Thursday, April 9, 2009

To text or not to text, that is the question

What do you think about texting?

My 16 year old son wants texting real bad. He just received a cell phone for Christmas and I guess it is not real great if he doesn't have texting. We have been trying to decide for quite some time now if we really want to cave in and just get it. I don't want it to be something that overtakes his world. I think some kids get so overcome in it that they say things on texting that they would never say to someone in person. These things concern us.

Reasons against
1. I think kids forget how to communicate with words sometimes if they are texting all the time.
2. I also have seen many kids ignore people they are around because they have received a text or are texting someone.
3. It costs every month $20 more.

Reasons for texting
1. Todd is a great kid.
2. He is willing to practice piano without arguing with me if we get it.
3. We all received texts anyway from other students because they don't know we don't have texting so we end up paying for about 6 texts a month anyway, which adds up when you don't have it on your plan.

What is your take on texting? Do you think if you had a son that wanted it, would you get it????

21 comments:

Kathy B! said...

I probably would and I'd keep some firm limits on it. You're clearly an involved parent and your son seems like a good kid. As long as you have good communication, clearly defined boundaries, and good parental oversight I think you'll be in great shape...

So many decisions when they get older...

humming fun said...

If you let Todd have it will the other kids want it. I wish we would have waited to let Liz have it. They do tend to txt and not talk.

SO said...

It's hard because I really do not like texting. I agree with your reasons against having it but then I can see the other side as well. If you do agree to go with the texting I would sit him down and talk with him and set really firm rules. That and if he has a job I would have him pay for it if he wants it. Or have him do extra work for it.

My 11 year old wants a cell phone and I've had to sit her down and tell her the reasoning behind why I don't want her to have one. I hate the fact that now do we not only have to worry about our kids seeing bad stuff on the internet but now it's coming right to their phones. And the texting can be just as bad as the pictures.

I hate the fact we have to deal with stuff like this...*sigh*

Kathy said...

This is a hard one isn't it? I imagine it's the same sort of struggle our parents went through when trying to decide if we should be allowed to have Sony Walkmans or Nike running shoes....anything that was new or unfamiliar.

I keep reminding myself that the way the world is going today - even though I hate to admit that our kids are losing the ability to converse one-on-one with live people, this is the way of the future. Long after I'm gone, the human race will be texting and blue-toothing (whatever THAT is) and basically just staying inside because there will never be a reason to go out. Sad, but probably how it will be.

Plus, by having his own cell phone and texting abilities, it keeps our home phones free for us "old fashioned" people who still like to occasionally hear the sound of our friend's voice.

heather said...

I'm not a fan of texting either -but for his age group texting is such a big deal. I think I'd let him have it, with conditions -and one of them being he has to pay the extra money.

its nice to have a kid you can trust to be responsible.

Kristi T. said...

Todd is a great kid! And I am sure he is hanging with the right group. So I don't think you have too much to worry about with him. So I probably would just for those reasons. However, I think he needs to remember the importance of the people around him at the moment he recieves a text and if he starts to become rude and ignore them I would take it away. But I have seen my neice get into some major issues in her life that all started with texting and the ease of saying things they shouldn't because they are not face to face. Good luck its a hard one but you have raised him to be a good strong kid who values his parents trust. I don't think he would do anything to lose that trust. These are tough decisions because they can change a person and who they are so quickly. I guess you should just be glad that you took the time to raise him right and teach him some strong values.

Colt said...

Ah, now this is my sort of discussion. Very interesting even though my own kids are only pretend texting on plastic phones.

You have taught him good principles and he is old enough to govern himself. I am of the opinion that if you don't show some trust and let them have some freedom, then they will rebel. Young adults are at the stage when they are itching to be independent. And if you don't give them some independence then they will take it anyway in a way you won't like.

"Some" independence, not total independence. They live under your roof and are not adults yet. They still need some governing and teaching. You have only a few precious years to make your mark before they are out of the house.

So I am in favor of it but he should earn it some how and there should be strict rules and close monitoring. Honestly though, I doubt Todd would really need that close of monitoring. He is a good kid.

My biggest concern would be porn. Texting is not only words these days. You can just as easily send a photo. I can easily send any photo to my phone and then forward it to anyone elses phone. I am sure he runs with a good crowd and probably wouldn't face this. But its safer to assume its a very real possibility. With Todd I wouldn't be concerned about him getting actively involved, more that he might receive unwanted images from other kids. However, this is already a concern with e-mail which he already has. I just don't know if inappropriate images are spread more frequently via phone. Probably not, just something to watch out for.

I vote go for it.

Disclaimer: my oldest is only 5 yrs old. I speak with no experience, only logic.

Erin said...

We just got texting on our cell phones two weeks ago (my husband and me). Do you have a cell phone? I think it might actually be a sweet way to tell him you love him, by sending him texts yourself. And I agree with everyone else on setting rules and limits on it.

Cyndie said...

Because I know how great of a guy Todd is, I totally vote "yes." (not that you're taking a vote, but that's my opinion anyway! :)) Fantasia has texting, but she knows the 2 major rules: 1) No phone at church or school. 2) At any given time, I can look through her sent and received texts.

I know that I can trust her, so I don't really worry about texting with her. On the plus side, too, it has helped her with her spelling and it's a great way for me to keep in touch with her. She can send a text right to my phone or to my e-mail at work. It's great for short messages like, "I'm home" or "What's for dinner?" or "Can I go to a friend's house?" AND I love it because I can send her little love notes and reminders when she's not with me.

Kristina P. said...

I would probably allow the texting, unless he shows he's being irresponsible.

This is how this generation communicates with each other. It just is.

blueviolet said...

Is it possible to receive a printout every month with your statement of the texts? That would help you know whether you have any cause for concern. You could see if he's texting at night or too often or even if content is objectionable. I'm sure it will be fine if he's a responsible guy though.

You could always allow it on a trial basis and see how it goes. Good luck!

Marla said...

I myself love texting, It's a quick way to get a message and updates to someone without having to rudely use your cell phone in unecessary places. You do have really good points for not allowing texts though. Kids nowadays have gotten really good at hiding and texting during class or other things they should be paying attention to. Watching my husbands younger brother being so familiar with his keypad he can whip out a message very quickly without even looking at his phone. I guess it would go under my category of "Pick your battles" Have a great day!!!

Audrey said...

I probably won't get into this debate because I'm not ever going to let my kids have cell phones at all. I didn't have a cell phone growing up and my parents always knew where I was anyway, I think that they are unnecessary.

Anna said...

Right now I have the idea of no way. IF my ki8ds ever get cell phones no texting. I've heard too many 'horror' stories about how it is taking over the lives of teenagers. But the points for are all very valid. With proper instruction on appropriate use, and them paying for it, maybe. It is definitely a tough one with all the peer pressure. But is peer pressure reason enough? Good luck with this one Kathy.

pam said...

I think you are a great parent and Todd is a great kid. I feel he would be responsible.

Kristy said...

Great discussion! I would concur with what a lot of your readers have said...it's a good test of the trust issue...although you already know you can trust him, but this shows more of that. Also I think firm limits are great and I think making him pay for at least a portion of it is great. It is hard though, it seems like a tool that could really put distance between people and relationships if your not careful with it.
Good luck, let us know what you decide.

Carolyn said...

I agree with those who said you should let him get it. Just make sure he understands your rules surrounding it and let him pay for the extra charges.

Sherrie said...

We all have texting at our house. It's the only way I can keep in contact with my husband when he is gone. And between the kids and I we always send each other text msg's. It's a great way to stay in touch. We use it all the time. However, Kids do need rules nad limits. As long as they no those and respect them and you keep a good watchful eye on them it should be fine. I often take Shellise & Jessie's phones and look at what is being sent and received. We have had a few minor problems, the biggest one that I hate is that they think they need to be using their phone every second of the day. That's where I draw up the rules. Give it a try for a limited time if you need to.

susette said...

We let our children have texting, but they all pay a portion of the cell phone bill. They were willing to help pay so we let them. Not only that but we parents are able to keep track of them easier. I love the fact that my daughter out in Boston can text me anytime too. It's great to know she is just a few clicks away.

Lara said...

That is a hard one. What did you decide? I would be very torn. My husband works with the young men and he loves it that a lot of them can text. It is such a good way for him to get in touch with the boys. And they respond really well to it. Even though I hate that people don't communicate verbally anymore. Just like everything else out there, it can be a blessing and a curse...

sunnymom said...

I am guilty of txting all the time and I am the mother. Thank goodness for unlimited txting from
verizon. When my daughter is old enough I will let her txt too but there will be rules with it. So I guess I dont see a probably as long as it is not out of control.