Cell Phones, Tweens and Texting

Last year when my daughter entered the 6th grade. She asked me for a cell phone and I said no without blinking. I thought what does she need one for I pick her up from school and the activities she does after school are all very short. I never leave her at a mall or the movies by herself. Not to mention I barely use the one I have. Most of the time I forget it at home or if I do have it, it's dead because I forgot to charge it. The bottom line is I just don't get cell phones.

Well Christmas came last year and again she asked for one and my husband and I said no. I know we're mean, but as I said I just didn't get the point. She went back to school after the Christmas break and she was so grumpy and I asked what was wrong. She said everyone got a cell phone for Christmas and that's all they're talking about. Well that's a typical tween answer for anything they want. You know "everyone has one, but me." I wasn't believing it and so we went on. Then one day when I was waiting for her to come out I started to see one after another flipping out the phones as they walked out of school. I was shocked. I couldn't believe they really did all have cell phones. Then she went to a friends birthday party and all they did was play with their phones and talk about them. Well I hated that she felt like such an outsider for not having one. Yes, I know it's peer pressure and I shouldn't feed into it, but I felt badly. I started to ask the other parents and yes they had gotten them cell phones for Christmas. I guess it was the new cool toy.

Lucky for my daughter I'm not unreasonable and her birthday was coming up so. My husband and I revisited the idea and we thought she could get one so we caved. We got her a cell phone. We're not the first parents to cave and I'm sure we won't be the last. Not only did we get her a phone we got her a cool cell phone which is probably outdated by now, but it's better than mine. We have Verizon so we got her the ENV2 which is a texting phone. I figured if she's going to have one she might as well get a good one that has a GPS locator and all the other cool stuff. She was so surprised and so happy to receive one. We made her year and her life apparently. Did we do the right thing by caving? I don't know, but my daughters a good kid she works hard in school and helps around the house so if we have the ability to give her something she really wants I don't see anything wrong with it.

Now onto texting. I think it's important for any parents to know if they're getting their child a phone they should know that they are going to want to text with it. You should always get the unlimited texting. If you don't get the unlimited texting you're going to end up with the biggest phone bill of your life. Luckily when we got her phone we immediately signed her up for unlimited texting so it wouldn't be an issue. Some of her friends parents weren't so lucky. One of her friends told me she got in big trouble because the bill came and she had run it up to $350 from texting. Now that's not even that bad. I've heard of other bills that go well over $1,000. Bottom line you either pay an extra $5.00 a month or a ridiculous amount. Tweens love to text. I've seen some of my daughters messages because I keep an eye on what she's up to. Most of them are 3 words or less. So please if you are thinking about getting your tween a cell phone get unlimited texting. Save yourself the aggravation.

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