Here’s something that’s we’re finding a bit tricky to navigate: what’s a reasonable and fair policy for text messaging for a 14yo 8th grader?
My initial reaction is of the “give them enough rope” variety, allowing her to text without much in the way of constraints (other than time-based) and see if she violates our rules. Problem with that is that it assumes a certain level of self-control and time management that might be a bit excessive to lay on a teen girl in modern culture.
On the other hand, somewhere along the way in her teen experience, I feel like she needs to learn these essential life skills.
And therein lies the dilemma…
I attended a parent evening at my kids school a few days ago where we talked about this very subject, and it was fascinating to hear that the parents ranged from one friend who allows her daughter complete, unfettered, unmonitored access to texting, while another shuddered at even the idea of his child using text messages on their cellphone. Yet another shared a sexting experience that certainly gave me pause: what if my daughter’s already received some ghastly juvenile text message from some boy who thinks he’s being funny but is really just aiming for shock value? Eeek.
A part of me now wants to occasionally peek at my daughter’s cellphone and read her text messages, but I also feel like that’s an invasion of privacy and that’s a different issue. At least I can keep track of who she’s texting and what time’s she’s texting by going to wireless.att.com, but I have to say that it’d be nice if they presented the information better.
But I want to ask you, reader. Do your kids have text messaging capability on their cellphones? If so, how do you manage or monitor it?