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What do you think are reasonable limits for texting, talking on the phone and...

internet usage? We are trying to avoid the trap where our 14 year old daughter is constantly checking in with friends at all times of day...while doing HW, after school, before lessons, while in the car, supermarket, drs office, you name it! We especially want to limit her contact with a certain manipulative boy outside of school (she saw him outside of school for almost a year b4 we realized how manipulative he he won't leave her alone..and she loves the attention). We've told her no dating until at least 16, depending on maturity. We're hoping she realizes she should explore other relationships, and will have more of a perspective after a break with this one. We are trying to keep her too busy to care, but that's not possible always. Any advice on limits without alienation?

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Asked by dflygirl7 at 3:17 PM on Apr. 5, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Level 12 (751 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • Mom always gave us an hour a day for internet. We could use it all in one sitting or break it down into two 30 minuted shots or 4 15 minute shots (none of the bouncing on and off for a minute to see what if anything changed) We never had cell phones and the telephone mom just regulated it to make sure we werent' on all day. I was never a phone person so it was no big deal. My calls consisted of "hey come over bye"

    Answer by ZaTa at 3:21 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • My SIL is going through something similar with her soon-to-be 15 yo daughter. They are getting her a cell-phone, but they're setting limits. Their cell-phone carrier allows them to allot a certain amount of minutes each month to the phone. They can set it up to where she cannot use her phone after certain times of the day/night. She cannot go over on her minutes because once the minutes are gone, the phone shuts down. They can also turn on and off the texting and picture texting. My niece is not allowed access to the computer and the internet for more than an hour a day and the computer is down stairs out in the open. She is not allowed to be upstairs on the phone either. My niece has had a tough 2 years, she is recovering from being raped. As a result of her rape she has acted out, thus resulting in the close watch on her computer and phone usage. She too had a boy friend that was a bad influence and her parents had

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:22 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • to call him themselves and tell him to stop coming around and calling her. He was 17, she is still 14. She is slowly regaining her freedoms, as long as she keeps her nose clean. She is involved in select choir at school and voice lessons after school, but it's not enough to keep her busy. So, my SIL has just set limits. My niece may not like it, but that's the job of a parent, to set limits.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:24 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • I highly suggest that you and your SO sit down and figure out what you can live with and then, once you're in agreement, sit down with your daughter and discuss it with her. There's nothing like dictating to your child what they cannot do that makes them want to run right out and do that exact thing. If you involve her in the decision (making sure you aren't compromising the numbers you and your husband agreed on), she's more apt to come to you to discuss changes in the future. If you mandate without discussion, it's often seen as you against her, and leads teens towards wanting to rebel. It's harder to rebel when it's a limit they set for themself.
    So, ask her what she thinks is reasonable. If it's less than what you thought, bonus. If it's more, then open that discussion and hear her out on her reasons. She might have a point you may not have thought about.

    Answer by AutmnDreams at 3:44 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • Yes, up to you to set limits but I also agree with the suggestion to see what your daughter thinks is reasonable. She might be reasonable (they don't know how addictive it can be - yet).

    We have two general rules - one is that they do not have the phone in the room at night; they charge on a desk in the foyer. On internet, we generally allow 1 hour on non-school days as a guideline - but we allow more if their grades, attitude, etc. are good.

    As for texting, we tell them not to do it at meals, when we watch the news (we make them!), homework, etc....

    I personally am very permissive, but it is the first thing that gets limited or confiscated if they don't respect the few rules we have and don't perform sufficiently at school.

    However, one strong piece of advice... read up on sexting and discuss it with your kids. Explain also how you expect them to act if they are sent something sexy, etc.


    Answer by PhillyinFrance at 4:14 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • I don't know. I just know that I absolutely HATE texting. I hate trying to text; I hate trying to read a text on the small screen, I hate trying to type out a text, and I really hate paying for the text! I would require that if she wants to communicate with a friend - make a phone call and actually talk.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 4:39 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • Sit down with her and your husband and go over the rules and talk about a plan on which you all can agree. Involve her in the decision making if you can.
    if she can not abide by the rules or she can not handle all this internet communication- then take it all away and only allow the computer for homework and only for play when you are in the room. and no texting capabilities on her cell phone.


    Answer by Kiter at 5:47 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • I have no real set rules in my house, but I have made it clear that if texting, internet, phones etc,.. start interferring with family time or responsibilities that I will take it away, so far so good, I have only had to ever say that once.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 8:41 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • I also have no set rules for texting, internet, etc. But, those are the first things to go when his grades drop, his attitude is nasty,etc. He only texts myself and my ex (not his father, just the man that has acted like one for 3 yrs). My son also spends less time on the computer in the summer because of baseball and me making him play outside or do things with me.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 8:46 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

  • the internet i would def. watch as close as possible... as for txting.. i personally ♥ to text and don't really see any harm in it also the phone... i would rather her be just talking on the phone or texting than sneaking out to see the people she can't talk to.

    use them as a point system like tyfry said.. if her grades drop or she is bad then take them away for a little while...

    i think its good your trying to "keep her busy" but she is getting to that age...don't make her feel "trapped" or like she has to hide things from you.. that will only make it worse

    Answer by JuLiAnSmOmMy317 at 10:02 PM on Apr. 5, 2009

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