Aug 9, 2009

Sprint ~ Say What? Cell for kids!




This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Sprint

How you keep the lines of communication open with your children as they grow older and gain more freedom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The entire idea of cell phones is preposterous!

Carrying around a means of communication in your pocket when people used to use street lamps is really quite the deal.

At 8 years old {many, many,many moons ago} I could be climbing mountains in Taiwan or slaying dragons in a battle or being a mermaid under the sea – but once the street lights began to flicker on, I had best high-tail it home or risk having all the skin filleted from my thighs.

Nowadays, minute to second communication is a must.

When my son turned 8 years old, he began begging for his own cell phone. I related my story to him. He cried. He had no idea that making a phone call in my era was a precursor to the emergency room. My mom would answer the call with “You better be dead” or “You wasted a dime, you better be dead”.

After circulating my very responsible and incredibly academic son's request around other moms at his school, I began to see it for the tool it was.

I then began to actually contemplate the idea and began to think:

*It would be nice to let him know when I am running late so he is not nervously waiting for me.

*It would be nice if he decided he would like to go home with a friend, he could obtain immediate confirmation.

*If I forgot his lunch I could find out before noon and let him know I am on my way.

*I could text him in stores if I felt brave enough to let him go down the aisle. Or maybe, if I thought he needed a smile, I could text him one.

Sappy as it sounds, I LIKE my kid and would enjoy communicating with him every second of the day!

All of the things many parents, including myself, deal with {or sometimes without} can now be readily amended. Not to mention we can address safety concerns with Global Positioning System.

Five years have passed since I made the decision to add an additional SPRINT line to my phone just for my kid.

He has lost it once {baseball practice}, dropped it the commode once {don't ask, but it dried out quite nicely, no need for repair} and has upgraded so much – well, let's just say, I would REALLY like the Pre but someone has the Instinct – but that's just fine by me. I know he is alive, I can share my day with him and thank goodness for NO DROPPED calls! THANKS SPRINT.


What are some of your thoughts regarding cell phones and kids? How do you keep the lines of communication open with your children as they grow older and gain more freedom.

Share your comments with me and enter to win a $200 Visa Gift Card!

To enter, leave me a comment below and tell me [something about communication with your kids] - or you may leave a link to your post on your own blog in the comments below.  The contest will begin at 9:00 a.m. (PST) August 10, 2009 and will end 5:00 p.m. (PST) September 4, 2009.  Make sure the e-mail address you leave is correct. 

Rules:


*No duplicate comments.
*You may receive an additional entry by linking on twitter and leaving a link in the comments.
*You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments.
*This giveaway is open to US-residents, 18 and over
*Winners will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail.
*You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
*Please see the official rules here: * Official Rules


Check out how other BlogHer Reviewers keep lines of communication open with their growing kids - you've got 8 other chances to win a $200 Visa gift card!


Find more info for keeping in touch with your kids here.




Comments are now closed. THANK YOU!

267 comments:

1 – 200 of 267   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your tips!

amber122774@yahoo.com said...

My guys are 13, 15, 16. WE usually talk when we are in the car. I know if something is bothering one of them because he will usually say, Can we go for a walk? just me and you? I know to drop everything and go. The best way is usually their way. They want you to know, they just need to tell you their way. My guys come to me with everything, unless its money! that is their dads speciality….I also utilize myspace and facebook to see how they are feeling and follow up on it.

Laura said...

i'm part of the instant communication generation (just barely! i made it in at the tail end!), so i'm a fan of kids & phones... as long as those kids know how to use them responsibly.

as far as communication in general... my kids are still pretty little, but we are trying to set the standards for communication now. i'm not naturally an empathetic person, so i am working very hard to *listen* before i jump in with my opinions/rules/corrections. i figure if they don't feel loved and understood (and therefore safe in sharing & feeling with me) as littles, they definitely won't feel it as they get older. "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." (I John 3:18) kyrie24 at gmail dot com

Houseonahill said...

Anonymous ~ Thanks for stopping in!

Amber122774 ~ That's right - following their lead at this age is crucial - just got my lil guy to allow me as his Facebook "friend" - woot!

Laura ~ You're doing a great job allowing for a "safe" place for "sharing" - it will all fall into place i'm sure.

Skinny Minnie said...

well I have to make sure the my 13 y.o. keeps his phone charged up ! Other than that he stays pretty connected :)

www.icoulduseadeal.blogspot.com
ck out my blog I'm trying to build subscribers :)

jtrophy at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

We eat dinner together and do a lot of texting.
cathycomm@aol.com

kr said...

I too enjoy my kids (13,14) having cell phones for all the reasons you mentioned, House, with a primary focus on Safety. They know that if they're out and about and feel threatened or unsafe to call the police...they know if they're running late, or it's time to check in to do so, and they also know that if mom or dad is calling, it is IMPERATIVE they pick up. It makes me comfortable to know they're only a phone call away. For those less comfortable with the idea of kids and cell phones, know that most phone service providers offer smart limits or the like allowing you to adjust settings so as to only allow certain numbers to call and be called as well as set daily time restrictions for usage.

heidiannie said...

My sons are older than most of the other commenters, but we are still communicating (31,23) just on different levels. My oldest got me on Facebook, so that he wouldn't have to do exclusive communicating with me and I could see his pictures and status reports along with his other friends. My niece, bought me a cell phone so she could contact me when it was convenient for her, because she lives in a VERY different time zone- (13 hours different!) And my younger son chats with me on Skype, because I am a disaster with texting!
Seriously, however, all this openness is not just about the technology- because there has to be a give and take - an accepting attitude that welcomes each others ideas and interaction. I have found that we are accustomed to the language of love and that is what keeps our communication alive!

NL6369 said...

My daughter is older, on her own. We talk everyday. We stayed close even through the dreadful teens years by being 100% honest with one another. As I explained to her, sometimes it may hurt, it may cause hurt feelings, we may end up mad at one another, but we will always feel better in the end knowing there was no lies between us.

Verging on 40 said...

My kids are all grown now but I communicate with them all daily. We call or text each other, thank goodness for cell phones!

McKim said...

As my kids have gotten older I have found that the more questions I ask them, the more they clam up. If I just sit back and let them talk I find out much more about what's going on in their life!

peg42 said...

I really think that communicating with our kids is so important. I make it a point each day to spend some alone time with each of our children, especially after school, and I ask them how thier days were. I really try to do more listening than talking and note anything out of the norm, then I'll ask a question or two.
Thanks so much.

Nita said...

My kids are grown up, but they keep me up on technology. We use cell phones, emails, and text messages to stay in touch.

mar said...

I listen and hear what the children are saying. I ask for their opinions and try to guide them to safe and desirable decisions.

carcon said...

Since my kids don't live close I keep in touch by phone and lately by Facebook.

Mom said...

I have kept in touch with my kids daily, all of their lives, and these days it is by phone.

marelsa said...

My children are spread out all over we keep in touch by email and phone sending pictures via email is a great way to see the kids grow

mudrunnersmom said...

I call my oldest son (30) a couple times a week, my other kids live at home. When I really need to "get through" to ny 21 year old (lives at home) I text him. He ignores my cell phone calls, but cannot resist a text LOL

Sonya said...

I am very honest and open with Gracie. I don't make a big deal out of her asking me anything at all. I just answer whatever she asks. She trusts me and that is just what your children need.

Sonya said...

I am very honest and open with Gracie. I don't make a big deal out of her asking me anything at all. I just answer whatever she asks. She trusts me and that is just what your children need.

jw1966 said...

I tell my kids i love them EVERY day.My daughter and I text all the time...its really fun although she is much faster than I am.lol

1agordon said...

my kids know they can tell me anything and not be judged. I'd rather them tell me then for me not to know what they are doing.

MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...

My kids that are old enough have phones- some do not have text and some are limited. But I find it a real time saver when looking for your child at school, where are you picking up- is practice delayed. Did we get there safe, I am ok, can I go over to XX's house or is dinner already. If you notice there are not payphones out there anymore and if you find them they require 50 cents at least to call out, then if you miss the call, well you are crap out of luck because schools do not relay messages. See for an extra ten dollars- ok so its more like 20 but starts at 10, it saves me alot of time and trouble and know if there is an emergency right away whether a school lock downs, or if my daughter needs something extra for her club, etc.

We communicate the best way by talking in person, breakfast, dinner and chats, but to stay in touch those phones are great because you are giving them a bit of security and can put restrictions on it but also showing them to be responsible for something.

Stephanie said...

We are parents, not friends, but are open to any situation that arises. Basically, safety is first so if they find themselves in a situation they can call us and we won’t get mad, but there will still be consequences of some sort. We talk about possible scenarios and are always open to our children’s feelings (and validate them).
tvollowitz at aol dot com

Princess Golden Hair said...

i keep the lines of communication open with my kids by being avaiable to them when they want to talk. we eat our meals together and I make sure that each of my sons gets to spend time alone with me.

teechbiz at gmail dot com

Ally said...

My mom is my best friend so we talk a lot. We go shopping or see a movie every weekend. In the summer we go camping and go to concerts. We sure talked a lot on the 17 hour drive to the Bonnaroo music festival earlier this summer. My parents didn't get me a cell phone until I was 17. I think I was the last person in my group of friends to get a cell phone. It was because my parents were broke and couldn't afford them. Once we started driving, my parents didn't want us out on the road without one so they cut down on other things to afford them. We never had a curfew and they didn't care where we went or what we did but if we got stranded somewhere they wanted to give us the option to call them or call AAA. Anyways, I don't have kids but when I finally do, I'll probably get them a kids cell phone when they start elementary school.

Andrea said...

I think children that have cell phones should have restrictions. We keep communication open by telling our children they can talk to us about anything as long as they are open and honest.

Theresa C said...

When my daughter was younger (she is 24 now) we always kept a dry erase board on the fridge. As my husband and I both worked full time jobs on some days this was our primary source of communication. I too now carry a cell phone with me always but I do remember when we didn't have them. Our children will never experience that, the need to carry dimes or a quarter to call home with. I am not even sure that children today know what a pay phone is. Thanks for the contest.

Cat@3KidsandUs said...

I've noticed as my son gets older it becomes more difficult to talk with him about personal topics, but we try to keep the line of communication open by not being judgemental.

cat at 3kidsandus dot com

momznite said...

Doing some together, such as baking, while we talk can help keep lines of communication open.

cdmtx said...

we keep lines of communication open with beeing honest ,doing things together,thru the phone or e-mail.

thanks

Ms. Autumn said...

Right now our son is only 3 (almost 4) so we don't have the problem with a wall of silence BUT he still doesn't always want to talk. To make sure that we always get time together to communicate - we eat supper together with no other distractions. I hope that this practice will continue as he gets older & that we will always have family time.

autumn398 @ yahoo.com

Ms. Autumn said...

http://twitter.com/autumn398/status/3281726041

autumn398 @ yahoo.com

Rebecca Graham said...

Cell phones are a must for my children when they are outside the home on activities.

George said...

I got them kids cell phones to stay in touch.

Brian D. said...

Even though I work nights we try to eat dinner together since we don't see each other in the morning.

Dar said...

My children are grown now but I still love to cook so I always have a pot of home made soup cooking and frequently take some over to them and their children along with a loaf of homemade bread.

sweepmom said...

I find that that the best conversations with my kids happen when we are traveling in the car.

Jana said...

I've been lucky in the area of communications with my kids. They like to tell me everything. I try to keep the lines open by actively listening (even if they've already told me the same thing a dozen times). I want them to always know I'll be there to listen to them.

buzzd said...

We talk via cell phone/text and email. We also try tohave family dinners to keep up on what is going on with eachother

Tes283 said...

A sit down dinner with everyone at once a week. Family meeting once a month. Everyone has to bring a subject.
Watching a movie and then commenting about it afterward helps to keep the line of communication open and cleared. You learn about each other and what each other thinks about subjects besides the film.

cdziuba said...

I don't snoop or pry, and I make myself patient enough to be a good LISTENER. I don't jump in with a lot of questions, and it makes the lines of communication quite open. This comes from a mom who has already raised several teenagers.

cdziuba said...

tweeted http://twitter.com/cdziuba/status/3285923791

cdziuba said...

blogged http://ceeceeblogger.blogspot.com/2009/08/house-on-hill-sprint-how-do-you-stay.html

matt0701 said...

I struggle with the idea of teens having phones. I've heard so many horror stories about them going over on minutes or texts. I guess cell phone plans are headed toward unlimited minutes and texts pretty quickly, so that won't be a problem soon. A lot of responsibility goes into owning a cell phone, and I'm just not sure that a teen is ready for that responsibility. My son is only 3 now, so I guess we'll see how responsible he is when he gets old enough to want his own phone.

matt0701 said...

Tweeted.

http://twitter.com/matt0701/status/3286061821

Mary said...

My sons are only 6 & 4, so this isn't something I've been giving too much thought to yet. When I was growing up, I was a "latch-key kid" and it would have been nice to have a cell phone to let my mother know I was okay on my walk home from school (she used to panic if I didn't call her at work at exactly the time she thought I should be home).

I think cell phones are fine for emergency use, but I don't think this whole texting craze is good, since teenagers are driving around doing it and causing accidents.

mfalcon13 (at) hotmail (dot) com

naturegirl said...

I always listen to what they say and I make sure that they know they can tell me anything and everything, without judgement.

krosburn said...

We have a rule that no matter what, we eat dinner together as a family. This helps us reconnect after a crazy day and helps keep the lines of communication open.

Mommy Daisy said...

My son is young, and cell phones weren't really starting until I was late in high school. But I would say my rule is that there is a limited amount of usage per child. Limit the time spent talking and also texting. There will also be a limit to TV time and computer time when he's older. I think a little is OK, but too many kids get carried away with it. So if we start off with boundaries, it will set the limit for using cell phones in our house.

Anonymous said...

By land line and/or IM.
traymona[at]aol.com

Cjnedrow said...

We always tried to convey to the children that our love was unconditional so that they would feel free to share their temptations and failures with us so that we could help them.
cjnedrow at gmail.com

Mommy Neena said...

Well I've had a cell phone since they first came out because I was a single mom for a while with a grade schooler and it helped me be available for safety reasons. When my daughter went to middle school she got a cell phone again, for safety reasons. By the time she was a teenager, it became an incredible tool to stay connected with her. She graduated (this past May) from high school, we are (and have been) connected throughout everyday by both talking and texting. With all the pros and cons regarding cell phones, I think they are a great way to stay connected to our kids. The cell phone perhaps has enabled me to be closer to her. I love her and I love talking to her. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to reflect on that! Thank you for cell phones!!!

Abby said...

I love that my teenage son now has an email account. He is gone at practice or some event all the time. If I need to ask him a question I often email it so I dont forget the next time he is home. Love it1






ajcmeyer at go dot com

clynsg said...

My girls are grown now, one lives next door and one lives 1200 miles away. I see the next door one and/or the rest of her family virtually every day. I talk to the other by phone every week. We still discuss just about everything (quite naturally, the family details within their marriages are generally off limits) and I really feel that the open dialog I started when they were little is the reason for that.

clynsg at yahoo.com

hale2005 said...

I don't have kids but I keep in touch with my brother every month. Frequent trips are good too.

hellrzr(at)juno(dot)com

Houseonahill said...

GREAT COMMENTS SO FAR ~

WHoo HOO, tell your friends!!

Elena said...

I think texting is a great way to keep in touch with my 11 year old! Sometimes it's nice to just be able to send off a little message. Thanks for the contest!

lsfish said...

I love my kids having cell phones so I can reach them at any time. We also leave comments for each other on Facebook

workathomeunited1 said...

I have to say my first thought on my kids having cell phones is no way you dont need this and it will just get lost. As time goes by with them not having one I have found many times when I thought maybe that was a good idea or I wish I could get intouch with them now. So maybe my first thought wont be my last. Thanks
Amanda

Rose said...

My daughter is grown and on her own, but thanks to the marvels of modern communication (and unlimited text messaging) we stay in constant contact. Whether we're sending notes of encouragement or just a simple I Love You, we do it every day, somedays, all day long!

kdkdkd said...

I keep the lines of communication open by always being there for them and being non judgemental of mistakes and supportive of hopes and dreams

degood said...

I keep the lines of communication open by tucking each of my four kids in their rooms at night and give them 20 minutes or so of mom time to vent to me or tell me how their day went. This 1.5 hours is the best part of my day.

mogrill said...

I try really hard with my daughter. We eat dinner together each night. I ask her about her day, her friends, her activities. I have an open door policy. She can come to me with ANYTHING!! We have a monthly Mom/Daughter date, where we go to the movies, lunch, shopping and just talk.
Thanks so much for the chance.
mogrill@comcast.net

allysona said...

luckily during the day my daughters both have phones with e-mail capablities. i am able to contact them even if they are in class-both are i college. i don't like to text

cathiem said...

My kids won't answer the phone--but will answer texts--so I learned to text quickly.

jamielz said...

We eat dinner together every night. This gives us an opportunity to talk without the distractions of the TV.
jamielz@verizon.net

Pat Connors said...

We always make sure to have a meal together, usually dinner, if not breakfast.

risanjax@metrocast.net

barbara said...

Mine are both NICE teenagers.
The best way to find out what's going on with your kids is to talk to them in the car. They are a captive audience with nothing better to do. And there seeems to be something about the lack of eye contact that makes them tell me more than they would tell me at home.

We also eat dinner together every night, so that helps, too.

dwhogan said...

cell phones

batchicky said...

My kids range from 4 to 17, and there are six of them! We don't have cell phones, but I make sure EVERY day, I take time with each of them alone, to see how their day went, and talk about anything they need to.

courtneystoffel said...

I always make sure to talk to them about everything. We sit down and talk everyday. I try to stay informed with everything that goes on with their friends and what happens in school.

hebert024 at aol dot com

Deci Worland said...

Sunday dinner is a must-attend affair, where everyone stays connected.

llinda29 said...

I keep the lines of communication open with our kids by being honest with them and showing unconditional love

Erica C. said...

The kids have a cell phone, but only for calling us. It has help them open up more for sure.

Mimilynn said...

My son is 38 and I enjoy when he calls me occasionally on the cell phone during his long commute home. We always had some of our best conversations in the car when he was a teenager.

Dawn said...

Every night at dinner I put the focus on my daughter and have her tell me and hubby about her day or anything she is concerned about.

Anonymous said...

My kids and I are very close. We sit down and talk whenever. I always know when they need me.

adr1001025[at]msn.com

luvtxess said...

My children text me all day long from their work. I get to keep in touch and share their days even though they are in their 40's and long gone from home, we are really still very close. Listening is the key.

luvtxess said...

twitter link

http://twitter.com/luvtxess/status/3303423326

carole37 said...

I have a wonderful relationship with both my children and do not feel it is necessary to text them every minute. Actually I think texting is not really communication just dependent. I listen to their problems and do not judge--never give advice unless asked and accept their choices.

elkaye said...

My kids are a little young for a cell phone currently (oldest being 11), but I do my best to let them know that I'm available if they want to share their day or whenever they have a problem. When they are having a bad day, I will fix a favorite meal or dessert. Or I will spend one-on-one time with them outside of the house and do something that they would enjoy. It usually puts them in a better mood to want to talk about any issues they are having.

elkaye[at]gmail[dot]com

elkaye said...

I tweeted about the giveaway: http://twitter.com/Elkaye/status/3306676284


elkaye[at]gmail[dot]com

JMom said...

We were very resistant about giving our daughters cell phones too but once we did, I don't know how we ever lived without them!

I don't have to wonder if they're ok or where they are. I can always call or text them to check up on them and when unexpected events come up, it's great to have instant confirmation rather than waiting until mom or dad gets home.

kygirl said...

i talk to my kids and ask how things are going. sometimes you just need to ask.

Twincere said...

:wave: Our 3 oldest girls have cell phones. I’m a long time Sprint subscriber and also have a great corporate discount plan that saves us quite a bit of money on our Family plan. So, naturally we have the extras which includes unlimited texting, Sprint TV,music & picture downloads, etc. I’ve already felt the financial burn from not being wise enough to have signed up for the plan in the first place, to the tune of making one unhappy teen fork over $75 to cover her text happy faux-pas. We’re a very close family that is always connected, especially when it comes to our common interests like techy stuff and travel, and even simple things like watching the Disney Channel together.My kids get a kick out of texting each other, Dear Hubs and I, and of course, their friends. Its funny, our texting capabilities have improved considerably thanks to those text happy girls of ours!

Twincere(at)gmail(dot)com
Link to my blog: http://twinceretwinkles.blogspot.com/

Twincere said...

I tweeted about this great review & giveaway here:
http://twitter.com/Twincere/status/3313538668
Twincere(at)gmail(dot)com

Twincere said...

I blogged about this great review & giveaway on my blog and
included all required linkbacks.
http://twinceretwinkles.blogspot.com/2009/08/how-do-you-stay-connected-to-your-kids.html

Twincere(at)gmail(dot)com

bettycd said...

My daughter is in college and the new methods of communication work best. She will call on her cell or text while walking to class or back to dorm. There's twitter, IM, facebook - various methods to get in touch. When I went to college, there was a phone in the hallway that sometimes got answered and maybe a note would be left on your door.

bettycd said...

tweeted
http://twitter.com/bettycd/status/3315890955

luckysunset said...

Don't nag or be too quick to criticize you4 kids. Sometimes agreeing to disagree is wise.

pattycake said...

sadly, I don't have kids

julis55 said...

I tell my kids i love them EVERY day.My daughter and I text all the time...its really fun although she is much faster than I am.lol

mmentor said...

dont jump to conclusions, hear them out then discuss

Barbara said...

We keep the lines of communication open by scheduling one on one time with each kid. They pick the activity, so they know they'll have fun even if it is with their parent.

3oink63moo484 (at) gmail(.)com

Tina12312 said...

My son is recently married and I don’t want to intrude on them too much, so we e-mail each other and talk on the phone just often enough to hear what is going on in each other’s lives and we get together every week or so. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway

lace said...

No kids but I have my nieces over often. We spend time at the end of the day talking about the good stuff and the bad stuff about the day. I want them to know they can always talk to me about anything.

I'm not sure how I feel about kids and cell phones yet. I guess I'd have strict who they can call and when rules. Especially at younger ages. I'd love to know that I can get in touch with them at any minute I need to though but I wouldn't want them using it for chatting with friends.

msrodeobrat said...

we communicate through text messaging… it seems to work the best to talk about things, keep up with where she is and know whats going on without embarressing her in front of her friends

msrodeobrat said...

we communicate through text messaging… it seems to work the best to talk about things, keep up with where she is and know whats going on without embarressing her in front of her friends

Holly B said...

I really make sure that they feel comfortable talking to me, we have an open door policy!

hblaser at gmail dot com

Shel said...

I'm with you, years ago I lived by the porch light. When the porch light was on, I'd better be making my way home or I wouldn't be sitting down for a week.

My oldest son is 26 now. When he was in his teens the big thing was pagers. Everyone had a pager and I refused to get my sons one. When my 22 year old entered the cell phone era, I again put my foot down "No cell phone until you're 18".

Now my daughter is 13 and I've caved. You can't find a payphone anywhere and I worry she may not be able to reach me if she needs me in an emergency. I'm one call away from knowing where she is and what she's doing at all times. There's no excuse that she "couldn't call" now since she has her own phone.

Of course, the boys are "NO FAIR!! We couldn't have one at her age" but times are changing and I want my children to be able to reach me quickly, if they need me.

shel704 at aol dot com

Shel said...

Blogged:
http://auntiethesis.blogspot.com/2009/08/keeping-communication-open-giveaways.html

shel704 at aol dot com

Shel said...

Tweeted:
http://twitter.com/auntiethesis/status/3344122451

shel704 at aol dot com

auntrene said...

Texting, I don't know where I would be without it... The kids love to text which makes it great. They communicate a lot thru the cell phone..
Thanks for the chance.

auntrene said...

I tweeted on Twitter

http://twitter.com/JustAuntrene/status/3344219806

mail4rosey said...

In addition to conversations at home, I also communicate with them via their MySpace account, texting, or calling them on their cells if they are out of the house. Luckily, I have a great relationship with all four of my kids.

msurosey@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

We stay connected by email, video conferencing and the plain old telephone. We also like to get together once a month for a girl's only weekend!

Kim
turtles8861(at)gmail(dot)com

Angie Marion said...

My kids don’t have any cells yet because first, I don’t believe in them having them unless they’re very active, and my kids are always with me unless I’m at work. So… the way I keep the lines of communication open are by listening to them all the time without judgement, and by telling them if they don’t lie to me and treat me the way they want to be treated, we won’t have a problem. it’s working so far!

clc408 said...

My kids are grown and live in other cities. We communicate by email and cell phone.

Nancy said...

Since my children are in college and out on their own, our most frequent lines of communication are electronic. We depend on cell phones and e-mail and occasionally snail mail to stay in frequent contact.

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Karen said...

My daughter is 12, so we are just at the beginning of the tween/teen thing. I got her a cell phone when she started middle school last year because I was worried about her taking the bus, and it has worked out great. She can call or text to let me know if it's late, and then I don't have to worry! Makes her feel very independent too.

ehhogan said...

I try to always be accessible to my kids and talk whenever they want if its convenient. Sometimes they don't want to tell me things right away so I have to be patient and wait until they are ready.

Angie Marion said...

Here's my Tweet: http://twitter.com/pricousins/status/3362289395

pricousins at aol dot com

Renee' Simmons said...

I loved my teens having their own phones, then I didn't have to answer our house phone 20+ times a day and talk to their friends or my kids fighting over their time or busy signals etc. It became a godsend, esp since my hubby is a third shifter and slept during the day, it really eased up the noise level for him. I also liked that it came in handy to keep better tabs on them, and just knowing!

Renee' Simmons said...

Contest has been tweeted:
http://twitter.com/bearabledeals/status/3362410423

mkboldin said...

I always keep the lines of communication and the dialogue going. While I have no illusion that my kids tell me everything, I am confident that I know the important things that are happening in their and their friends lives. We’ve always talked openly and calmly, as I want them to feel like they can come to me about anything without fear, and, they have shown time and time again that they can, and that they can make good choices based on previous discussions we’ve had.

marthajane said...

My son is 22, and has had a cell since he was 12. I know I can always leave him a text message if he is busy at work, and he can leave me one if he knows I'm asleep.
One key to keeping the lines of communication open with him has been to never say "I told you so"!

Annette D said...

I am very luck to have two wonderful sons,ages 20 and 16. We have a wonderful relationship based on trust. I have always stressed to them that they can tell me anything. When they do tell me something troubling, I do not over react.
jedoggett@embarqmail.com

Annette D said...

tweeted http://twitter.com/annedoggett/statuses/3364804720
jedoggett@embarqmail.com

Annette D said...

blogged
http://abdoggett1.blogspot.com/2009/08/win-200-gift-card-httphealthierhappiery.html
jedoggett@embarqmail.com

chrissyb said...

Family dinners at home at the table open the lines of communication for our family.

transamws602(at)yahoo(dot)com

sarah said...

My kids are still too young for cell phones, and I can't even imagine when I might feel they are old enough. I personally didn't even get a cell phone until way late in the game, and only because it was only an extra $10 to add another line to my brother-in-law's phone (husband gets his through work). I think it is a nice way to be able to reach your kid, but there are other ways (phones at school or friends' houses), making cell phones a nice luxury but NOT a necessity.

Hula Hooping Mom said...

I just have patience with them and they will talk to me – I will always sit down with them after school and talk about their day and i will also tell them about my day. I feel they know that I will listen to them and can come to me with anything! None of my kids have cell phones!

Carolyn G said...

The best way is to make sure that the lines of communication are always open. And that anything that is spoken about is without judgment and will be heard. Just talk.

Carolyn G said...

tweeted: http://twitter.com/carogonza/status/3384425129

Carolyn G said...

blogged: http://theartofrandomwillynillyness.blogspot.com/2009/08/another-great-blogher-contest.html

simone/ thebubbledies said...

Well DS is only a year old, so our main issue is that he isn't really talking that much yet. But we have been teaching him sign language since day 1, so that helps us communicate more than we could otherwise. Thanks! thebubbledies(at)gmail(dot)com

debiwelbon said...

I like to take the kids individually out for a nice evening walk and before you know it they are talking their heads off about their life!

Linda, Greg and Drew said...

I am trying to teach our newborn sign language to help him communicate with us!!

Linda, Greg and Drew said...

blogged!!!
http://givemeagiveaway.blogspot.com/2009/08/enter-at-these-sites-to-win-200-visa.html

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Make sure you have time to talk to them about their days at least once a day or once every other day if you are really busy. It shows you care and make sure you listen to them without jumping to conclusions or they will shy away.

-lauren
lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Deb said...

My kids are only 5 and 8, so they are still very much into talking to mom and dad. My 8 year has started to clam up when we ask him general questions such as "How was your day", so now we ask very specific questions to make sure to get a "real" response. For instance, we will ask a question like "What was teh most important thing that happened to you today"?

Night Owl Mama said...

Open Ended ?'s we always Talk during meals its the best time. We are all at the table and we go around the table and each get a turn.
thats 3 Talks a day

Night Owl Mama said...

http://twitter.com/Nightowlmama/status/3421140665
Tweet

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Betty N said...

When we were raising our kids, we felt it was important to have dinner together every night. Each of us shared something about our day. We also looked for other ways to connect with them individually. One child could talk more easily if we were playing ping pong....I played a lot of ping pong. I also think it was very important for the boys to relate to their father.

Betty N said...

blogged about the contest here
http://betty-n.blogspot.com/

Betty N said...

tweet here
http://twitter.com/Grandma3710/status/3431893798

wigget said...

we try to talk to the kids in the car, during dinner, and just before bed

sberland said...

My children were in the same generation as you, Dwana - no cell phones. As they grew older and into their teens, I learned I had to pick my battles and knowing they were safe was one of them. A phone call telling me where they were and when they were going to be home eased my mind and was a small thing to ask.

In this day and age, a parent can easily limit the incoming and outgoing calls on their childs phone. I think giving a responsible child a phone is a no brainer. Being in communication with a pre-teen and/or teenager is a wise thing for a parent to do, so long as the parent doesn't abuse the privilege. :-) The child has to know their limits as well as far as not using up all the minutes talking to their friends and not using it to cheat on tests.

Why not have your child have a way to let you know they arrived safely or that they are late, but safe or they have gone to a friends house. It's so easy with cell phones today.

Susan Berland
http://susanberland.yolasite.com

Insignificon said...

Cell phones and kids? I have no idea. My oldest is 5, so we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Until they are old enough to leave home alone (like for work or dances or whatever) I don't see a need, but I'm open to the possibility that my kids may need one sooner than that.

Insignificon said...

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/Spoodles/statuses/3502927199

Insignificon said...

Blogged here: http://spoodles.wordpress.com/2009/08/21/bloghersprint-giveaway/

JamericanSpice said...

I think that each parent can tell when their child is reponsible enough to have a cell phone. It is priviledge and a child should not get the idea that because their friends have it then they should too. It's also a very good idea in todays world where your child might be in danger and need you or the police. However if this tool is being abused by the child then they must give up that privilege. Also if they are working little jobs here and there and can pay for their own minutes and so that would be a valuable lesson on responsiblity and money.

At present I'm home with small kids and I encourage them to speak up instead of whining as that's not a language. As they get older I try to talk to my toddler..or just let him talk to me while I listen and you'd be amazed at how much they know. But I want them to know that I'll always be here to listen.

JamericanSpice said...

tweet

http://twitter.com/Jamericanspice/statuses/3503204742

JenPB said...

I see them everywhere we go: kids my own children's ages - with cell phones. But my kids are 6 and 9. Who do they really need to call at any hour from any place? Well, me, if they need a ride. But I"m there, or their dad is. What if there's an emergency? Chances are at their ages, they would have lost the phone by the time the emergency occurred. For now, we'll stick with communicating face to face, family dinners every night. Cell phone someday? Probably so.

mom2gabnnat said...

A big rule in our house is I need to know where the kids are going. We don't have cell phones for them but we do have walkie talkies for if they go to the neighbors house to play. They know it is my job as a parent to keep them safe and I can't do that without their help.

elizabeth p said...

I resisted the idea of my babies having cell phones...until my daughter was hit by a truck after the bus driver refused to wait for her to cross the road. It was a hard decision to make. They have very set rules for the use of their phones and they know I will check every detail of their phone logs. We take the time during dinner, driving to school, getting ready for bed....every moment we get to communicate we do.

My favorite moment was not long after we got the kids their cell phones I came home after a 14 hour shift to my bed neatly made with a note that said We love you mom. My cell phone beeped with a message that simply said Mom you are the best. Still makes me misty eyed. I am queenesperfect at yahoo.com

Ravzie said...

I don't see how we can avoid having cells in this day and age. Everybody is hooked up!

ravzie@yahoo.com

1993wel said...

My kids are still pretty young (8 and 6) but I can see the day coming soon when I will think about getting the older one a cell phone. I would feel much better about letting him take long bike rides if he had a phone with him! Right now we are together a lot so communication is not a problem, but he's going to want to start being more independent...

Nancye said...

We waited until our son was 13 before we got him his own cell phone. We got it for him right before he left on a week long trip with his church youth group.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

ky2here said...

Not sure how well i do it, but the goal is to maintain healthy boundaries yet still engage in a non-judgemental way.

Amber said...

I stay connected to my kids by making sure we have family mealtimes at breakfast and dinner whenever possible!
Thank you for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

Lower Mitten Kitten said...

My children are quite young, but establishing good communication with them is still very important. I take the time to listen (i.e. stop whatever else I'm doing) to my 5 year old... even if it's rambling - he usually has a point.

Lower Mitten Kitten said...

tweet! http://twitter.com/Facetwit17/status/3608279254

jsc123 said...

I have always kept an open line of communication with all of my children. And it has always worked really well for us. They know that they can come to me with anything good or bad and that I will never judge them. I am always there to listen or help. Whichever is needed.
I too tried to not do the cell phones but as my children have gotten older I have given in as it does make it better for the both of us to keep in touch. Especially if an emergency arises or they find themselves in a situation where they need me.
Thank you so much for the chance to win.

alistair said...

Great post! Wonderful ideas on issues that many parents struggle with. I recently got my kids cell phones over the summer, as I wanted to keep contact etc. I got my two boys (11 and 13) each a Motorola W376 from Target for $30 with a $7 a month charge for the minimum contract we need to keep in contact and my boys have been sending texts and photos of whatever they’re getting up to with friends etc. They love their phones and it puts my mind at ease, as I know I can contact them at any time. The results have been wonderful, the Tracfones facilitated a summer of smiles!

Tamara B. said...

I feel that a child should have a cell phone to commicate with their close friends but when the school work or grades are effected it is time to take away the phone for a couple of weeks. I still have a 14 year old son and a 13 year old daughter at home. We make it a point to eat dinner together at least five days a week. We have a family movie night once a week and each one can invite one friend. I love spending time with my childen and it keeps us close plus we can talk to each other about anything.

deedleweedle said...

My kids are still young and also homeschooled, so they are hardly ever away from me.

sweetsue said...

When my kids were younger we didn't have cell phones, but they were instructed to call me every hour or so when they were away. My daughter is an adult and married with children but she STILL calls me every hour or so!
smchester at gmail dot com

dawns41 said...

Technology has really made it so much easier to stay connected. My son is off to college this year but has a cell phone. We will also use email and instant messanger.
dawns_horizen@yahoo.com

Leslie M. said...

My daughter did NOT get a cell phone til she was 17 got a job and a car and NEED a cell. Then I got her one, and put her on my plan and LIMITED her minutes but got UNLIMITED texting! She is in her second year of college now and is 18! We communicate many times a day thru texting, cell calls, and emails! The cell is a MUST have!!!
We are out most of the day and it is a tool we use to stay in touch!
I am so glad we have it!
Thanks for a GReat giveaway!
Leslie
LeslieVeg@msn.com
http://leslielovesveggies.blogspot.com/

Leslie M. said...

LeslieVeg left a Tweet
http://twitter.com/LeslieVeg/status/3631469471

Leslie
LeslieVeg@msn.com
http://leslielovesveggies.blogspot.com/

freaaa1 said...

our biggest catchup time is at meal times - and we make it a priority to always eat together. thanks!

kmg365 said...

I've found in communicating with my kid that she prefers soft, low tones, accompanied by a scratch behind the ears, and nothing communicates with her quite so well as the sound of a can opener puncturing a can of tuna.

mickeyfan said...

Mine have flown the nest, but I just tried to make sure they knew I was available to listen...any time,any place. I also found that if I took them (individually) in the car that having them as a "captive audience" was great to get them to open up.

Jessilyn82 said...

Making sure that we all sit down to dinner together on most nights of the weeks I think goes a long way towards keeping everyone close and up to date with whats going on in our lives-it’s easy to lose touch with the little things and this is an easy way to touch base with the kids at the end of each day.

Anonymous said...

Its so important to listen. Simply listen.

sylvieanddudes@yahoo.com

Claire said...

I let them know that I'll always be here to listen without judgement.

thefatesarevicious at yahoo dot com

DG said...

establish true and be relatable - those are two of the most important steps --this is what has worked for our family :)!

dreamzz12{at}aol{dot}com

DG said...

dreamzz12{at}aol{dot}com

blogged

http://the-prestigiator.xanga.com/710906921/communicate-properly/

Julieh said...

To communicate with my kids, I had to learn how to 'text'! I could never get a call back when I phoned, but once I started texting them they text me right back. It's a nice way to stay posted on their activities. honeypie411@yahoo.com

Angela C said...

The way I keep communication open is just to listen to them. Also, I try to talk to them when we are doing something fun, like playing a game, etc. They really seem to open up then...
THANKS!
mycreativecontainers@yahoo.com

Karla said...

I still help my 22 yr old pay for his cell phone bill.

MiscMayzee said...

I see the pros and cons of having a cell phone, and I know that with kids dying to have one and a few very valid reasons for letting them have one that fighting the trend is an uphill battle.

MiscMayzee said...

I made a twitter post.

Daniel M said...

we just txt a few times a week and call on the weekends

Bakersdozen said...

I really listen to what my kids have to say and let them know that I am always there for them. vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

pixie13 said...

My daughter & I have the conversation how was your day every day. She's only 3 & we spend all day together but it's habits developed early tend to stick. Thanks for the great giveaway.

Livingbytheloa said...

I don't know what parents did before texting was invented! No matter where my daughter is, I can check in quickly and easily using text.

jennem said...

I have a box of questions at the dinner table, and we each pull one and answer it in turn. It makes it into a game, so my daughter is more likely to actually talk to us!

monky said...

I think it's a great idea for kids to have cell phones

We make it a special point to all be at the dinner table each night while there we discuss anything

:) Thank you for the wonderful giveaway! :)

monky said...

Tweet Tweet :)

http://twitter.com/tmim123/status/3723003714

erma said...

I always tell them to come to me or their dad if they ever need to talk about anything.
erma.hurtt@sbcglobal.net

Danielle said...

I think cell phones for kids are okay as long as you get set limits on how much they can use them and control who they call especially for younger children.
I try to make sure I really pay attention and listen to the kids.
drellis500(At)gmail.com

Danielle said...

tweet http://twitter.com/drellis500/status/3732701193
drellis500(At)gmail.com

Anonymous said...

My son is 13 and we talk on the phone 2-3 times a day, just to keep tabs on activities and sports that we have to attend and when he needs to be picked up and dropped off, etc. I really would be lost without our cell phones!

Hotsnotty2@hotmail.com

denyse said...

We talk all the time. I make it normal to talk about ANYTHING, and you'd be surprized at the questions kids will ask when they feel they can.

denyse_g@hotmail.com

Jayfr said...

We're spending a lot of time with them on their computers making sure they are making good choices with us around. We try to interest them in using the computer for more than chatting with others.

Anne said...

Like many others have commented, I find my kids are more likely to open up in the car, when it is just me and one of them. Lately this has been harder though, since my oldest is 16 and has her learner’s permit. I find it harder to talk to her when she is driving, since I don’t want to distract her and also I am very nervous when she drives. So we have started going out for coffee once a week while her sister is at dance. She likes having special time just with me, and going out for coffee makes her feel grown up too. She is pretty good at letting me know what is bothering her. We have had lots of good talks lately about college, and her worries about fitting in.
ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

Anne said...

I tweeted:
http://twitter.com/lunaj1456/statuses/3735717598

ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

My son is 13 and we talk on the phone 2-3 times a day, just to keep tabs on activities and sports that we have to attend and when he needs to be picked up and dropped off, etc. I really would be lost without our cell phones!

Hotsnotty2@hotmail.com

dani said...

I let my kids kids have just talk time. Where I am just their sounding off board. Sometimes it is hard because I want to give my opinions and advice but I give it when they ask or they really need it. They come to me now because they know I will listen. I have learned so much more about them because of this.

Sonya said...

My kids know they can talk to us about anything, and the driving is an excellent time to tell us things! They're more comfortable if they don't have to look at us when they tell us things!

Kim Snegirev said...

We got my son his first cell phone when he was 10 since we decided to do away with landlines. It has been a great way to keep the lines of communication open and I think a comfort for him knowing that he can get in touch with us right away if something comes up. When he's away with friends he knows he can stay in touch frequently by sending me a text w/out being hassled by his friends since they are all texting as well, LOL.

Tracysweetangl said...

The kids know they can talk to us. They know we will listen and give the best advice as we can. But you don't push to get them to talk are they with calm up and not tell you anything.

ktanjatk said...

Cellphone, email, Facebook, Twitter, Skype...so many ways to stay in touch

ktanjatk(at)gmail(dot)com

ktanjatk said...

tweeted:
http://twitter.com/ktanjatk/status/3738768197

ktanjatk(at)gmail(dot)com

The Murray Crew said...

Staying connected, at this point, is less about seeing them often enough, or spending appropriate amounts of time, and more about paying attention.

I have quadruplet boys who are only 2 years old, so at this point, the problems with our communications have more to do with undertanding one another than finding gadgets or ways to stay connected.

Eventually, I am sure it will be more about getting that quality time with the kids, but I think it will always be primarily an issue of making sure I do more listening than talking, and making what I do have to say count. I hope that if I genuinely listen to them, I can be wiser in how I respond, and make them see that I do care what they say, even if I end up disagreeing and not allowing them to have their way.

Brad Murray
www.murraycrew.blogspot.com
bradley.g.murray@gmail.com

JeanineMB said...

I got my kids cell phones for free with my account, so I don't stress too much over whether it's worth it or not. We live in an area that doesn't get much cell service, and they are rarely on their own (too young.) I'm sure these things will be more of an issue when they're teens and are out more on their own.

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