Friday, March 23, 2012

TEXTING, KIDS AND LIMITS

Aidan has discovered girls, well sort of...and with it texting!

No longer does he get upset and punch you when you ask about girls. Another chapter in the book of life. I am really pleased that he is a social guy. He is easy going, who makes and maintains a lot of friendships with all types of his peers.

The pre-teen/teen mindset that  friends are the only ones who understand them is approaching.

When I was twelve, my first "girl" friend lived up the bay in Harbour Mill. We spoke on the phone in the evening about supper, silly stuff and occasionally to her  friends. It was an awkward time. Harbour Mill was also a long distance call in those days and an operator had to punch you through. It was a friendship, sure my hear skipped a beat when I saw Lisa - I am not sure we even kissed.

Today, things are a lot different.  Just hanging out and talking to a girl is a big deal. So much for the olden days of talking on the phone for hours. Texting is now the  mode of communication. That and Facetime! Many kids feel much more whole as a person when they’re with their peers.

A recent Pew Research Center survey shows that the median number of texts per day is now 60 for teen users, up from 50 in 2009, while phone calls have fallen in the same period. Last November, we purchased a phone plan for Aidan. Unlimited texting appeared to make the most sense. That way he could keep in touch with us. He has a standard call package. The only people he calls are us and his Uncle Mike (Hi uncle Mike, want to go for a coffee).

However, as he learned last week, not everyone who texts has a package. One of his friends parents were horrified when they received a $1000 phone bill for their

We have had to take his phone on occasion when we find him texting well after bedtime. I used to read books under the sheets with a flashlight. Aidan texts under the sheets and Conor smuggles an iPad under his sheets and plays Angry Birds.

There are other limits on texting: No texting at the supper table and  no texting while doing homework. If his marks suffer because he is texting when he should be studying, the phone and iPad's are not available to him.

The other challenge is  going to be harder to enforce, even with filters, there is so much adult content on the internet that it is a real challenge to shield your kids without overseeing their every keystroke.  The hardest core I could find at Aidan's age was the Sears Catalog and old National Geographics.

Yea, they overreact we have to to set limits on their texting, games and cell phone activities. I think if we stick to it and remain consistent, they will eventually respond and comply with out a fuss.

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