Text messages -- limited or limitless?

Filed under: Teens, Day Care & Education, Gadgets

Should a thirteen-year-old girl be allowed to switch from a cell phone plan with a limited number of included text messages to one that offers unlimited texting? That's the question that was posed to me recently over dinner. There I was, surrounded by people far above me socially and professionally, all eyes focused on me, waiting for an answer, as if I were some sort of expert. So what did I do? I climbed onto my soapbox.

First off, I asked if the hypothetical, not-sitting-across-from-me thirteen-year-old was responsible and whether or not her parents trusted her. That came back a definite yes. I asked if she spent time with her parents willingly and, again, the answer was yes. I checked that she completed her schoolwork and was getting good grades and that was an affirmative.

So, I pondered a moment and rendered my verdict: Yes. I figured that if she was already allowed to text her friends -- and her parents, of course -- then getting her an unlimited plan just meant that there would be no chance of going over her allotted number of messages. Naturally, I was quick to add that she would have to continue to get her schoolwork done and some of those unlimited text messages would have to be to her parents.

I don't know if that's the answer the parents were looking for, but it's what I came up with. What would you have said? Would you let a thirteen-year-old who already had access to a limited number of text messages switch to an unlimited plan?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.