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Eagle

texting age

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Ds' best friend asked if he could text with her. They are both 8. This was a definite 'no' for me, but I had an easy out as ds' phone isn't on a plan -- it is essentially an iPod. Fortunately his best friend's phone isn't an iPhone, so I don't have to deal with iMessage as a possibility. This did get me thinking though about what age is appropriate these days for texting with friends. I don't do texting myself because I find it annoying to be interrupted and for people to think they can contact me at all times and expect an immediate answer. So I'm not the best person to ask about texting.

 

What age do you allow your kids to start texting with friends?

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My kids were both texting from my phone by 5 and their own devices by 8.  I don't see it as any different than a phone conversation.  They are only allowed to text people in their contacts list.  It started with their dad and I, their grandparents and their aunts/uncles.  I have since added a few best friends for my now 9 year old and at 11 my older daughter has a few best friends plus quite a few classmates and activity/sports teammates that she texts if she has questions about whatever thing it is she knows them from.

 

They both know that I have the right to review text messages at any time and we have spent a lot of time working on proper texting behavior (when is appropriate, the tone to use and how to make sure you are conveying what you really mean, how important it is to never text something you wouldn't want printed on a billboard for everyone to see, etc).  I would rather they learn gradually, than just jump into it as tweens/teens.

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My oldest is 9 but my 6, 7, and 9 yr olds all text a little bit. The 6yr old pretty much just with grandparents, the 7 yr old cousins and grandparents, the 9 yr old texts family and a few friends.

 

They only text people in their contact list and I know everyone in their contacts. I also read everything (I won't continue to do that forever but for now I check-mostly to make sure they respond to their grandparents).

 

I think it is how people communicate now, so I don't have a problem with my kids texting.

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My kids started around age 8-9 with imessaging. Only approved friends and family members. At that age they used a lot of emojis, with a few actual words thrown in here and there. ;)

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My 6 year old daughter discovered Google Talk.  She picks out her auntie from the pictures in the contacts and sends long texts to her.  No friends yet who text, thankfully.  I'm always a bit surprised how intuitive electronics are nowadays.

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My kids have used iMessage for a very few close friends since 9ish. That and FaceTime make for hilarity with family friends. Tonight DD (12) made cookies with her friend in another state. Siblings all made appearances. I wish grandparents had iPhones or iPads. They'd get way more contact from the kids that way.

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My younger kids started texting with me, dh, and their older brothers by the time they were 8yo.

 

Eta, they still don't really text friends, now at ages 10 & 13.

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My dds both were given phones when they started public middle school, so they were eleven.

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My 8 year old iMessages a few of her friends and her grandparents. She also face times with a few friends. My favorite is when they get their Barbies out and play together while face timing.

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My DD got a phone and started texting at 10/11, but mostly with grad students for conferences where that's most of the communication or me. She really doesn't text her friends yet.

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My son started at age 6 texting my dad. He uses my phone and it's just a few times a month. He will occasionally text other family members but not friends yet. I don't have a problem with occasional texts at this age, it's an easy way to communicate. He won't have his own phone until he is much older.

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Ds is 11.5 and frequently texts. We have had to have a few conversations about etiquette, and I am super big on him actually using correct spelling and grammar. Until he was 11, he did not have a phone. We also use iMessanger a lot to transfer info between my iPad and his. He also is allowed to Facetime. Neither of those two bother me the same way texting does for a wierd reason I cannot really figure out.

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Dd got her own phone at 15. Before that she has access to a "family mobile phone" when she needed one, but if she wanted to text someone it was from my phone, so limited to making arrangements with friends. She did email friends before that, but no texting or skyping etc. I just don't think it's necessary.

 

Ds9 does occasionally mention texting a friend but I've discouraged it and made it clear that it must be done through my phone.

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The right age for my kids to have a phone was when they were signed up for enough drop off activities to make it easier for DH and I to stay in touch and coordinate pickup. That was 10 and 13. They could skype a little prior mostly to grandparents. I never had a texting phone til we got one for my oldest.

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My dd was required by the public school to have an "electronic device" meaning iPad, kindle fire, iPhone or tablet, starting in 5th grade. So she got a hand me down iPhone. Her teachers and the school often sent out things via text. We did however block picture texts through our carrier. We weren't worried about her sending someone anything (although this makes it pretty moot), but rather this way it cannot be an issue of her receiving something inappropriate from someone else. And since it's blocked through the carrier there is no way for her to get around it, should she ever feel so inclined to try. If she wants to send or receive pictures they go through email which appear on my phone as well, so although something inappropriate could get through, I will still at least be aware of it. A text a kid can delete without you even knowing it was there.

 

I found it odd that the school thought it was a good idea in this day and age to have teachers texting with jr high aged kids. Yet another reason in the homeschool column for us.....

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My kids grew up before the age for cell phones dropped. If I were to do it again, in today's world, they'd have fully functioning smart phones with developmentally appropriate parental supervision around school age.

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My dd6 frequently texts family, and she has 2-3 friends she texts as well. It is wonderful practice. I do require her to use my phone for it at the moment, and to ask if she wants to use my phone. She has an iPhone for music and apps (a hand-me-down), but I will not put texting capabilities on it until she is older. I am of the opinion that it is scaffolding. I am teaching her proper etiquette and usage, Internet and phone safety now, but can oversee everything she writes, or sends pictures of...

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