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View Poll Results: Do I let him buy or not?
Yes - it is his money, let him waste it 79 92.94%
No - you need to teach him about the value of money 6 7.06%
Voters: 85. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-05-2012, 03:31 PM   #21
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Just to pile on--I can't see any reason to stop him. He'll probably learn some valuable lessons this way, especially if he worked to earn the money for it.

One issue: I assume the "old man phone" he's carrying now is on your phone plan? When he gets the new phone he may run out of minutes and be entirely out of touch. While everyone on this board somehow survived their entire childhood this way, it is now deemed unsafe and bordering on child abuse to allow a kid to be electronically untethered. So, I would think it reasonable that you ask him to keep the "old man phone" charged up and with him (maybe in a plain brown wrapper in his backpack) so he'll always have a way to make a call.
He currently does not have a phone....

Mom is with you on the 'unsafe' aspect... so I was willing to give in on him having a phone... so far, there has been no problem with him not having one... the very few times we thought he MIGHT need one, he either took mine or his mothers....
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:44 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
If he gets the Nokia Lumia Windows phone from T-Mobile (as DW/I have), and he loses it (or gets stolen) he can track it on line anywhere in the world, in addition to ringing, locking, and erasing his phone's content, from his PC.

Some smart phones are smarter than others ...
I think there is an app for that on Android too. But I don't have any personal experience.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:47 PM   #23
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I think some missed that he already has an I-Pod.... so all of the features for the Samsung that was mentioned he has....

I will see if there are any other options that are better... but it does look like I am clearly on the wrong side of this.... looking at the voting...

I am going to vote now just so I can have at least ONE no....

Thanks for the quick responses....
Ipods are sooo 2010!

Seriously though, he probably just wants 1 device that does it all to carry around and keep charged.

One note of caution - if you expect him to be reachable by phone (ie "Where are you, it is 5:00 and you aren't home yet"), then make sure he knows he needs to keep the phone charged up. Those smartphones eat up the battery, however not having data may negate this "feature" since that is what usually eats up my battery. This could be the perfect excuse for your son - "Dad, the battery died AGAIN, that is why I wasn't answering."
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
I think some missed that he already has an I-Pod.... so all of the features for the Samsung that was mentioned he has....

I will see if there are any other options that are better... but it does look like I am clearly on the wrong side of this.... looking at the voting...

I am going to vote now just so I can have at least ONE no....

Thanks for the quick responses....
I think probably most people agree with you, Texas, but realize it is not worth fighting, and a lesson maybe learned from it. After dealing with teenagers, those things are certainly a status symbol around their peers. I have even been around teens who would "lose" their phone on purpose so their parents would have to buy them a new updated model. I bet some would rather have one that isn't working and flash it around than have an "old mans phone" that actually works. BTW- If he ever gets to be an unruly teenager and since he is too old to stick his nose in the corner, threaten to take away his phone and force him to carry an old mans phone around. That will straighten him up in a hurry!
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:55 PM   #25
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One note of caution - if you expect him to be reachable by phone (ie "Where are you, it is 5:00 and you aren't home yet"), then make sure he knows he needs to keep the phone charged up. Those smartphones eat up the battery, however not having data may negate this "feature" since that is what usually eats up my battery. This could be the perfect excuse for your son - "Dad, the battery died AGAIN, that is why I wasn't answering."
OTOH, if the phone has GPS and you know of the software facility (as on my Windows phones) it's easy to find out what he's up to (don't tell your son! ).

If it can't track, it means the phone is turned off (never happen to a teen ) or it's out of juice.

Parents can be also sneaky with a bit of technology ...
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:18 PM   #26
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Well, at least the $300 Samsung is cheaper than a $650 iPhone.

There is no guarantee he will learn anything from this. He is 15 and much of his learning is done. With a teenager one has to choose which battles to fight and which to walk away from. This is "easy" to walk away, because the damage isn't great. Better save your ammo for the ones that have more severe consequences, like cars and driving .. and insurance.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:35 PM   #27
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Again... thanks for all the the replys... I admit defeat... and in less than 24 hours...

We do not have any problems with him.... he does his homework and gets on us if we keep him out where he can not do it... he goes to bed on his own... wakes up on his own... makes his own breakfast etc. etc. (his bus picks him up at 6:20)....
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:30 PM   #28
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Sage words from my DW, a long time elementary teacher:

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Kids soon forget what you said, but they always remember the way that you made them feel
So, let him learn his lesson with dignity.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:38 PM   #29
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He's a 15 year old boy. Going into high school. It's important to him and he wants to spend his money on it. I bet he's worried the girls won't give him the time of day unless he's up to date with technology.

Perhaps we need to remember what it's like to be 15. Not that different really from when we were young and dumb. Plus, he sounds like a good kid. Just starting to push for his independence.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:51 PM   #30
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Assuming he does get a smart phone, you might want to consider how you will control and monitor its use. The best thing is to have it under your name so you can see the records anytime you want. Teenagers will rebel against that requirement, IMHO, since they are so much smarter than you and me.

Might be a good idea to check with other parents who have already faced this situation. I am too old to have had to face it with my children.

Other than that I am bowing out. These family things become very personal, sort of like deciding when to take SS payments.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:14 PM   #31
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I voted no for no reason other than I fail to understand the current cultural fetish with cell phones. Sounds like he's a good kid.....I'd encourage him to be more original by being proud of his monetary wisdom by not wasting $300.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:40 PM   #32
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I agree with skyvue & braumaster. He's old enough to start making these kind of decisions and it's a different world out there as far as peers. I was the last in my family to get a cell phone, even though I was paying for a family plan. However, I was the second to get a smartphone. I have to say, they're pretty cool!; as Animorph says, it's a pocket computer. TexasProud, get one yourself, too!
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:08 PM   #33
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Assuming he does get a smart phone, you might want to consider how you will control and monitor its use. The best thing is to have it under your name so you can see the records anytime you want. Teenagers will rebel against that requirement, IMHO, since they are so much smarter than you and me.
If he is going prepaid, is there any reason to monitor or control the use of the phone?
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:05 PM   #34
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I'm sure this sort of situation happens to the parents of every child who starts to accumulate their own money. When my sons approached me with the desire to make big ticket purchases, I told them;
You can buy anything you want, but remember you can't buy everything you want. So make that choice the best one because you will have to live with it.

This would give them enough pause to consider their other options to spend their money on; upcoming date, saving for a car, a camping trip with their friends, etc. If they decided that the phone in this example was what they wanted most, then that was understood it was at the sacrifice of the other choices he could spend the money on.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:11 AM   #35
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Without getting into a discussion about what is an appropriate age to make certain decisions, I'd simply ask: "Would you want someone telling you how to spend your money?"
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:09 AM   #36
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Yesterday I stood next to 2 boys, app. 10 years old, and one told the other that he is saving now for a Samsung xyz smartphone: "It has more than 600 apps".

It's your sons money, he can waste it as he likes. He probably has wasted more than that before (if only in small amounts, but they total up - as we all know) and will do so later.
The lesson to distinguish between waste and smart purchase each of us has to learn himself. And 15 is not too young for that.

I think the really important lesson on consequential costs of a purchase will come as soon as he has the smartphone. Imagine him between his friends: " Cool phone! Do you have this and that app?" "No, I have a voice only plan".
Just make sure that the follow up costs for all the bells and whistles will not end on your plan - and that the smartphone will be turned off during meals and for family time.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:11 AM   #37
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Yep, I have to agree. Let him spend the money and learn the lesson. It's cheap tuition and certainly better than learning the same lesson via a $35,000 car that he can't afford to buy much less insure, maintain, etc.
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:14 AM   #38
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FWIW at a similar age both my son and my daughter saved up their money to buy an iPhone. Several years later, neither one of them regrets it in the least. I think they would give up their computers before they gave up their phone. The bottom line is that they find it totally worth the money.

We did make stipulations. We gave them the option to get or not get insurance to replace the phone if lost. The iphone coverage for this was not very good and had a high deductible and they (correctly I think) decided not to get the coverage. My daughter actually lost her phone at school (vanished she claims out of her backback). She bought a new one to replace it which was very expensive since it was well before she could get a discounted new one.

We also required that they pay for their own data plan and if they broke the screen, etc. they had to pay for it. My son actually had someone knock the phone out of his hands (he was reading on it -- it is great for Kindle books) and someone ran into him. It cost him $200 to get the screen replaced. We advanced the money to us but he paid it back.


Anyway, it has been a good learning experience for each them but what they have learned is that smartphones cost a lot, smartphones are really super great and you have to take care of them and it costs a lot if they get lost or broken. And they each went over on their data plan once and learned from that as well and are now very careful.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:25 AM   #39
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I would be very concerned about spending money for status. That is a mentality I would 'nip in the bud'. Put on some Frank Zappa, 'Status Back Baby' and 'Plastic People'. It cured me.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:52 AM   #40
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Forgot where I read it, but a wise mom said she applied the "ten year rule" to dumb teenage decisions, as in "Will this matter in ten years?"

So "yes" to letting her 15-year-old dye her hair orange (or green, or whatever) but "no" to the tattoo.

If the dumbest thing he ever does is blow $300 on a phone he's ahead of the game. It's his money, let him make those mistakes when the costs are low.
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