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DC Cell Phone Rules Poll


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Cell phone usage  

90 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you limit teen cell phone usage?

    • Yes
      50
    • No
      40
  2. 2. Does your teen have unlimited texting with their cell phones?

    • Yes
      62
    • No
      28
  3. 3. If you limit teen cell phone usage, what are your limits?

    • Unlimited outside school hours.
      28
    • Limited to after homework done (public, private, charter school)
      6
    • Limited to weekends only.
      1
    • Limited to 5-6 hours per day.
      1
    • Limited to 4-5 hours per day.
      0
    • Limited to 3-4 hours per day.
      0
    • Limited to 2-3 hours per day.
      2
    • Limited to 1-2 hours per day.
      3
    • Limited to 1 hour or less per day.
      2
    • Other. Please explain.
      32
    • My teen homeschools exclusively.
      47
    • My teen does dual enrollment with homeschool & CC.
      8
    • My teen attends ps part time.
      3
    • My teen attends public, private or charter school full time.
      23
    • My teen is dual enrolled public & CC.
      1
    • Other type of schooling for teen.
      3


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My teen dd insists that every teen who owns a cell phone is allowed unlimited access to it outside of school hours. Since I highly doubt that this is correct, I'm doing a poll to see if there are others besides me who limit time. Also, if you have a teen who currently attends ps, please let me know, as this teen now only homeschools in the summer.

 

There are 2 other portions since there is no way to include every possible option. The third one allows you mutliple answers to answer for more than one teen if the rules are different (eg different ages, etc) and also for how you teen is educated.

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Dd (16) attends ps full time. The only limit placed on it right now is that she has to turn it in to us before we go to bed each night. If it started interfering with school work we would put more limits in place. So far this hasn't been neccessary. She does not have internet access on her phone, only unliimited texting.

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Oldest ds has never had a problem with cell phone usage. Early on he was told he couldn't just turn it off so we couldn't get a hold of him when needed. That was when he was 14 shortly after he got it.

 

The problem with dd is she doesn't use it. She is not in the habit of keeping it charged and with her. I see it as a safety device and when I leave her places I want her to have it. I think this will change because she now has a part time job and people have begun to call and leave messages about subbing. She needs it at work to call me about changes in her shift, since she does not have a phone available at work and she needs to check it when not at work for messages. She is quite anti phone use, but I think the job will get her over to understanding that it is a tool she needs.

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Oldest dd (17 and just graduated from private school) has had unlimited access and unlimited texting since she got the phone in 7th grade. We pulled it a couple of times due to falling grades, but she has had it back for several years with no break. It has not proved to be a problem. I will occasionally check her texts, and she knows this. In fact, I do it in front of her. :) She just thinks I am nosy and annoying. Well, yeah, I 'm your mom - it's my job. ;)

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When DS was still in ps, it was limited to 4-9pm and weekends only, although he could always reach DH or myself in an emergency. Now that he hs, it's unlocked all day (only restricted 11p-6a because he doesn't need to be on the phone at night). We will take it away if it seems like it's an issue while he's schooling.

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My DD is 12 but she does have a phone. It is not WiFi capable so she has not internet access.

 

The texting is blocked from 8 am to 3 pm M-TH, 8-12 on F. S & S it is on from 7am-9pm. Every night from 9pm to 7am it is blocked. We live in an area where we do not get voice signal in out house so that is a non-issue. She and her friends are aware that I will block numbers if I believe that they are abusing phone privileges.

 

She got this phone because she traveled with out us to Disneyland.

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My answers are only for ds1 who has had a phone since he was 13yo. The only reason he got a phone was that he was a soccer ref and we'd leave him at the park for hours at a time. Anyway he's not a phone person so we haven't had trouble with rules: no phone during school or while driving. Other than that we have not limited his phone use. Still, he rarely uses his phone. He attended private school full time except for senior year when he was dual enrolled. He had one math prof who would ask people to leave his class if they were using their phone or tablet/laptop during class.

 

Ds2 is also a teen but has no phone.

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My teen is exclusively hs'd. We don't have rules or whatnot because it's not an issue. Our family plan allows for unlimited texting. She is a very busy girl; does her work, dances, reads voraciously etc.

 

If dd had 'issues' with her cell phone, we'd have to figure something out.

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My teen is limited to cell phone use if he is in a drop-off/pick-up situation, with an indeterminate finish time...or if we are at King's Dominion and he and a buddy are off on their own. Other wise, the home phone is just fine.

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I voted unlimited use outside of school hours, but they are not allowed to use their phones after bedtime. They are also not supposed to call/text friends when it is really late for those friends, but that is hard to monitor with friends scattered across the globe.

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I didn't vote in the poll.

 

I homeschool my 12 year old. The older ones attend public school. I also have teen nephews at the local public schools. We all see the same thing your daughter is seeing. Nearly all of my homeschooled son's friends attend school.

 

Even my 5th grade/11 year old's public school classmates had unlimited access to phones - typically smartphones. I know one mom who collects her kids' phones at night. Her kids are 11 and 14. I know a few moms who have taken phones away for periods of time if the phones were becoming an issue (e.g., staying up late or allowing the phones to dictate rude behavior) - but the standard was to start off allowing full access 24/7 unless it proved problematic. Those were all public or private school moms, but the one homeschool family I know who has teens followed the same format.

 

I only know a few other homeschool families, and only the one has teenagers. Their 13 year old is allowed limited access to her phone - we typically lose communication with her around the dinner hour. Her 14 year old brother is allowed unrestricted access to his smartphone. The 13 year old was initially given unlimited access with the flip phone, on her 13th birthday. Turns out she needed some extra assistance with moderating her phone time LOL.

 

We agree with your daughter. That said, if everyone else jumped off a bridge ...... ;)

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I didn't vote, because it would have been "other" (of course!).

 

DD16 has a phone. DD10 has an iPod Touch.

 

When DD16 first got her phone a few years ago, I did not add a data plan and restricted it so she could not access the internet or use apps, and she's unable to send or receive pictures via text. She does have unlimited texting, but the only people she really texts are her father, step-father and me (my Aspie....no friends...another thread).

 

She does have unlimited use of her phone, when she has it. I've found that it's her "currency", so when she needs some sort of consequence it's usually in the form of removing her phone. She loses it sometimes for a day or two, but today she got it back after having lost it for....I don't know....a month? Two months? A while. Long enough to make it hurt.

 

She'll be getting an iPhone for her 17th birthday in a couple of weeks as a surprise. It will, of course, have a data plan and the privileges that go with it. I will not restrict her use as long as she has the phone in her possession. I imagine losing it will hurt a lot more than losing a phone that only texts. Hopefully she'll do well with it. Generally speaking, she's come a long way.

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AMDG

 

Can you believe all those choices and I still had to choose "other!"

 

My daughter got a smartphone for her bday last week. The first step was to download Phonesheriff. The second was to shut down everything then whitelist a couple of apps; whitelist me, Dad, grandmother, godmother, sewing and violin teachers, and two friends in contacts for calling (rarely) and texting (mostly). When online classes start back up, I'll whitelist the class websites.

 

As for calling/texting friends . . . for the friends currently in the whitelist, I have no problem having them whitelisted b/c they also have school and responsibilities and responsible parents. They don't text during school, et c. When my daughter wants to text someone else in her contacts, she asks but so far (one week) it hasn't been during school or anything I would have to worry about. So far we haven't set up specific times for use or time limits b/c we haven't needed to.

 

Our plan is to teach my daughter responsible use of technology in small bits and build up. She is fully on board. She helped choose phonesheriff (over mobiflock) and knows it's there and how we use it. She has before gotten in trouble with technology and doesn't at all mind having it there. She would positively mind if we had done it secretly and she later found out.

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I don't limit, since I haven't had a need to. If it became an issue I certainly would impose limits-- specifically no cell/texting during school time. Most likely I still wouldn't put a limit on use outside of the obvious (school, meals, visits etc), again, unless it became an issue and they were doing it constantly. We homeschool mostly though they do take a lot of outside classes; they have unlimited texting, but tend to Face Time/iMessage from their laptops instead anyway.

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At 13, our teen doesn't have a functional phone. ("Functional" because he does have a phone, but it doesn't have an active SIM. He uses it for games and an MP3 player. It is only capable of calling 911.)

His father and I are leaning toward 15 as the age where we'll let him have one.

 

 

(Please, no one take this as a judgement. I don't think a phone is the gateway to a life of sin and depravity or something lol This is just our rationale)

 

1. At this age, he really has no need for a phone. He's never been anywhere that he couldn't find someone who would let him borrow their phone to call us.

 

2. Kids get into a LOT of trouble with cell phones. Not just the obvious disasters like bullying or sexting, but also the lesser issues of distractions, rudeness and impulsivity.

And it happens in a blink.

 

3. We get to protect our kids for such a short time. A phone is one very easy way for our protection to be compromised. But at 13 or 14, he's not ready for people to have unfettered access to him yet.

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We have unlimited texting. My teens are 14 and 17. The 17yo just graduated from public high school, and 14yo is homeschooled exclusively. We've never set limits on texting except for meals, or special occasions or events. If I saw evidence that texting had affected my 17yo's performance in school, we would have explored limits, but her grades were stellar, so there was no need. My 14yo generally uses his phone for rides, brief communication with us or with friends, and his fledgling lawn care business, so it hasn't been a problem either.

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My son is 15 and, for the moment, exclusively homeschooled. In theory, we have a few rules about cell phones and texting (not until schoolwork is done for the day, not after 10:00 p.m., etc.), and we do tend to take away the phone entirely for a while if it becomes a problem. In daily practice, though, his access is pretty much unlimited.

 

We cut the house phone a few months ago, meaning that his cell is now used to communicate with his FLVS teachers, and is therefore within reach even during school hours. Also, I require him to keep it charged and at hand any time I leave him home alone to go grocery shopping or run errands during the day. This means it would be a non-stop hassle to impose meaningful restrictions about "personal" usage. And mostly, as long as his schoolwork gets done and he's otherwise not in trouble, we just don't bother.

 

He has unlimited texting, but no data plan.

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My nearly 17 year old has unlimited texting. He does not abuse this and text nonstop. If he did, I'd put even more restrictions. We expect him to be off the phone from 9pm until 8am when he is home. He is very respectful and doesn't text at family gathersings, dinner etc...

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Ds14 and Ds12 have unlimited cell phone access and texting. They occasionally text a friend during lunchtime, but they really don't use their phones until they leave the house for evening activities. If we ever have an issue with cell phones (texting during dinner and playing games while they're supposed to be watching Ds5 have been our biggest problems), they have to trade phones with Dh for a few days. He has a "grandpa" phone without texting and data, so this is a pretty effective punishment.

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Our girls do not get a cell phone until they are driving on their own. Before that, they can take one of ours if needed. After they have a cell phone, the only rule is not late at night - usually around 10:30PM. If there was a problem, then we would deal with it. Until then, no limits. They are all homeschooled.

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DD in ps full-time - no texting during school allowed. And then set hours for when texting is allowed which is a few hours, I don't think of it as number of hours, but making sure that school work gets done and bedtime happens. But I guess we've also done something like 4 hour limit on texting availability.

 

Also rules like no texting in the company of others, no texting while in the car (while in front passenger seat - if in the back I don't really care), and not at meals and such too. But in the company of others is a big one. One or two little texts here or there is fine but nothing like a conversation.

 

The time limits have fallen away this past year and I probably will not enforce anything during her senior year.

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So I don't want to respond to the poll because I don't want to skew your results lol... I don't have any teenagers yet. (Or kids with phones)

The planned rules will be that we'll take them away at a certain time of night, and I guess that could also include not giving them to them until a certain time of day. I haven't thought about that second part.

I don't have a problem with unlimited texting. So they'll probably have that. The biggest thing would be the hours of usage we'd allow.

AFAIK, our kids will be homeschooled exclusively through high school. Obviously, things could change. Sometimes, it seems like an insane idea of mine to homeschool exclusively through high school (and sometimes it seems like something I really don't want to do! lol), but as of right now, that seems to be the case.

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Our girls do not get a cell phone until they are driving on their own. Before that, they can take one of ours if needed. After they have a cell phone, the only rule is not late at night - usually around 10:30PM. If there was a problem, then we would deal with it. Until then, no limits. They are all homeschooled.

 

 

If they take your cell phone, how do they reach you?

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If they take your cell phone, how do they reach you?

 

 

This is what I was thinking. We don't have a home phone. So, our cells are the only way to reach us.

 

Also, oldest is the only one that has a cell right now (she's 13), but she has done overnight trips to Disney and such. In January she'll be going to DC for an entire week with her class, and we won't be with her. I'm much more comfortable with her having a phone so she can check in at odd times and not have to search for a phone.

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If they take your cell phone, how do they reach you?

 

 

Good question. :001_smile: I'm usually always at home; we have a landline. Or else they can reach their dad or an older sister.

 

My 15 (almost 16) yr old is really after us to get her a cell phone. She is truly the only in her group of friends that does not have one, but she is also a year younger. We'll see if she wears us down. She's not driving on her own yet. It'll happen soon.

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I had to vote other on the third question, even though I don't meet the "if" part -- it wouldn't let me not vote on that question.

 

In the beginning, we had a plan with limited minutes and texts, but no longer. One son still on our family plan lives in another state. Youngest son is here and really doesn't use his phone that much.

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My teen has unlimited access, but she self-regulates well. She uses her phone as an iPod more than anything else. She's in public high school.

 

My homeschooled child, who is 13 next month, is the one who is much more attracted to technology . He has A LOT more stamina for staring at screens than his sister. He also has more access to the gadgetry.

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Good question. :001_smile: I'm usually always at home; we have a landline. Or else they can reach their dad or an older sister.

 

My 15 (almost 16) yr old is really after us to get her a cell phone. She is truly the only in her group of friends that does not have one, but she is also a year younger. We'll see if she wears us down. She's not driving on her own yet. It'll happen soon.

 

 

 

:) OK. Makes sense.

 

I can't have my kids without cells. lol Even my 14 year old has activities (especially ballet, which is hours and hours a week). I *need* for her to be able to contact me at any time.

 

I'm at the point where cell phones feel like life-lines to me. I don't know how my mother did it. I am so grateful we can communicate quickly and easily if needed, leave messages etc. What if there was an emergency (please, no), and telephone power lines were affected? I used to have my kids share a couple of phones, but that didn't actually work well. I I finally decided that basic cell phones are tools. Good ones.

 

Now I realize I do have rules: Charge your phone every night! Keep your phone charged! ;)

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We have general-use, non-smart phones. When someone goes out they take one.

 

DS would love to have a smart phone...for games...but he doesn't text or call his friends right now. They all IM each other through their ipods, even the one with a smartphone (only 1 out of 4 guys). He goes to public school.

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we have 4 kids ages 11 to 18 and only one has a phone so far. The 16 year old has a shared house cell phone that she can take if she goes somewhere, but it is usually at a designated spot in the house- she will be using it full time next year when she attends a charter school, she will be turning 17 that year. My 18 year old has her own cell all the time, but she couldn't use it when she took outside homeschool classes two days a week, she can't use it at meal times and she cannot use it after bed time. She has limited texting, but it is pretty generous and she hasn't ever gone over, if she did, she knows she has to pay the difference.

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Other. my oldest lives at University. he has his own phone and pays for it. He is in complete control of it for himself. My ds17 has a phone. he pays for it, as phone plans are pretty expensive here he has the plan that goes for 6 months at high cost per call. he is not the most talkative person and hardly ever uses his phone. he is going to TAFE 100 km away from home and uses public transport to get there, that is why he has a phone. none of my other children have a phone.

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My kids, when they were schoolers (now adults), were unlimited pretty much. We did have an absolute cut-off for at night. And of course no one used them at the table or whatever. Pretty much, just normal respect and common sense.

 

Both kids homeschooled all but 8 weeks ever. DD did a few cooperative classes and the community college. DS didn't do college until after graduation.

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Good question. :001_smile: I'm usually always at home; we have a landline. Or else they can reach their dad or an older sister.

 

My 15 (almost 16) yr old is really after us to get her a cell phone. She is truly the only in her group of friends that does not have one, but she is also a year younger. We'll see if she wears us down. She's not driving on her own yet. It'll happen soon.

My 13 year old was the only one in his class at school that didn't have a cell. And, since I know every kid in his class, I know he wasn't exaggerating.

 

We were in WalMart a few weeks ago when a family of Mennonites walked past us. Mom, two little boys and two older girls. The oldest of the girls was Buck's age and when she walked past in her simple dress and white cap, she was typing on, yes, a phone.

 

 

Buck looked at me, stricken. "Mom! Even the Mennonite kids have phones!!"

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I really needed an "other" for "do we limit cell phone usage" I answered "yes" but technically, *we* don't. We have pre-paid Tracfones, and the two teens who have them are givien an 'allowance' of $39.99 (18yo) or $29.99 (13yo) every 90 days... with bonus/double minutes it works out to about 3-5 minutes/units/day. If they run out of minutes before that they use their own money to add more.

 

Because they have so few minutes, we don;t restrict access to their phones. They use their time sparingly, so if they answer a quick text in the middle of doing Math, I truly don't mind- it actually makes it seem 'cool" to them, and it's not like Math is that horrible subject that gets in the way of their texting time. :lol: - they get to check their phoes during school time- but in reality, it isn't a major or even minor distraction.

 

Hmmmm I forgot the other questions already. All of my children are exclusively homeschooled- but I also checked "other" because we do co-ops- where phoes are not allowed, and Diamond was in the public school's musical- but it was after school hours so if she wasn't rehearsing or warming up she could have her phone out- but mostly she borrowed her friend's iPhones to play Temple Run. :coolgleamA:

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Our plans are unlimited everything.

Which has nothing to do with our rules.

 

Their phones are kept out on an open table where everyone can hear it if it goes off for some reason, but they are not tempted to distraction.

 

The phones were bought for family communication and we are strict about who gets those numbers.

 

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This has been so helpful, and I like hearing how and why people have or don't have restrictions. I was only thinking about my 15 yo, because my eldest doesn't have any restrictions with hers because it's never been an issue & she doesn't use it much. I'm sure most ps teens don't have restrictions, but wanted a better idea of how things are restricted here, and dd was homeschooled until the end of gr 7 as well as homeschooled-light in the summers.

 

One of my reasons for restricting my 15 yo is a concern for her thumbs over time. Another is the conflicting information on the effects of cell phone use; I'd rather err on the side of caution. But lastly and very importantly because I don't want her to be one of those teens who is texting to someone non stop while with other people. She can certainly do what she wants when she leaves home, but I want to set good habits now even if she drops them later.

 

She has a boyfriend (not something we wanted so soon, but at least his mother & we agree on guidelines for chaperoning due to their ages, etc) and once did poorly on a long assignment because she was texting him on & off for hours while working on it, so I started taking her phone from her after school until her homework, etc, are done & give her a time limit. She feels that my time limit is far too short, and judging from this poll, it is on the shorter side. I may increase her cell phone time over the summer given this thoughtful information, but it will still be on the shorter end of it.

 

At 13, our teen doesn't have a functional phone. ("Functional" because he does have a phone, but it doesn't have an active SIM. He uses it for games and an MP3 player. It is only capable of calling 911.)

His father and I are leaning toward 15 as the age where we'll let him have one.

 

 

(Please, no one take this as a judgement. I don't think a phone is the gateway to a life of sin and depravity or something lol This is just our rationale)

 

1. At this age, he really has no need for a phone. He's never been anywhere that he couldn't find someone who would let him borrow their phone to call us.

 

2. Kids get into a LOT of trouble with cell phones. Not just the obvious disasters like bullying or sexting, but also the lesser issues of distractions, rudeness and impulsivity.

And it happens in a blink.

 

3. We get to protect our kids for such a short time. A phone is one very easy way for our protection to be compromised. But at 13 or 14, he's not ready for people to have unfettered access to him yet.

 

I don't judge you at all. In fact, my dc wouldn't have had cell phones as early as they did if my eldest hadn't joined the ps swim team her homeschooled freshman year, and she started with a track phone. I hate cell phones, but have one & do have to use it at times due to dh and 3 dc being in different places at the same time while I'm out, etc. Ds, who just turned 13, doesn't have one yet, but will once he starts the ps high school swim team in the fall. I plan to restrict it quite a bit at first, and will decide how to handle things as time goes on. The problem for my dd is that texting really is how her friends keep in touch.

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The only restriction's we have are "no texting or talking on the phone" while driving or when it would be rude to be on your phone (dinner table, when talking to others, etc).

 

This. I voted not restrictions, but I guess we do. I just call these common sense restrictions. I've never had to say put the phone away for dinner because she just knows better.

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