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Is it ok to keep an 11 year old from deleting her cell phone messages?

I won't allow my 11 year old to delete messages on her cell phone. Only her dad and I can do so. She is fine with this but I notice that other parent's don't keep an eye on their child's cell phone activity. I was shocked to see a girl my daughters age at the movies jerk a cell phone from her mothers hand, then proceeded to tell her that it was none of her mothers business.

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:40 PM on Jan. 7, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (19)
  • IMHO you might as well just get a phone tap for her. I think it violates her privacy. Do you also read her diary? A certain amount of privacy makes young teens feel more secure.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:41 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • No I would never and have never done that. I have teenagers and the best way to have trust and know they will come to you is to give them some space. You have to be able to trust them. At the same time there is no need to pry into their phone messages and things like that if you get involved in their lives. Get to know their friends, friends parents, and never let them run around town without asking who, what, when and where. If you know who they hang out with, their parents etc then any issue that could come up later is easy to get to.
    Now when I had issues with my dd when she was a teen and found out she was skipping school bc she left a note on the coffee table (duh) and I called her friend on her phone and said they needed to come home. But again I had everyones numbers, their parents numbers etc. My kids have ALWAYS come to me about birth control, bf/gf issues etc. That is because they know I respect them.

    Answer by gemgem at 1:45 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • I disagree with the other women. I think 11 is kind of young to have a cell phone anyway, but if she is going to have one, I wouldn't let her erase her messages either.

    Answer by hgibsonorc at 2:08 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • I have an 11 yr old with a cell phone. It is MY cell phone in my opinion, it's for her safety, not a tool to be talking to boys. I don't let her run amok in society unsupervised, why would I let her on her phone?

    Answer by KnoxvilleDoula at 2:15 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • don't have a teenager yet but I have a 15 yr old cousin who has a cell phone in which we paid for. She had all the stuff on it, including Multi Media where she could send pictures and receive pictures. One day her mom picked up her phone and was checking the messages, claiming she thought it was her phone (the phones did look exactly alike and her mom is unfortunately so high on anti anxiety meds she probably wouldn't know the difference) and found that her daughter had taken naked pictures of herself and sent them to her boyfriend. I have to say as much as you want to trust your children and give them the benefit of the doubt, sometimes it's not a bad idea to take a run through their phone and see what their doing

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:24 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • I would look at their messages and keep track of their calls. If you don't and she thinks she can get away with it, she will do more than you want her to.

    Answer by Maddape48854 at 2:43 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • I believe that if you are paying the bill, then it is your rules she must follow. My kids know that at any point and time I can/will read thier text or see who they have been calling. I don't do it everyday, maybe once a month, just to keep them on thier toes. I also don't need thier phones I can go on line and see. But I must say that on the rare occasions that I do read thier stuff I am leinent, short of anything obscene, I try to respect the fact that they are teens and that they will say and do things with thier friends that might make my eyes pop.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 3:02 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • well honestly i think 11 is too young to have their own cell phone to do whatever they please with anyways...i didn't get a cell phone until i started driving....16 or 17 it was....and if your going to check their text messages they might as well not have any text messages...if shes too young for you to trust with text messaging and you need to check them, then she shouldnt have them anyways....i can understand giviing them the cell if they aren't going to be with you, but it doesnt need all the extras if you feel you cant trust them with it.....and im honestly just curious about this, not trying to be rude or anything...but how do you know she isnt deleting some of them and just keeping the ones she doesnt mind you seeing? im not sure how you can prevent her from erasing any of her messages

    Answer by DaraMichelle at 3:03 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • It is your job to monitor what she does, who she talks to, where she goes. Children do not have a complete and absolute right to privacy. This is something they gain as they gain experience and judgement.
    How many parents kick themselves for NOT monitoring what their kid did after the child gets in too deep? Kids get sucked into dangerous situations all the time. If you don't monitor, you can't keep them safe.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 4:05 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • It's far different than a diary in my opinion. I DO check my daughters cell phone. The difference is that other people have axcess to it - it's just not her pouring her thoughts out on paper. I have found many a text message that was way innapropriate from seemingly "good" friends. Someone said get to know your children's friends. The best way I've been able to do so is to see their MySpace pages (which has led to their parents' page on occasion) and read their text messages. Kids don't "hang out" like they used to, rather they text. You can learn ALOT about a kid by what they're willing to write online. HA, you learn alot about their parents sometimes, too. I found a well educated and "respectable" parent who bragged about their DUI on their Myspace...Won't be sleeping over there!

    I pay the bill and my daughter knows I can check at any time. TOUGH!

    Answer by Angelaca at 5:40 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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