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How old should you be....


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 Sam Posten

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Posted January 10 2010 - 01:41 PM

Informal HTF Poll time!

How old should you be to:

-Get a cell phone
-Get an upsupervised email address
-Have a Flickr Account?
-Have a blog?
-Have your own laptop or desktop PC?

Edit, add in:
-  Play video games online with supervision
-  Play Wii games online unsupervised
-  Play Xbox Live or PS3 games unsupervised

etc?

Just curious on HTFers views.  Would be helpful if you were to add "I have kids of my own" or "I do not have kids of my own" with your answers...

Sam

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#2 of 16 Bryan X

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Posted January 10 2010 - 02:02 PM

My son is currently 15.

He has:

Desktop Computer (with Internet) in his room at age 10
Netbook Computer (with Internet) at age 15
Cell Phone (with Texting -- but I disabled photo texts and data-- not because I don't trust him, but because who knows what someone could send him) at age 13
Email Address at age 10 (which is soooo "old tech" to kids today)
MySpace at age 14 (which I have access to)

I think a lot of it just depends on the kid.

#3 of 16 Carl Miller

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Posted January 10 2010 - 02:09 PM

I have a son in college and a daughter going off to school next year...Neither of my kids were allowed to have their own computers at home (or their own TV's for that matter) until they were 17, and before that instead they shared a computer and TV kept in the family room.

They got cell phones when they were able to pay for it, so my son had one at 16 because he worked after school, and my daughter just got one when she got her first job at 17 and has since lost it because she's not currently working.

They were not allowed to use Myspace, Facebook or other similar sites until they turned 17 and because we pretty much forced them to do their computing in full view on the shared computer before they got their own at 17, it was hard for them to break the rules. We figure they did of course, when we weren't home, but it didn't leave them enough private time to really get deeply involved in those types of sites and that was our overall goal.....Neither have any interest today in social networking sites.

Carl

#4 of 16 Lucia Duran

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Posted January 10 2010 - 02:12 PM

Child 12 has:

cellphone (pays for own texting and we have access to all texts)

computer (in a general family area not in bedroom)

Email (we have access to all emails)

We do not allow facebook, myspace or twitter. Televisions, computers and land lines are not allowed in bedroom.
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#5 of 16 Matt^Brown

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Posted January 11 2010 - 03:15 AM

I have two boys. 11 and 7

I really like the question because this is something my wife and I discuss all the time. I noticed that you did not list Xbox Live or Playstation network. Since I find that these are filled with people cussing and saying the worst stuff in the world it is a hot topic in my house. Both of my kids have an Xbox Live account but they are only allowed to communicate with people on their friend list.

How old should you be to:

-Get a cell phone          I think my oldest will be getting one when he turns 12
-Get an upsupervised email address  He has an email address but I can check it. However, I don't.
-Have your own laptop or desktop PC?   We only have one in the house and it is in the basement living room. I don't want him to have one in his room ever. I am sure I will change my mind as he gets older but it just seems like a bad idea.

My oldest is the only model we are working off of at this time. Depending on how things go with him that will set the precedent for what my youngest can expect.

The Legend is better than reality!

#6 of 16 Sam Posten

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Posted January 11 2010 - 04:50 AM

Awesome guys, thanks for the replies!  (hey that rhymes!)  Will add a few video game q's to the list.

Should add that I have multiple motivations for this question...  Mostly it is an outgrowth of a topic my Information Technology students (undergrads) and I discuss each semester but it's also something I'm more observing (rather than being the decision maker) as my own nephews get a bit more mature.

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#7 of 16 ThomasC

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Posted January 11 2010 - 05:45 AM

-Get a cell phone (when the kid starts to do extracurricular activities in school that require them to stay after school...middle school? so 12 or 13. Apply restrictions, like only letting them have a prepaid plan so they pay their way through chores or something)
-Get an upsupervised email address (12 or 13, same as above)
-Have a Flickr Account? (12 or 13, same as above)
-Have a blog? (12 or 13, same as above)
-Have your own laptop or desktop PC? (college; use the family computer until then)

Blogs, Flickr, and digital cameras weren't mainstream when I was in middle school, so I might bump those up 2-4 years. I think I started my LiveJournal senior year of high school.

-  Play video games online with supervision (no restriction since it's with supervision, but depends on the game)
-  Play Wii games online unsupervised (depends on the game; if it's Mario Kart, 12 or 13. Say bye bye if the grades start slipping, or at least a time limit is enforced)
-  Play Xbox Live or PS3 games unsupervised (If it's Halo, 17 or whatever the recommended restriction is for M rated games. 12 or 13 for everything else. Again, if the grades start slipping, bye bye or restrictions)

I do not have kids of my own.

#8 of 16 drobbins

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Posted January 11 2010 - 06:19 AM

-Get a cell phone - My son was 14 and my daughter was 12 when they got a cell with texting. No photos. Currently it seems like all kids have cell phones.

-Get an unsupervised email address - When they got their computer

-Have a Flickr Account? - Daughter has a myspace for many years. She does not have any public info though. The only ones who can see it are her friends. I check it out regularly.

-Have a blog? - NA

-Have your own laptop or desktop PC? - They were probably 10 & 12 when they got their computers. I allowed unsupervised in their rooms because I had cybersitter installed to filter out "bad" sites. It also sent me a daily email where I could see where they had been.

Edit, add in:
-  Play video games online with supervision - 10 & 12
-  Play Wii games online unsupervised - NA
-  Play Xbox Live or PS3 games unsupervised - My son was 14 when he joined Xbox Llive. I have sat and watched him play many times and listened to conversations. There is some "Bad" language as is to be expected, but I didn't think it was any worse than what he hears at school.

I think much of it also depends on the kids and your relationship with them. Both my kids are "A" students, don't drink or smoke, and don't cuss as the normal way of talking. I know that my son has visited some porn sites and we have talked to him about it. (but on the other hand I think that curiosity is normal at that age).

Another question to add is how old should they be to start dating steady? My daughter was 14 and we made her bring him to the house first. My son started after he got his license. Outside of school events, all 4 of them are at our house 98% of the time so I  know what is going on. (or at least I think I do)



#9 of 16 Steve_Tk

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Posted January 13 2010 - 02:46 AM

My girlfriend and I spent 98% of the time at my parents house, they thought they knew what we were doing too

I'm sure all parents look back on what they actually did and hope they are able to prevent their own kids.

#10 of 16 DaveF

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Posted January 14 2010 - 08:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Miller 

I have a son in college and a daughter going off to school next year...Neither of my kids were allowed to have their own computers at home (or their own TV's for that matter) until they were 17, and before that instead they shared a computer and TV kept in the family room.
I'm fascinated that in this one regard, the internet is a backwards step. Growing up, I had my own computer in my room by high school, perhaps earlier. But there was no "online" anything then. Now, because there's nothing but "online" kids can't have computers in their rooms.

I told my wife that if we have kids, I'll give them cellphones when they start talking to their friends enough to tie up the house phone. I remember how I was in high school; it's a wonder my parents ever got a call of their own! :) Of course, by the time I would have kids who could dial a phone, "computer" and "cellphone" may no longer be distinguishable.

Also, as a kidless adult, I could now afford to give my non-existent kids expensive phones. But once I have kids, I'll probably no longer be able to afford them such things, having paid for years of diapers and eyeglasses and kids clothes :)



#11 of 16 Bryan X

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Posted January 14 2010 - 09:26 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF 

Quote:


I told my wife that if we have kids, I'll give them cellphones when they start talking to their friends enough to tie up the house phone. I remember how I was in high school; it's a wonder my parents ever got a call of their own! :)

 
I remember tying up the house phone when I was growing up too.  But when you do have kids you'll realize that you won't have to worry about your kids tying up your house phone these days.  Kids today don't use their cellphones for talking-- if my son and his friends are any indication.  They text all the time but rarely make a call.  A typical monthly cell bill for my son's line is 7,000-10,000 texts and 20 minutes of voice.   /img/vbsmilies/htf/crazy.gif  Maybe girls are different.

Back on the computer/internet issue, as I posted above, I don't have a problem with my son having a computer in his room.  He's got his desktop and a netbook and both have access to the home network and internet. I do have a "no closed door" rule though.  The door to his room is never closed.  Of course that doesn't help when he's here by himself.  But you need to have some trust.

He's also had cable TV and a DVD (now a blu-ray and 32" LCD) in his room since he was 5.  But he doesn't seem to spend any more time in his room than a typical teen.  He still watches shows in the family room with us in the evenings.  And the Xbox 360 is in the family room too so that gives him reason to spend time outside his room.

I would definately say he has more amenities in his room than the average kid, but I want his room to be someplace he enjoys being.

#12 of 16 Carl Miller

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Posted January 14 2010 - 10:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF 

Quote:


I'm fascinated that in this one regard, the internet is a backwards step. Growing up, I had my own computer in my room by high school, perhaps earlier. But there was no "online" anything then. Now, because there's nothing but "online" kids can't have computers in their rooms.
I think my wife and I are probably still more the exception on the computer in the room issue. Both my kids complained bitterly about our rule, and even more about the no TV in their bedroom rule. But they got over it.

For us it was not a trust issue or even a safety issue but rather a conscious decision made because  we did not want to risk our kids becoming glued to the computer, the TV, video games etc, etc. There's a ton of competition for kids time these days, and we just wanted to make sure that reading, outdoor activity and other non-electronic stuff had a fighting chance.

I'm not saying it's the right thing to do, just that it was right for us.


Carl

#13 of 16 RickER

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Posted January 14 2010 - 01:20 PM

 Old enough to pay for it yourself.

I have kids, age 16 and 18. Sure they have many of the things you list. Some were gifts, some are for school (laptops), and some my ex and i have provided, some they buy on their own. My boy (16) has washed and ruined 2 iPods. The first was a gift, but he had to buy 2 and 3 with his own money. Only way to eventually learn.

My kids dont use e mail much. They both have facebook, and i am friends with them. I have a PS3 that my son and i play on...sometimes. But really, they are busy, not home much.


#14 of 16 Sam Posten

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Posted January 15 2010 - 03:20 AM

Great comments all.  Very helpful, thanks!

Thought this might be of interest to the conversation, six year old media experts!  =)
http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2010/01/mrs-cassidys-classroom-media-literate-6-year-olds/

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#15 of 16 drobbins

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Posted January 17 2010 - 12:28 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan X 




I remember tying up the house phone when I was growing up too.  But when you do have kids you'll realize that you won't have to worry about your kids tying up your house phone these days.  Kids today don't use their cellphones for talking-- if my son and his friends are any indication.  They text all the time but rarely make a call.  A typical monthly cell bill for my son's line is 7,000-10,000 texts and 20 minutes of voice.   /img/vbsmilies/htf/crazy.gif  Maybe girls are different.
 Same here with both my kids. My son never answers when I call because his ringer is turned off. When I question them about always texting and not talking, they reply with a mix of shock and dismay "Why would I want to talk to them? Then I can only talk to one friend at a time and I can't be doing other things at the same time."



#16 of 16 Garrett Lundy

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Posted January 18 2010 - 09:28 AM



How old should you be to:

-Get a cell phone
-Get an upsupervised email address
-Have a Flickr Account?
-Have a blog?
-Have your own laptop or desktop PC?

Edit, add in:
-  Play video games online with supervision
-  Play Wii games online unsupervised
-  Play Xbox Live or PS3 games unsupervised

etc?

Just curious on HTFers views.  Would be helpful if you were to add "I have kids of my own" or "I do not have kids of my own" with your answers...

Sam

- Cell Phone - I've seen 5/6 year olds with cellphones. They'd sell bluetooth ear pieces for babies if it was legal (and people would buy them)

- Email - I had one at 14. But what kid uses email anymore? (Is it used for anything but credit card balance sheets and phishing scams?)

- Flickr - I have no idea what this is.

- Blog - I imagine there are millions of bad poetry blogs written by tweens. I'm a fan of the "anything you write online will stay there.... FOREVER" school of thought. I didn't have a yearbook photo because I knew that stuff haunts you until death.

- Computer - The catch-22 is that you don't need a personal computer for school before the masturbatory years, and they're probably required to complete school work during them.

- On-line gaming - Depends on the game.

- Wii/Xbox360/PS3 - You have to go on the game.

And lastly, whatever you do to insulate your children probably won't work. If they need graphic violence and hardcore sex in their entertainment they can always find it in the school library.


"Did you know that more people are murdered at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once. Lower temperatures, people are easy-going, over 92 and it's too hot to move, but just 92, people get irritable."




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