Last night Taylor approaches me with his "new" phone. (It's my old one) "Mom, I just received a text message and I don't know how to open it."
"Who's it from?"
"I don't know.." I hold out my hand, and he places the phone into it. He tries to look over my shoulder as a I open the text message. But I explain, "If you don't know who it's from, I want to view the message first." Taylor nods and sits back.
It's not a text message, it's a photo file..... so I open it. It's a young lady, probably in her teens, and she's sticking her tongue out. In a childish, stick your tongue out, they're taking a picture way.. I show him the picture and ask, "Do you know her?", He squints at the photo, "Never seen her before".... Hmmm it's 10:30 pm on a Saturday night.... So I text back...
"Excuse me, who are you. Why are you sending pictures to my son? Where did you get this phone #?" And then promptly turn off the phone. Taylor goes to bed.
This morning, he brings the phone back to me. "I received three more messages last night". So, I open them, one more picture, and two texts. They read, "Who is this?" "Where did you get MY number?"
Okay first of all, if YOU send a text...your number is attached or shown as sender.. (stupid kid). So I reply, "I am the mother of the boy who owns this phone. WHO are you and why are YOU sending him pictures??" This scares the young lady and a new text pops up... "I am LUZ sister, who are you?"
STUPID, she revealed her sisters name...for all these girls know, I'm a pedafile, a stalker, a child molester. I quickly text back, that I'm an overprotective mother of a young son, that I check his call records, text records and photo records daily. I know who he calls and texts. I also text that his phone is turned off every night and mid-night/am phone calls are texting are not permitted. So, why is this young lady sending pictures of herself to him. I state my son knows his phone eticate and she should perhaps explain them to her sister. The sister quickly responds, we should talk to the kids so this doesn't happen again. I agree and point out, that her sister should take care in the numbers she dials, where she gets these numbers from, and be mindful that there are people out there who are NOT who/what they claim to be. She's very lucky I'm not a sick man trying to obduct her.
David and I thought long and hard before giving Taylor a phone. Yes, he's 14 years old and children younger have them....but as shared in the example above..are they all responsible enough to have them? Taylor knows his phone is not a toy, it's for communication to his family, us and for emergencies. He hasn't even figured out how to progam #'s into his own phone, take a picture and his texting skills are limited. Erin has begun to bug us for a phone. David and I have briefly considered this. After last night, ZAP! All considering is done and NO on a cell phone for her. I can see Erin abusing her priveledges. Already she give my phone number to her classmates and they call. They're all giggly and stupid and really have nothing to say. Xnay on the phone-ae.
BUT if your child has a phone, I encourage you to establish ground rules, I encourage you to check their phone log, message log and photo log regularly. Privacy?? If they're under 18, they're a minor and they are under your responsibilty, You're responsible for feeding, clothing, sheltering, medical expenses, driving them to school, getting homework done, teaching them basic life lessons, how to be responsible, to wipe their butts, pick up their rooms, do their laundry, PAYING for the damn phone, computers, video games....so when they give you ONE squeak about their rights to privacy...Then show them the door, take the priveledges YOU gave them away and let the world eat them! If your minor child commits a crime, YOU'RE responsible and liable. Society claims our children have rights but hold the parent responsible.......WRONG in this household. We're trying to teach our children accountability for their actions. Some may laugh at me. Some disagree....but I know where my 14 year old, 9 year old and 6 year old are..... they're not doing drugs, they're not sexually active, they're not commiting crimes and they're good kids.....can everyone say that about theirs?? I think NOT.