who never spells anything right on her comments. Today it was used by a friend with a college education! :confused: Is it really that hard to type out the correct word?!? :banghead:
  17. isn't it rude to be texting while someone else is talking to you? Do texts have to be answered immediately, or can you go back and read them later? I've had this happen to me several times (I'm talking about adults, not teens), both with people I know well, and with people with whom I'm making casual conversation. Tell me, is there any such thing as textiquette (text etiquette)? Am I being old fashioned in expecting people to give me the same attention I'm giving them when they talk? :confused:
  18. What are your expectations for your older teens? My stepddaughter is 19 and has her own car now and is attending community college. Up until now, she has always lived with us during the week and then spent most weekends with her mom. Her chores have consisted of doing the dinner dishes, vacuuming once a week, and doing her own laundry. Now that she has her own car, she comes and goes as she pleases and I never know what to expect from day-to-day. She may be with us every day of the week or she may suddenly take off in the middle of the week to spend a few days at her mother's. She will often leave without completing her chores, or she'll just take off and I will be thinking she's coming home and then find out she's not. I am a planner and I'm finding this rather annoying. The other night, I had run my younger kids all over the place for different things and my daughter had a girl scout event in the evening. I told my son he would be able to stay home because my stepddaughter would be there. I waited and waited for her and then found out she wasn't coming home. The day before Thanksgiving, she left while I was in the shower to go and spend the day at her grandmother's. My husband was working in the basement and she didn't tell him she was leaving either. She then decided that she would spend Thanksgiving with her grandparents instead of with us even though I was having her grandparents over the following day. I feel like I am constantly being "surprised" and I do not like it. So, do I still require her to do her chores at this age and is it reasonable for me to set specific days for her to be at our house and at her mother's? I am willing to be very flexible, but I would like to know at the beginning of each week where she plans to be each day, rather than finding out on a daily basis. What about the dinner dishes? It feels odd to ask her to wash the dinner dishes when she didn't eat with us, but then again, I feel like I do not ask her to do too much and this is very helpful to me. Both my younger children help around the house as well. I suspect that this will continue for at least the next 5 years and I want to get a handle on how I should be dealing with these changes so I can adjust to it. Lisa
  19. My just turned 13 yo niece just got a Blackberry with full internet, etc. I don't think of any other 7th graders I know that have gotten into this yet. I'm really not judging. I wouldn't do it for a multitude of reasons but I don't think it is horrible or anything. Not my style for my family but to each their own. I really am just wondering if this is a norm elsewhere. We live in a very middle class area. They are definitely in a more upscale area of Atlanta. My brother's family isn't extravagant at all, though. My 6th grader said he doesn't know anyone with a Blackberry. He does know many kids in the 6th-8th grades and some younger high schoolers. 90% of kids have phones but to many it is an extra family emergency phone just to call home, etc. That's what my 6th grader has. I'm really just very curious now. Do the kids in your middle school crowd have smart phones? Thanks, Marie
  20. I amthisclose to never talking to my younger brother again. I gave up calling him on the phone years ago because our conversation always ended in arguments. Talking to him (he is 41) is like talking to a 3 year old. So we occasionally email and recently we have been texting each other. He managed to start an argument with me via text message. I just deleted him as a contact on my phone and sent his emails to the spam folder. Even my mother agreed with me this time. So it must be really bad!
  21. My son has been invited to a birthday party by a neighbor girl. It came in the form of a backstage pass, requesting that he arrive as his favorite Hollywood personality or movie/rock star. Not good from the start. We aren't exactly "plugged in" to Hollywood. It is going to be a Murder Mystery party. The problem is that this group of kids in the neighborhood live extraordinarily different lives than our family. They text....all. the. time. They cruise the neighborhood and have boyfriends for a few days or so. They use the word "like" 10,000 times per minute. And they drip OMG! It just isn't our scene. But the actual birthday girl is nice, and I am friends with her mom, and I feel conflicted. This particular son is the one who wants to be liked. And he is missing a good friend. We were hoping for a more like minded friend. :glare: I'm just venting a little, because I know somewhere out there will understand what I'm saying. I don't want these kids to be his peeps, but I want him to have neighborhood friends. 13 is a tough age. Sigh. Jo
  22. For those of you who have children with their own email accounts, how carefully do you monitor?
  23. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748704746304574505643153518708.html#mod=todays_us_nonsub_pj This article was a little shocking. Here are a few excerpts. "Because so many people in their teens and early 20s are in this constant whir of socializing—accessible to each other every minute of the day via cellphone, instant messaging and social-networking Web sites—there are a host of new questions that need to be addressed in schools, in the workplace and at home. Chief among them: How much work can "hyper-socializing" students or employees really accomplish if they are holding multiple conversations with friends via text-messaging, or are obsessively checking Facebook" "More schools are now allowing students to use their cellphones between classes, or even as a learning tool in the classroom. Some teachers are having students text their friends during classes to share feedback on what's being taught. The mantra among educators who try to be enlightened: It's no longer about attention span. It's about attention scope—being able to concentrate on many things at once." So many things spring to mind. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this, too.
  24. Our phone goes to voice mail after only three rings (though the caller hears four). We've looked into increasing the number of rings but that's apparently as high as we can go. Because my kids don't answer the phone and I'm often nursing, we miss pretty much every call that comes in. It drives me nuts, especially when the call is one that was important. My kids don't like to answer the phone at all, but I'd really like them to start. At 7 and 9, I think they are capable but they get really frustrated when they have to listen to a 5-minute monologue before they can finally get a word in and tell the caller that they'll get their mom. So, what do you teach your kids to say when they answer the phone? How do you have them deal with people who talk over them, assuming they are the adult of the home?
  25. We got DS 16 cell phone when he got his license and now he's at CC. He has a Tracfone and has to buy his own minutes. He is spending all his $ on phone cards and the incessant texting drives me nuts. I admit to being a control freak, but I don't like not knowing when my son gets a text and from who, unlike when someone calls the house. Not that he's at the CC, I don't like the distraction of people being able to text and reach him at any time (except during class, at work, driving, and at night). His spending $ is his to spend as he pleases, but how do you all handle the texting issue? Nothing drives me more batty than talking with someone only to be "interrupted" by them reaching into their pocket to check a text whether or not it rang out loud (young adults even do this!). I know I'm OLD (41) and this is the new culture but I DON'T LIKE IT!! Is this unfair to my son? How do you all handle it? TIA! Kimm
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