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July 18, 2008


You DO have a very cool daughter. Great post.

awesome post. erma bombeck once said that children should be like waffles. you should be able to throw out the first one.

now, obviously, i wouldn't want to throw away my first child, but now that i'm on my FOURTH teen, my rules are different, my standards are different, and my relationship with THAT child is warm, loving and the source of great joy.

most of the time. :-D

Nina - thanks!

PlanetJanet - I'd not heard that quote, but it's a good one. My firt (she's 22 now) is a source of great satisfaction to me, but I parented her MUCH differently than I do my youngest -- to our mutual distress! We had a rugged three years in here, in part because of parenting lessons I hadn't yet learned...

"Either way, it's HER problem, not mine." Knowing when to transfer that responsibility is huge. I'm not sure I've learned it yet. Oh, cell phones! Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

One thing I've learned is that making older kids and teens financially responsible for the costs of their missteps tends to be very effective in encouraging behavior modification. That's not to say there aren't other ways to teach the concept of responsibility, but since that one's very tangible, it seems to work pretty well - and quickly.

I would have negotiated a similar plan, if my son had HAD a cell phone as a teen.

Wonderful! I'm not the only one out here who thinks teens should live by rules & learn what it takes to pay for their own mistakes! I can say you did the right thing because I've done exactly the same thing with the cell phone.

I don't know if you would want to do this, but you might want to call your cell provider. If it's the first time she has gone over, you can claim ignorance and tell them that you went to the more generous plan. They might refund some of the money. Last year our passel of 5 cell phones dipped into our rollover minutes, used them up and used another $900 worth of minutes!!! Yikes!!! The cell phone company only ended up charging me what it would have cost if I had the plan that allowed us that many minutes. It's worth a try!

Daisy - I'm not sure I have this one nailed just yet, but I do know I'm getting better!

Florinda - In this instance, since the only negative consequence of the mis-step was financial, it seems only fair she at least share it. And yes, when something *costs* them, they certainly sit up and take notice! Much more effective than a lecture...

Nancy - Thanks! I see this as part of responsible parenting. You're not going to be able to teach your child never to make mistakes, but you can teach them how to respond when they mess up. If they don't learn to deal with their mistakes now, when will they? When they have rent to pay and (heaven help us) credit cards to max out??

Di - That sounds like a very smart suggestion. It might be too late, several days after I've switched plans, but it's worth a shot. Thank you!

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