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To limit the amount of time DD spends on her phone?

(36 Posts)
CambridgeBlue Wed 04-Nov-15 21:14:01

What's reasonable for a 13 year old? She hasn't got siblings so I know contact with her generation is important but she's on it all the flaming time, from the minute she gets up until I make her turn it off an hour or so before bed (and obviously it's not on at school).

If she's not texting she's on Instagram or talking or FaceTime-ing. We don't allow phones at the table but she has it when we're watching TV or whatever and I find it quite intrusive but on the other hand a 13 year old probably doesn't find watching TV with their parents very exciting compared to chatting with their mates.

We've just had a blazing row because she's used up her data allowance and if I hadn't checked the bill she would have gone over (I admit half of my anger was directed at the useless phone company - impossible to get through on the phone but no bloody email address to contact them, how ridiculous!) I'm not sure what she's doing that's using it - does FaceTime cost? It may well be the constant Instagram uploads everywhere we/she goes.

I'm so pleased she's got a nice group of mates and I don't want to make things difficult for her but it's getting ridiculous. AIBU to set some limits and if so what would be sensible/reasonable?

brokenhearted55a Wed 04-Nov-15 21:15:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fairylea Wed 04-Nov-15 21:19:36

Firstly I would work out how to toggle wifi and mobile data on and off so if she's home and can use wifi then mobile data should be off so no data is used / no additional charges. If she isn't sure how to do this you should be able to google the make of phone or even ask somewhere like carphone warehouse for help. You will save a fortune.

I have a dd aged 12 (in year 8) and I have to be honest she is on her iPad most of the time chatting to friends on iMessage etc. We don't allow her to have social media and we know all her passwords but we don't really limit her time on the iPad (she doesn't really go on her phone, they are all on iPads). When it's time for bed we make her leave it downstairs plugged in in the kitchen but that's about it.... And homework time she can't have it otherwise she is too distracted. But apart from that we just let her have free reign. She seems happy enough and enjoying her friends and at that age I think that's really important.

If we go out as a family at the weekend she can be prised away from it! smile

brokenhearted55a Wed 04-Nov-15 21:26:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nobodysbabynow Wed 04-Nov-15 21:40:51

Watching this with interest as I have a dd the same age who is on her phone pretty much all the time, and I do feel a bit conflicted about it.

MillionToOneChances Wed 04-Nov-15 21:47:52

Not at the table, not in bed, not on days out, not if it's interfering with homework... But otherwise, I do think that teens should be able to choose how to spend their down time, and texting isn't any worse than watching TV.

CambridgeBlue Wed 04-Nov-15 22:20:33

I think it's the lack of responsibility that's annoying me - she can't tell me what's using up the data or whether FaceTime is free or whatever, she just uses the phone without thinking and assumes I'll pay if needed.

She's pretty good as teens go so I feel bad for getting cross but it's always me that has to sit on the phone to her provider or sort her computer out or whatever - teens use all this technology but ime seem to have no clue whatsoever what to do if it goes wrong angry.

CambridgeBlue Wed 04-Nov-15 22:21:49

Oh and sorry for being thick but if I switch off mobile data what's the point of paying for a data allowance? Am I missing something?

Fatmanbuttsam Wed 04-Nov-15 22:24:24

^ does she have an iPhone? And if so has she done a software update recently...if so then wifi assist will have been switched on and any time the wifi signal drops off slightly it will switch to 4G to maintain the connection and so use up her allowance. Turn of wifi assist in phone settings and see if this helps

MillionToOneChances Wed 04-Nov-15 22:29:28

Does she get an allowance? You could increase it by the cost of her contract and run it through her own bank account so she pays for her own excess data. She'll start taking it seriously then...

CambridgeBlue Wed 04-Nov-15 22:33:24

I had forgotten about WiFi Assist, Apple are so bloody sneaky sometimes! I bet that's something to do with it plus a million selfies uploaded to IG.

She doesn't get enough money from us to pay for it herself but I must admit it's something I've been thinking of reviewing so making her take responsibility for the phone could be part of that.

Donge13 Wed 04-Nov-15 22:34:16

Phone rules for mine use to be, no phones at meal times and no phones over night. Bill and data were capped so if they went over they had to pay for a top up

Mintyy Wed 04-Nov-15 22:38:02

Actually, I do think using social media is more damaging than watching tv.
Smart phones are horribly addictive ... people have to go cold turkey with them, and all sorts.

Fairylea Wed 04-Nov-15 22:55:49

Mobile data is for out and about, you don't need to use it at home if you have wifi. If you have a great allowance fair enough leave it on all the time but otherwise best to learn how to turn it off when home.

CambridgeBlue Wed 04-Nov-15 23:02:33

Yes I get that but I'm paying for x amount of data to be used when out and about, if I turn off mobile data then that allowance won't get used will it?

What I was hoping was that the phone company would text when she was getting near her limit then we would switch it off but they don't seem to do that although I thought it was fairly standard - mine does. One of the many things I'd like to sort out if I could only get through to them.

sky1010 Wed 04-Nov-15 23:06:33

You just turn mobile data off where there is wifi. I have 20gb of data on my phone, which is loads, but even I do it.

If I am at home with the wifi, or in Starbucks or somewhere else with wifi- I turn off my mobile data and just use wifi. If I don't have wifi and am just generally out and about, it stays on.

Happyminimalist Wed 04-Nov-15 23:12:25

We have a no screens rule in the morning before school, during homework, meals, day trips, an hour before bed and when guests are visiting. We treat the phone as just another screen.

CambridgeBlue Thu 05-Nov-15 09:00:30

I find it all so invasive tbh, I've seen some of the stuff they talk about and while it's mainly harmless some of it isn't great - I want our home to be a safe welcoming place where she can get away from all the crap of the outside world but there are just so many ways for it to intrude sad I know I can't protect DD from everything but I'm really struggling with how to deal with all this sensibly.

Theoretician Thu 05-Nov-15 09:20:09

Yes I get that but I'm paying for x amount of data to be used when out and about, if I turn off mobile data then that allowance won't get used will it?

If you could make completely free calls from your landline, and your mobile charged you for calls to the same numbers, but you had a prepaid number of minutes for the mobile, would you use up your prepaid minutes rather than call for free?

It can't possibly make you worse off to use free data at home (assuming you have unlimited wifi) using mobile data is using up an allowance that you paid for. If you find data allowance expiring unused, just pay for less data in future.

I have a Three pay-as-you-go mobile, there is no allowance, I pay for my actual usage, 1p per megabyte, my average monthly cost for running it is about 75p. (But I'm not a teenage girl, and I hardly ever use it outside the house. The 75p is almost entirely the cost of data when using it for navigation.)

Schrodingersmum Thu 05-Nov-15 09:20:23

Another one here saying check her settings, damn wifi assist got me last week on holiday! Sneeky beggers apple hmm

Theoretician Thu 05-Nov-15 09:21:58

Sorry, assumed you meant turn off data at home, not sure if that was what you meant.

It shouldn't be necessary to turn data on/off, once the phone has been set up to connect to wifi, it should do so automatically whenever you're home.

shebird Thu 05-Nov-15 09:22:49

Anything she does on her phone outside of wifi will use data. Lots of apps seem to be ticking away on the background even when not using them as we found with DD1.

In settings under mobile data you can turn off the apps that use mobile data. Have a look at these and turn off the non essential ones. Perhaps if she is using FB or Instagram a lot when out perhaps you can turn off mobile data for these so they can only be used when there is wifi. She will still be able to use iMessage under her data allowance. Things like YouTube and music downloads swallow data so perhaps she just needs to be more aware.

I agree though your phone provider should provide a warning. O2 send a text when 80% is used.

Theoretician Thu 05-Nov-15 09:24:02

And automatically use data allowance when out of range of wifi, in case that wasn't clear.

If your broadband is from BT, you'll probably find you can get free wifi outside every fourth house you walk past.

space0bongo Thu 05-Nov-15 09:31:53

You could ask the network provider to put in a hard limit for data use. If she goes over then basically that's it for the next month. I have this for me because I'm also addicted to my phone a little.

Also yes it's a little U asking her what she spent the money on. Data is data and she probably doesn't know, all it takes is a few You Tube video uploads or downloads and you're over.

space0bongo Thu 05-Nov-15 09:34:53

I don't think you should toggle the mobile settings. Assume that 13 year olds will always know more about phones than their parents - she may just toggle it on again. It's better to set a hard limit on data use and then refuse to top it up if she goes over.

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