I do not think not providing a cell phone with internet for a young teen will completely solve the problem, but it will help. Building a good relationship now while they are young will also help. I think it is a little like saying "While they will break rules anyway, so I am not going to have any."
If anything, i simply like the idea of kids working towards earning something. I have no strong desire to get the internet into their hands faster or sooner, so i think it makes perfect sense to set this up as something to work towards or earn on their own. Or simply say they have to be older.
The tough thing about the cell phones now is that it's getting to the point where almost every cell phone has data with it. My oldest son (14) does have a phone with a data plan, which he does pay for with the small jobs he does for his grandparents and friends/neighbors. He also has his own laptop. Honestly, with all the work he has to do in high school it's a necessity. I have full access to phone, laptop and iPod, but I'm also not deluding myself to think I can find every little thing he does. We luckily have a great relationship, and he is very open with my and my husband.
Carolyn - 37
Wife to Chad - 39
Mom to Tom - 15
Nathan - 10
Sorry, I think you guys misunderstood me. I don't mean that parents should just give up! All I was trying to say was that you can't keep it out if they want it badly enough. . .just that that alone isn't the most effective strategy. Not saying that everyone is supposed to hand their kid a cell phone and pay for it!
These numbers don't surprise me. I think this community of on-line users are more plugged in than most. And more thoughtful about parenting than most. Two of my daughter's 4th, going into 5th, grade friends have internet access on their own phones that their parents pay for. And their parents are NOT monitoring the use.
This year a kid on the school bus showed my five year old "The Walking Dead" on his phone. My son came home scared of his shadow. I found out what was going on and called the other parent and explained what was happening. Her son was in 5th grade. She had no idea what was on his phone or what he was doing it. I was livid and shocked. And she was very casual about it. Guess I should be glad he showed him the walking dead vs. porn?
I think we just keep talking about it with our kids and equipping them to make good choices about how they use technology.
DD 8.03, DD 6.05, DS 3.07, DD 5.09, and DS arrived 6.17.12
I thought it reasonable that my parents found me trust worthy and deserving of being able to talk to my friends in private. I will NOT make my children who can legally DRIVE cars sit in front of their family and have conversations on the phone with their friends, that seems invasive. And 13 years from now I'm willing to bet (anyone?) that phones without connectivity don't exist. So yes, I do see situations in which my kids may have "computers" however they may then look, in their rooms.
Urging realism about rules is the opposite of urging "no rules" in my book.
Every family is going to have their own way of parenting these issues. Neither way is "right" or "wrong", just different.
I do not think it is unreasonable to say that computer activity has to be done in a main room or that as the parent you have unlimited access to all technology.