Talk To Me.

This is sponsored content from
BlogHer and LG Text Ed

Talk to me. I think that is every parents desire. To be able to talk openly with our kids without stumbling over context and subjects, without feeling like a dork or embarrassing our teens. But you know what? Some things are so important it doesn’t matter if you feel like a dork or if your kids turn twelve shades of red. Something have to be said and some things have to be listened to.

In our house of six we have five cell phone users. The youngest of them are 12 (soon to be 13 in a matter of weeks) and 15 – both girls. Girls and phones means lots of talking. Girls and cell phones means lots of talking, lots of chatting and lots of texting, not to mention access in many cases to online social networks like Facebook.

You know what I mean?

It never stops. Day and night.

When I asked my stepdaughter “How did you sleep?” one morning I got an answer I did not expect. In our conversation it eventually came out that her now boyfriend was texting in the middle of the night. This led to some very serious ground rules for all the girls phone usage at all times in our house. When I was growing up we had strict rules on telephone usage and cell phones are no different in my own opinion. My sister and I, and our friends, were not allowed to be on the phone after 9pm. Those same ground rules for the phone that I lived with are applied across the board for the cellphones, too. My husband did not have all the same rules I did but we agreed for our girls it was for their own best interest to apply the full gambit I grew up with. I do have one concession I am willing to make and my husband agreed, phoning stops at 9pm but texting stops at 10pm. At that point the phone is turned off and cannot be turned on before the sun comes up. I think we both rest better knowing there isn’t secret things going on while we sleep. We set the ground rules. Everyone is on board. We all are sleeping at night now.

So far we are on the same page and things are working well. even so we still feel the need to keep checking in and revisiting the rules and expectations. But you know what? What we think we know isn’t always what is actually happening. This is why we have to be able to ask the really hard questions.

That’s where I need your help. What questions should we be asking our cellphone using teens and tweens? What questions would you like for me to ask my girls? I will be interviewing both of them for a later post and I’ll be using the questions you want answers to. What should we know from our teens and tweens perspective on online safety, texting, sexting (sending sexually explicit text messages) social media and networking? Have you already had these conversations with your kids?

Please leave your questions in the comments below. LG is donating .50 cents for every comment to dosomething.org. Blogher is teaming up and matching that .50 cents to make it a $1 donation for every comment you leave to get our kids talking about texting, safety and cell phone responsibility.

Every question counts in a very big way. Fill up my comments with questions. In a couple weeks I’ll be posting again with the answers to your questions from my girls. Many thanks for all you do to support our kids and their safety.

11 Responses to “Talk To Me.”

  • charlotte says:

    How many times a day do you get a text & how many a day?
    How many hours a day do they stay on the phone with friends & how many with Family?
    Do they fill that they got to answer each one?
    Do you ever go over your phone & text message usage a month?
    Don’t They ever get tired of the phone & all the text messaging?

  • veronica v. says:

    Do people make you uncomfortable with what they text you?
    What did they say?

  • mary kellogg says:

    Considering the current economic issues in American, how do you think the current crisis will affect your future?

    How are you doing to help others during these tough times?

  • Carri B says:

    -Have you, or anyone you know, been cyber bullied? How was it handled?
    -On average, at what age do kids receive their own phone?
    -Do you pay for your cell phone? Do your friends? How (allowance, chores, etc)?
    -Are cell phones allowed on campus? How do your teachers prevent cheating via text during class/tests?
    -My personal belief is that texting lingo is “dumbing down” young people. I cringe when I see kids using “u”, “ur”, “2”, etc. Would you agree or disagree? Why?

  • Tawney says:

    Do you feel uncomfortable allowing your parents to read thru who has called and texted? Why? If so can you discuss openly the topics that make you uncomfortable once you have thought about it? ie it makes me uncomfortable to talk to my parents about it because I know it really isn’t ok…but lets talk about it because I don’t understand why my parents feel the way they do.

  • hope says:

    Have you ever photographed any body part and sent it?
    Has anyone ever sent you an inappropriate photo?
    Do you answer your cell if you do not recognize the number?

    I’d like to think they would come to me as a parent if they had an uncomfortable situation, but what would be their fear? If I promised not to judge or punish (sort of like the call me from a party to come get you plan) if they came to me with a situation.

    Has anyone tried to trick you into giving out personal information?
    If I am paying for the phone then I reserve the right to go through texts at any given time. Respecting a tween’s privacy is one thing, but total freedom is asking for trouble.

  • Susan says:

    Do you ever say things in a text you would not say in person or over the telephone? Do you feel texting is more impersonal that talking?

    If you don’t sext with your boyfriend do you feel like you are letting him down? How do your friends feel about sexting with people? Do girls feel pressure to sext? To send sexual pictures?

    How far do you go to get around your parent’s rules for phone use?

    If you have a plan, and your texting goes over the amount, do your parents make you responsible for paying? How many months have you gone over your texting limit? (one month my stepdaughter had 600.00 worth of text messages! ONE MONTH!!)

    Do you ever delete texts off your phone to keep your parents from seeing them? If so, do you feel guilty or justified because it is your private message?

    Does texting during school time affect your studies or paying attention in class? What is your school policy on texting?

  • Susan says:

    Oops, I should have added that I would like them to answer these questions from the perspective of their friends too. What their friends are doing even if they (or say) don’t do those things.

  • Bea says:

    So I have been thinking about this for a while now. The other night I was messing around on Facebook when I started seeing posts from friends of mine who were using various apps on their phones that would post to facebook their physical location. IE @mcdonalds ect. This started me thinking about how I would not use such an app ( I’m 31) simply because of the possibility that between what we post and an application telling where you are it would be easy for some one to stalk you. Now this even to me sounds a little paranoid,but if I had a teenager I would have a big problem with it. So some questions for the Girls:

    In what ways do you see a cell phone adding “safety/security” to your life? ( ie being able to call home when ever needed ect)

    How can a cell phone actually put your safety at risk? ( I would encourage them to think beyond a physical risk like driving ect and think about the risks that their sharing of seemingly harmless information could pose)

    🙂 Hope that helps.

    B

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