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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:01 pm 
My son (10) is due to start grammar school in September and we are faced with a difficult question: should we buy him a mobile phone?

We live under 3 miles from the school so he will have to use the local bus to travel to and from school. I am personally against children having mobile phones, especially for recreational reasons, primarily because there is no evidence to prove that they have no adverse health effects. However, I need to ensure his safety, and a mobile phone provides some means of communication if he were stuck or in trouble (I hope!).

My understanding is that MOST kids have mobile phones. Is this actually the case? If so, how have other parents rationalised the decision to allow them to have one? How do you encourage responsible usage? If not, I'd like to hear form you too.

Already, 3 of my son's friends (and 2 of my 8-year-old daughter's friends) have a mobile phone and I fear the peer pressure might make him feel he must have one.

 Post subject: Re: Mobile Phones
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 4:10 pm 
We are in exactly the same position, other than the fact that our sons journey is in the region of 10 miles, but like yourself he will be using public transport, as he wasn't allocated a place at his nearest appropriate school, which incidently was our first choice.

We have taken a view that we would rather he were able to contact us if the need arose, but have laid down strict guidelines as to what we feel is acceptable use. He has also been warned that if we do feel he has been using the phone too much, then he will be paying for the 'top ups' himself, which he obviously will begrudge out of the 'meagre' amount of pocket money he gets anyway.

Hopefully the need will never arise that he will have to contact us in an emergency, but from my point of view, better safe than sorry!

 Post subject: Mobile phones
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:28 pm 
As you rightly say, the problem is peer pressure. Yes, everybody (or at least 99% of secondary school pupils have them). Maybe it depends on what part of the country you live in. We got them for our children for exactly the reasons you talk about. They travel some distance to school and we felt it would be better for them to have the phones for safety reasons. However, there is a tendancy for them to use them less wisely than they should and, consequently, they tend to run out of credit when they most need it.

It is very difficult to instill into a child the sensible use of the mobile. However, I rather suspect that it is worse for those of us with daughters, but I'm only guessing.

Not having a mobile does make your child stand out and be thought of as odd by some.

It is entirely up to you.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:30 pm 
Didn't want my son to have one, but find it very useful when the bus breaks down and he needs picking up. This has happened quite a few times! He puts the money on himself and hardly ever uses it.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:03 pm 
I am so glad my daughter has one. She only uses it for text messages as I have told her that putting it to her ear might result in a microwaved brain. :shock: She is very good with it, never gets it out on the way home and we only live about half a mile from school. However, I work part time and on the days I work, she texts me that she is home. She also texts me if there is any problem, which is great.

Get him one. I can guarantee that he will be the only kid who doesn't have one at secondary school. I had reservations when I first bought it, but what the ****, you are only young once.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:46 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:20 pm
Posts: 1
My daughter (turned 10 on Wednesday) received a mobile for Christmas and thankfully I bowed to my wife's better judgement and bought a pay-as-you-go rather than one on contract.

The first £10 credit had gone by the first week in January and then we had two weeks of her being welcomed to the real world as for the first time it dawned on her that everything in life is not free!

Since then we have rewarded good grades at school with phone credit and this 'system' has actually worked really well. The school provide grades every month which consist of a number (1, 2, 3 etc) and an 'effort' indicator (-, -/=, =, +/=, +) in 12 subjects. We give her a pound credit for every pure + regardless of grade and since January she has averaged about 9 or 10. This is significantly higher than results before Christmas.

Now she is studying for her 11+ I intend to have a similar insentive for practice papers and other work during the summer holidays. However she is also in a swimming squad and so I am paying another pound for each training session where she does not stop to let someone pass!

In summary, I was a little concerned about the up front cost of a phone and to be honest she does use it for texting and calling friends most of the time. But her 'dependence' upon the phone has provided us with a wonderful means of providing incentive.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 8:52 pm 
My daughter initially spent lots of credit on her 'phone, but then realised that it was too expensive to keep sending silly texts that were of little value. She now only uses it to let me know when she gets home and when she wants to chat to her friends she goes on the dreaded MSN with her webcam. It is much more fun, although it drives me crazy as she has conversations with about 5 people at the same time and is constantly clicking the mouse! We limit the amount of time she spends on it, as she could easily be on for hours. However, the plus side is that it is totally free (we pay for AOL monthly anyway). All in all a much better solution than constantly buying credit.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 10:28 am 
Personally i totally disagree with mobile phones.
I am 42, my husband is 38 and neither of us have one.
I disagree with the masts emitting radiation and feel there is enough pollution in the air from idiots who drive everywhere instead of walking (I am talking short and unnecessary journeys) and worst of all, idiots who leave engines running in a stationery vehicle, or queue in Mcdonalds drive thru for up to 20 mins with their engine running when they could walk in and order in 2 minutes. Never mind all the expensive petrol they waste. That said, most people who do that are too thick to realise they are wasting money.

OK rant over. But you get my drift. Our kids are the ones breathing in all this pollution/radiation and we, man, are destroying the planet!!

My kids are too precious to be breathing in all this crap, and I am against it.

I do see though, that a child travelling to school some miles alone could do with some form of communication.

I just wish that people would use mobiles sensibly and there wouldnt be a need for so many masts.

I dont need one, my hubby doesnt need one, but yes my kids may need one if they are travelling alone. And they would be used ONLY for emergency. Not to be chatting every 2 mins

Peer pressure is kept going by people bowing to it. If people went against it, it would no longer exist. And most adults do not need a phone. They get one because it is the done thing.
I think more adults bow to peer pressure than kids.

They are as dangerous as cigarettes and future claims will prove it.
Think about your kids. get shut of your mobile today!

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