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SS 11 got a cell phone

Posted by on Dec. 25, 2014 at 11:39 PM
  • 53 Replies

SS came home today from BMs house and stays till Sunday like he does every week. He was so excited because he got a cell phone iPhone 5s to be exact. SS is 11. Am I the only one that thinks he is too young for a cell phone? What tops it off BM has been texting none stop with him he replies back but makes comments like, "really again", "do I have to answer back", "I'm busy and will text her later". We made sure he could talk to her any time already but he never asked. Oh and to top it off he has a password on his phone that he says we are not allowed to know it. DH doesn't say much but I can tell it is bothering him because it's taking his time with ss away. DH wanted to show SS something earlier in the garage and ss had no interest because at the time he was texting with BM. BM says she will let him bring over every week during dh time. Since we didn't buy it can we have our own rules about it? How would you handle this situation?

UPDATE 12-31-14  After the first couple of hours being at our house he didn't show much interest in the phone. I know he enjoys having it and thinks it looks cool on his hip. (It's about as big as he is lol) He played with all his new things at our house and even forgot about it when we went out for dinner. We didn't allow him to bring to church and he was ok with that. He pretty much didn't get on it very much nor did BM try calling or texting. I'm finding a trend though. She dropped him off earlier and he stays till Sunday. She told him she will see him next year and will text him to tell him happy new year. Which is fine. Well about two hours later she has her BF call SS. We were in the middle of family time so I told him when done he could go check who called. Well BM texts too and said that her BF was trying to call him. When SS called her BF back he didn't have much to talk about and said that BM wanted to talk to him. Again she told him she would see him next year and that she loved him. Thats was about it and her BF asking SS what was he doing.  I feel like this is a way for her to spy on what we are doing or if we tell her the truth about things. Because I wanted to make sure SS would be here at the original drop off time so I could include SS in our New Years fun. But I ended up having my sisters kids so I had to mix things around so that they didn't feel left out. I didn't have enough supplies. (The only reason I asked her was because DH told me to) As far as the pass code goes DH and I both know it. SS give it to us both since DH told him if he wanted to use at our house we needed to know it.

Which that being said DH and I are totally fine with the idea of a cell phone as long as it is used in the right way and not to interupt our family time.

by on Dec. 25, 2014 at 11:39 PM
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momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Dec. 26, 2014 at 12:37 AM
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I have two opinions. Age doesn't dictate cell phone ownership in our home. Maturity level dictates it. My dd got an iPhone for Christmas when she was 11/closer to age 12. But she had already had a flip phone prior to the purchase of the iPhone. The iPhone 5 is already considered an 'old' version since the 6 is out and the 7 is soon to follow. I've had my 5 for two years. This version is cheap at this point and not hard to replace if lost or stolen with insurance. Since BM bought it - that part of the equation will land on her.

My second opinion is that it's ok to have a pass code on the phone but both parents should have access to the phone. It would have been nice for mom to call dad and go over some mutual ground rules regarding the usage of the phone such as appropriate apps and websites plus social media usage. Dad is a parent too. Not just someone else's parent that ss is visiting.

I can tell you what my ex does. It doesn't make me real happy but I have a very strong opinion that dad's house is dad's house and as long as he is following the court order and not breaking any real fundamental moral codes with our daughter - I just bite my tongue. He takes the phone away and it's put away while she is there. I allow the phone - obviously since I am the one that bought it. She has the kindle app and reads on it. She uses it to look up things for school work etc. She has an Instagram and she basically photographs her life with the camera. Plus she is nearing 14 and her friends are her life - she keeps in pretty close contact with her friends at all times.
Dad and I just have a difference in opinion when it comes to the phone. My family is a very techy family. We all have laptops. We have three PCs. We have 3 iPads. We all have smart phones. And we are very connected. We love music and use our iPods all the time. We communicate very frequently by text etc.
Dad is different. They do not enjoy electronics and if I am not mistaken he still uses a flip phone and they do not use electronics like we do.
Both ways are totally fine but when she's at dads, the phone is put away and when she is here - it's hers and only taken away as a punishment.

I think it is totally fine for my ex to take her phone away since this isn't something they allow in their home regularly. If they all were on their electronics and took her phone away, I would probably be even more annoyed. I likely still would not say anything about it. His home his rules.

So take what you will from what I've said. Dad does have some choices here. He can take the phone. He can talk to mom about the pass code. He can talk to SS about the pass code and that without the pass code being disclosed - the phone cannot be used.

Likely the texting thing is a new thing for mom and son. I know it was for us. My daughter and I text ALL the time except when she is at dads house. It may die down after the newness of texting wears off. Dad may have to intervene which a friend of mine had to do. He didn't say anything to mom - he just made phone times. He lets his daughter have her phone for a couple hours. Then it's put away. Then she gets it back for a little while. Then he takes it away. It's not as harsh as it sounds. It's more like a she will ask can I call mom - he gives her the phone. Then after a while that she's been on it/texting or playing games - he changes the activity, puts the phone away.

So there are some options for your dh.

There was a good article for parents of pre teens and teens that I read. We are in a different generation and basically we need to get on board. The argument that we never had access to these things when we were kids just doesn't hold up. Most of us didn't even ride in car seats or seat belts either and that is just not how things are these days. For some parents it's hard to get on board with the changes and others like me, eh I like change and I love being connected to the World Wide Web on the daily. No one can argue with me on my enjoyment of the technology that we are provided in this day and age.
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DDDaysh
by Bronze Member on Dec. 26, 2014 at 1:14 AM
1 mom liked this

I don't personally think it's too young.  Between 11 and 14 (somewhere in middle school) seems to be the time most kids get one because by high school most of them need one these days.  There aren't exactly payphones around any more and many friends won't have home phones either. 

However, I would NOT allow a phone where I didn't know the password.  It doesn't matter who bought it, unless your DH has a history of abuse or some type of restricted visitation, knowing the password would be an absolute stipulation of having cell phone privledges in the house (in MY house anyway!). 

I wouldn't take the phone away, except maybe after midnight.  I also wouldn't stop him from texting BM.  However...  your husband absolutely has the right to set reasonable rules surrounding the phone in his home.  I.e. no phone at the dinner table, no phone after bedtime, etc.  If BM has a problem with a specific rule, they can address that together. 

momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Dec. 26, 2014 at 1:19 AM
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I agree with most everything except - middle school here has a need for the phone. They don't have phones that the kids can use and no child care after school. And I wanted to ask your opinion: you don't think it is rude for BM to be texting the son all the time while with dad? The constant text messages I think would be annoying.

Quoting DDDaysh:

I don't personally think it's too young.  Between 11 and 14 (somewhere in middle school) seems to be the time most kids get one because by high school most of them need one these days.  There aren't exactly payphones around any more and many friends won't have home phones either. 

However, I would NOT allow a phone where I didn't know the password.  It doesn't matter who bought it, unless your DH has a history of abuse or some type of restricted visitation, knowing the password would be an absolute stipulation of having cell phone privledges in the house (in MY house anyway!). 

I wouldn't take the phone away, except maybe after midnight.  I also wouldn't stop him from texting BM.  However...  your husband absolutely has the right to set reasonable rules surrounding the phone in his home.  I.e. no phone at the dinner table, no phone after bedtime, etc.  If BM has a problem with a specific rule, they can address that together. 

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cdrainey3
by on Dec. 26, 2014 at 1:22 AM
1 mom liked this
I don't think there's a problem with having a phone at that age. My kids will probably get one. What they will not have though, is social media. If the phone is in a parents home that parent can make whatever rule they choose.
DDDaysh
by Bronze Member on Dec. 26, 2014 at 1:31 AM

I suppose I don't really think it's rude, persay.  I suppose it depends on the situation.  If Dad doesn't know the passcode, it's possible that they don't really know the conversations. 

I can only view things from things I can imagine or things I have experienced.  If my son texted me, I would absolutely, 100% of the time, text him back.  He actually has texting on his ipod or tablet, and he does occasionally text when he's somewhere else.  I always, ALWAYS, answer and let him end the conversation.  So...  it's possible that's what BM is doing. 

Right now, DS is only away from me if he's with my family or with friends.  (Or at school, but no tablet/ipod there!)  He generally doesn't feel the need to communicate with me much when we're apart.  I call daily when I'm not with him and I'm usually lucky to get two sentences.  He'll text occasionally when he's off of school and I'm at work, but it's never much. 

However, on Christmas Eve we had a family situation and he was home alone all day (he's 11, but ADHD).  I called him ever single hour!  lol.  If he was with his father, I'd probably be calling or texting constantly to make sure he was safe.  But a weird act of God would have to occur for DS to be alone with his father - so I'd be worried sick.  I'm assuming this isn't OP's situation. 

Honestly, if BM was texting that much with no reason, I'd probably talk to the kid about appropriate ways to "step away" from a text.  "Hey Mom, Dad and I are going to do some stuff.  I'll be away from my phone and text you later." Then I'd put the phone away for a bit so the kid wouldn't feel pressured.  However, if BM is just responding, and the kid is the one who keeps initiating contact, it would be different.  Unfortunately, without knowing the passcode, it's impossible to know what's really going on.  But, like I said, there's no way in HELL I'd have an electrnoic device my kid was on that I couldn't access.  That would be an immediately "STOP, GIVE UP PHONE, DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT 200 FREE MINUTES!"  lol. 

Quoting momof2ex1: I agree with most everything except - middle school here has a need for the phone. They don't have phones that the kids can use and no child care after school. And I wanted to ask your opinion: you don't think it is rude for BM to be texting the son all the time while with dad? The constant text messages I think would be annoying.
Quoting DDDaysh:

I don't personally think it's too young.  Between 11 and 14 (somewhere in middle school) seems to be the time most kids get one because by high school most of them need one these days.  There aren't exactly payphones around any more and many friends won't have home phones either. 

However, I would NOT allow a phone where I didn't know the password.  It doesn't matter who bought it, unless your DH has a history of abuse or some type of restricted visitation, knowing the password would be an absolute stipulation of having cell phone privledges in the house (in MY house anyway!). 

I wouldn't take the phone away, except maybe after midnight.  I also wouldn't stop him from texting BM.  However...  your husband absolutely has the right to set reasonable rules surrounding the phone in his home.  I.e. no phone at the dinner table, no phone after bedtime, etc.  If BM has a problem with a specific rule, they can address that together. 


whatIknownow
by on Dec. 26, 2014 at 7:27 AM
2 moms liked this

I don't think 11 is necessarily too young for a cell phone. However, his father should have his password. But that is up to his father to enforce. If he allows his son to withhold his password, then clearly the son is in charge.

Tigress22304
by Ruby Member on Dec. 26, 2014 at 7:28 AM
3 moms liked this

Does your DH have a cell phone/house phone? If so, then he has every right to put the phone up during family time-such as meal time or if he's doing something with SS.

He also is allowed to say he doesn't want SS's cell phone in his house.

It's his house-he can make the rules. Just because BM buys the child a phone doesn't mean the kid has to be attached to it 24/7

faerie75
by Ruby Member on Dec. 26, 2014 at 7:29 AM
My ss11 has one too ^shrug^ never even thought about it.
whatIknownow
by on Dec. 26, 2014 at 7:48 AM

Is your husband afraid to be the one in charge in his own home? Does he let his 11yo son run the show?

Quoting Femommy:  Since we didn't buy it can we have our own rules about it?


waytomanykids10
by on Dec. 26, 2014 at 8:12 AM

 My ds8, dd9, ds11, and ds12 all have cell phones so no, I don't think 11 is to young.

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