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Texting To The Tune of Hundreds of Dollars

Do you monitor your child's text messaging?

I have a friend who received a surprising bill in the mail from her mobile phone service. Hundreds of dollars in text overages were reflected in her bill.

It would seem her teenage son was texting very, very frequently. She pointed out that his grades required more attention than his social life and put some restrictions in place that included no texting during homework time.

This was not her biggest text-induced headache, though. Her son is a popular kid and, as a junior in high school, enjoys texting with the girls. Girls who send racy pictures of themselves, baring cleavage. Girls who send suggestive texts. 

She had some conversations with her son about what she feels is appropriate, but as her son is not perpetuating the texts, but rather receiving them, she can only do so much.

Parents aren't the only ones grappling with texting. Last week, Gov. Christie enacted a law to educate, rather than prosecute juvenile "sexters" as discussed in this article.

So, my question to you is this: What rules do you have for your kids regarding texting? Has texting or "sexting" created issues in your house?

Michael Brancato October 05, 2011 at 06:06 PM
Sharon, I don't have kids, so I can't speak on rules for texting, but I do want to share this article on how cheap it is for phone carriers to handle text messaging (it essentially costs them nothing, yet they charge $0.10 - $0.20 per message!): https://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/business/28digi.html?_r=3&partner=rss&emc=rss as well as this article that breaks down what you really pay for text messages: http://gizmodo.com/5832245/atts-new-text-plan-overcharges-you-by-10000000
Michael Brancato October 05, 2011 at 06:16 PM
Also, this article has some great alternatives to text messaging that you may want to turn your kids on to: http://gizmodo.com/5838144/the-best-ways-to-kill-your-sms-plan
Diane Campbell October 06, 2011 at 11:18 AM
My daughter is in Middle School and has a cell phone. It certainly comes in handy with all the extra curricular activities after school and allows me to stay connected to her. With that being said, we do have some guidelines. We do not have a internet on her phone and she is not able to recieve or send pictures. This is more to protect her so that she doesn't even have to make decisions about seeing something inappropriate or sending something that she shouldn't. We also charge her phone downstairs overnight so if call or text comes in, she won't lose sleep and can address it the next morning. We also have a no phones at the dinner table, no phones when we are out to eat and phones are to be put away when at a family function. That's just common courtesy that I would expect from adults so it's a lesson to be learned.

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