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The NEVERENDING Raising Children Thread

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I waked the child to the bus stop this morning. This is her last day of school but all the private schools in the area have been out at least a week. The little girl across the street goes to one of the private schools and was outside playing in their driveway. My daughter gave her a look of dirty jealousy. :lmao:


(then of course my daughter will be whining all night tonight about not wanting the school year to end)
 

kjel

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I waked the child to the bus stop this morning. This is her last day of school but all the private schools in the area have been out at least a week. The little girl across the street goes to one of the private schools and was outside playing in their driveway. My daughter gave her a look of dirty jealousy. :lmao:


(then of course my daughter will be whining all night tonight about not wanting the school year to end)
Bella is over the school year. Thankfully she has 5 more days. The school district notified me that she has a summer school placement. I told her and she said, Mama I'm tired please don't make me go to summer school. I explained it's because she has some challenges in reading and she says, Mama I CAN read let me show you. I gave her a book she hasn't read before and she banged through it like nothing.

I am not sending her to summer school.
 

WSU MUP Student

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Bella is over the school year. Thankfully she has 5 more days. The school district notified me that she has a summer school placement. I told her and she said, Mama I'm tired please don't make me go to summer school. I explained it's because she has some challenges in reading and she says, Mama I CAN read let me show you. I gave her a book she hasn't read before and she banged through it like nothing.

I am not sending her to summer school.
My daughter absolutely loves school and has been in a multiage class the past couple of years so she has been with the same teacher and half of the class was all together as 1st graders (and probably 40% of those 1st graders were in the same kindergarten class too) so she has made some really close friendships. Now she's scared about entering 3rd grade and having a new teacher and that she might not have any of the same students in her class and that her very best friend is going to a different elementary next year. We try to explain to her that her best friend will still only live a few blocks away and she can still see her often and that there are only three 3rd grade classes so the odds are really good that that she will have a lot of friends in her class but she still worries.

Also, her other best friend is a twin and kindergarten through 2nd grade both twins were in the same class but the school starts trying to separate them a bit starting in 3rd grade. However, the school also lets parents of twins name another student who they would like to be in class with each twin and we know the mom put our daughter's name with her friend so we are 99% sure that they will be in the same class again next year but we haven't told her yet just in case it doesn't happen. Thankfully, the students find out what class they will be in next year on the last day of this year so that should help her ease her mind through the summer.
 

kjel

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My daughter absolutely loves school and has been in a multiage class the past couple of years so she has been with the same teacher and half of the class was all together as 1st graders (and probably 40% of those 1st graders were in the same kindergarten class too) so she has made some really close friendships. Now she's scared about entering 3rd grade and having a new teacher and that she might not have any of the same students in her class and that her very best friend is going to a different elementary next year. We try to explain to her that her best friend will still only live a few blocks away and she can still see her often and that there are only three 3rd grade classes so the odds are really good that that she will have a lot of friends in her class but she still worries.

Also, her other best friend is a twin and kindergarten through 2nd grade both twins were in the same class but the school starts trying to separate them a bit starting in 3rd grade. However, the school also lets parents of twins name another student who they would like to be in class with each twin and we know the mom put our daughter's name with her friend so we are 99% sure that they will be in the same class again next year but we haven't told her yet just in case it doesn't happen. Thankfully, the students find out what class they will be in next year on the last day of this year so that should help her ease her mind through the summer.
I got her the Summer Brainquest book for between Kinder & 1st grade and made a deal with her that she had to do at least two pages a day and keep reading during the summer and then I will get her the new iPad she has been asking for. She finished Level 1 mostly by herself last night. It will still take her until the end of July to get through it but she said it was fun. She won't find out who her teacher is until the weekend before school starts. I am just thankful that we made it through the school year.
 

Michele Zone

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Humorously, that was actually my policy when raising my [STRIKEOUT]little menaces[/STRIKEOUT] kids.

When my oldest was probably two, I heard on the radio that 80 percent of what kids hear is some variation of "no" -- stop that! Quit! etc. I decided right then and there to make sure that at least half of what my kids heard was what they could do.

Process of elimination is the most painful, drawn out way to figure out what you can and can't do. Just telling kids "You can do x, y and z quietly while we are at a restaurant" is vastly more effective than letting them try crap, get in trouble for it, rinse and repeat.
 

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The older daughter had a friend over to spend the night for the first time last night. We had pizza, they played outside a bit, we made s'mores on the firepit, they had popcorn and watched a movie... They decided they wanted to sleep in the den which was fine because it's at the far end of the house away from all the bedrooms so they can basically be as loud as they want. We made them turn out the lights about 10:20 and I told my wife that the over/under on how many times they would come out with some sort of made-up excuse was 2.5. My wife foolishly took the under.
 

gtpeach

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I'm going to be a (foster) mom! I got called this morning to take two girls, 13 and 5, at the end of the month. 13 I'm good with. That was kind of the age I had said I was comfortable with. 5... will be a little more challenging for me. But I was told they're very close, so that will hopefully help.

This is my first placement, so I'm a little nervous and anxious, but I'm glad that I can be available for these little ladies. I'm sure there is going to be a steep learning curve, for sure!
 

Michele Zone

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I'm going to be a (foster) mom! I got called this morning to take two girls, 13 and 5, at the end of the month. 13 I'm good with. That was kind of the age I had said I was comfortable with. 5... will be a little more challenging for me. But I was told they're very close, so that will hopefully help.

This is my first placement, so I'm a little nervous and anxious, but I'm glad that I can be available for these little ladies. I'm sure there is going to be a steep learning curve, for sure!
Oh, congrats!

Five ...depends a lot on the child. Some five year olds are surprisingly bright and able to express themselves reasonably well. Others are more like tall toddlers and you have to do a lot of guesswork to figure out what is going through their little heads. FWIW, girls tend to be more verbal earlier than boys, on average.
 

Whose Yur Planner

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I'm going to be a (foster) mom! I got called this morning to take two girls, 13 and 5, at the end of the month. 13 I'm good with. That was kind of the age I had said I was comfortable with. 5... will be a little more challenging for me. But I was told they're very close, so that will hopefully help.

This is my first placement, so I'm a little nervous and anxious, but I'm glad that I can be available for these little ladies. I'm sure there is going to be a steep learning curve, for sure!
Congrats and good luck
 

gtpeach

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What do five year old girls like to play with? I asked her what she would like and she told me a big outdoor trampoline, an in-ground pool, and a play set. Sooooo... maybe not those things.
 

WSU MUP Student

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What do five year old girls like to play with? I asked her what she would like and she told me a big outdoor trampoline, an in-ground pool, and a play set. Sooooo... maybe not those things.
My oldest is almost 8 and when she was that age, she loved doing just about anything outside: scavenger hunts, "helping" in the gardens, obstacle courses (I would set up things I could find around the yard or in the garage for her to climb over or under... the obstacles always seemed pretty stupid to me but she loved them). There is also a large private school campus near us with old buildings and gardens and trails that are open to the public and we would go there and she would wander around for hours (she particularly liked playing "spy" around the buildings. When we would go there, we would park in one spot and I would pack us a lunch and give her basically two or three destinations on the grounds that I wanted to see and tell her to lead the way and let her take us on any route to get there. Basically, she just liked to explore. I have to imagine there's a park or some woods or a campus where you can do that near you too.

Other things she really enjoyed: Lego (though she needed a bit of help and would get frustrated easily until she was about 7 or so), My LIttle Pony (she absolutely loved them), arts & crafts (anything from coloring and painting or organized kits or randomly glueing weird sh!t together), helping in the kitchen (she still loves that), reading and comic books (she could spend hours in the library), play kitchen or restaurant with those fake plastic food stuff (she still loves this too). The local libraries are also often have a lot of fun classes and activities for kids that age too so be sure to check their schedules. And don't give the kids a choice, just say, "We're going to this African Drum troop or Dr. Seuss's birthday party or lecture on slimy slugs" or whatever the library is doing because in my experience she will always complain or say "no" when given the choice but end up enjoying it anyway.

She also discovered Harry Potter just after she turned 6. She was too young to read the books and my wife tried reading the first book to her but she just couldn't get into it. One day I decided to download the first book in the series on audiobook before we were going for a long drive to give us something new to listen to and she was absolutely hooked and I enjoyed listening to them with her too. The audiobooks are pretty long so it would take a while to get through them with listening in the car on longish drives or maybe for 30 minutes here and there around the house instead of turning on the TV. After we listened to the first couple of books my daughter decided she wanted to try and read them too so she started on the first book. It took her a few months to get through it but she eventually did and I think listening to the audiobook helped out, especially with strange words (particularly spells and strange names) that she had never seen before. Since then, she's read 5 of the 7 books and is nearly done with the 6th.

Even if Harry Potter isn't for her (or you), our daughter really enjoys audiobooks in general and I think they've helped her become a better reader and made her more curious about other stories/authors.


One last one that I just remembered: Home Depot usually has free or very cheap kids classes on Saturday mornings once or twice a month where you learn to build a birdhouse or something and my daughter always really enjoyed the ones that we went to.
 

kjel

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What do five year old girls like to play with? I asked her what she would like and she told me a big outdoor trampoline, an in-ground pool, and a play set. Sooooo... maybe not those things.
I have a 6 year old.....

Shopkins
LOL Surprise balls (there's a doll and accessories inside)
My Little Pony
Art supplies like markers, colored pencils, paints, drawing paper and cardstock. You can literally Google a character's name + coloring page, hit the images tab, and get hundreds of coloring pages to print out.
Board games

Mine is also very big into fizzy bath bombs, handmade soap, face masks, and nail polish (bribe for letting us cut her nails).
 

gtpeach

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Awesome! I really wasn't planning on taking younger kids, so I'm a little out of my element on this and just generally unprepared!
 

Doohickie

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My oldest turned 31 last month.

(Funny, your jester hat avatar doesn't look that old. ;) )
It's actually a chicken, and it's close to ten years old now. I look more like this.



That's me in the black shirt, with our mayor, on a ride last week.
 

Gedunker

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My daughter started her first job today after getting her hair dyed blue yesterday:-o (less permanent than a tattoo or piercings, so I'm cool with it)

Fortunately, she's working at a Big Box that is pretty liberal. She has two training days, then she'll be working the overnight restocking shelves, et cetera, from 11PM to 7AM. She's happy not to have to deal with customers, so it's good, I guess.

I think once all her friends are off to college in a few weeks, it will feel like a job. We'll see.
 

DVD

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What do five year old girls like to play with? I asked her what she would like and she told me a big outdoor trampoline, an in-ground pool, and a play set. Sooooo... maybe not those things.
Every kids a little different. Mine were into:

Shopkins - I guess that's still a thing
Stuffed animals - mostly because I make stories to go along with them. Nothing deep, just give the animal a little character. It could be scared, overly loving, stupid, whatever. We even have a stuffed cat that snubs everything.
Bath bombs with toy surprises in them.
They soooo wanted a hatchimal - is that still a thing?

My kids were never into
Legos - which kills me
Barbie - I tried, they're in a box


As a parent I actually recommend the bath bomb with the toy inside. It gets the kid in the bath and it disappears. The little toy will be lost and forgotten within a week. It all comes down to nothing to clean up and the kids was happy.
 

WSU MUP Student

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Every kids a little different...

My kids were never into
Legos - which kills me
Barbie - I tried, they're in a box
My wife loved Barbie dolls when she was a kid and had bought a couple for our oldest daughter when she was maybe around 4 or 5 but she never really got into them. Then the father of a woman I work with died...

He collected Barbie dolls and accessories and kept them in the boxes with the grand plan to resell them for a profit later in life. Instead he just kept collecting and collecting and when he died he literally had hundreds and hundreds of them in his basement. My co-worker and her adult daughter went through the collection and sold a big chunk of them off to a single collector but were still left with a couple hundred so she brought in boxes and boxes of them and gave them to those of us in the office who had young kids but told us to make sure they got taken out of the boxes and played with. So our oldest now suddenly had a bunch of Disney Princess Barbie dolls as well as a few other "collector editions" (fun fact: if the box says "collector's edition" it's not going to be worth anything extra down the road!) and a barbie airplane and a Dream House. She played with everything for a little while and then it all got pushed aside. Fast forward another year or so and the woman I work with was having a garage sale and she brought me a Barbie Jeep (since she knows I love Jeeps) and a couple shoeboxes full of Barbie clothing. My daughter loved the clothing! She got hours and hours worth of enjoyment out of all that.

These days she doesn't play with the dolls too much anymore but her little sister (who is about 2.5) absolutely loves dolls much more than the older one ever did but when the little one is playing with the dolls the older one will usually sit and play with her. It's one of the few things the older one will happily do with her little sister.

I don't know where I was going with any of this except that I hate Barbie dolls because if I am sitting in the room with my little one when she's playing with them she continuously wants me to change their clothes which is a real PITA. But I'd rather play with Barbies than Play-Doh.
 

gtpeach

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Oh, man! I loved Barbies when I was little. I wonder if my mom still has my "play" barbies... I have a ton of the Collector's ones, too, but I don't know if I'm ready to let those boxes be opened...

HOWEVER, I'm a bit of a feminist now and I feel very conflicted about encouraging little girls to play with Barbies because they contribute to unrealistic expectations of beauty.
 

Veloise

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What do five year old girls like to play with? I asked her what she would like and she told me a big outdoor trampoline, an in-ground pool, and a play set. Sooooo... maybe not those things.
Any idea on the length of this placement with you? Are they sisters?

I'm recalling the magic of the library and shelves full of chapter books...but then I could read when I was 4.

(Spent kindergarten reading class memorizing the copyright squib on the title page because the rest of the book didn't have words, just letters superimposed atop pictures so that kids would remember the two little mice and how their little rumps had a lower case 'm' printed on 'em.)
 

gtpeach

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Any idea on the length of this placement with you? Are they sisters?

I'm recalling the magic of the library and shelves full of chapter books...but then I could read when I was 4.

(Spent kindergarten reading class memorizing the copyright squib on the title page because the rest of the book didn't have words, just letters superimposed atop pictures so that kids would remember the two little mice and how their little rumps had a lower case 'm' printed on 'em.)
If their mom can get it together, it may only be a few months, but anything could happen. And yes, they're sisters.
 

Veloise

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If their mom can get it together, it may only be a few months, but anything could happen. And yes, they're sisters.
Maybe stuff that doesn't have a bazillion tiny little parts to misplace and lose and worry about. Fashion dolls have a TON of accessories and an outfit is not complete unless there are two shoes...that match.

Crayons and large-format paper (my mother got a roll of newsprint from a printer)

DIY crafts (you can bring in styrofoam balls and things to pin or glue to them)

A couple years ago I went looking for toy animals, and discovered a whole zoo of them at Michael's, Target, and Meijers.

When I was a kid we had a set of plastic dinosaurs (maybe 2" long) and my brother had a play gas station. We'd get creative mingling these two items.

While I'm not suggesting that play beauty sets and having her nails done is a bad thing, I actually am.
 

kjel

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Every kids a little different. Mine were into:

Shopkins - I guess that's still a thing
Stuffed animals - mostly because I make stories to go along with them. Nothing deep, just give the animal a little character. It could be scared, overly loving, stupid, whatever. We even have a stuffed cat that snubs everything.
Bath bombs with toy surprises in them.
They soooo wanted a hatchimal - is that still a thing?

My kids were never into
Legos - which kills me
Barbie - I tried, they're in a box


As a parent I actually recommend the bath bomb with the toy inside. It gets the kid in the bath and it disappears. The little toy will be lost and forgotten within a week. It all comes down to nothing to clean up and the kids was happy.
I've tried the Legos and Barbies too...no dice. The bath bombs with the toys inside (LOL Charm Fizz are the thing now) are awesome. Hatchimals are still a thing but the little ones more so now. I got her one because she asked and she was like yeah that's kinda lame.
 

DVD

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Step away from the Play-Doh and no one gets hurt! Also, no one is left cleaning a giant mess of play-doh smashed into the floor, carpet, hair, and anywhere else it can go.
 

WSU MUP Student

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Step away from the Play-Doh and no one gets hurt! Also, no one is left cleaning a giant mess of play-doh smashed into the floor, carpet, hair, and anywhere else it can go.
My daughter enjoys Play-Doh and making slime and all those types of things. She knows I absolutely hate it because I am forever trying to scrape it off the floors or get it out of the carpet after she plays with it so she only asks mom to get it out of the cupboard for her. But then when I come home she inevitably smuggly tells me, "Mom let play with Play-Doh today!" as soon as I walk in the door.
 

Veloise

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More craft projects:

One year I traveled to my sibling's for late December. She was at the sewing machine frantically completing a project (shirt for her then-BF) and the kiddos were badgering her. I brought out a pre-packaged craft kit that made snowman ornaments out of styrofoam balls and little doo-dads. Of course the nieces crafted up snow women, complete with felt hair (instead of shovels). Might have been the year they were 6 and 8, or 5 and 7.

They also loooved to bake and "help" in the kitchen. A 5yo can wash veggies, shred lettuce, snap green beans. Other good motor skills might include mixing ingredients, rolling dough, cutting out cookies, and of course decorating them. Setting the table, clearing the table, washing and drying dishes. If the sisters' home life has been unstable, perhaps these basic domestic activities will bring them joy.

I got the nieces into stuff like arranging flowers. Rather than selecting a pre-made arrangement, we picked out bulk carnations (because Tia was self-employed) and arranged them in a repurposed container. This involved a February 2 shopping trip with them both sitting in the grocery cart and announcing to everyone, "it's our mother's birthday! She's a groundhog! We're getting her some FLOWERS!"

Took them shopping at Goodwill (see: self-employed) and they had me try on clothing that my sibling might wear.
Uh, maybe that exact theme won't work here.

We went to fabric stores and they learned how to estimate how much yardage is left on a bolt, the fun variety of sewing patterns in the catalogs, and the joy of picking out fabric for a project. Now the older one is 27 and she's an avid sew-er.

Seems like I got them involved in simple home repair (replacing a doorknob?), gardening, laundry, and more Fun Things That Every Human Should Know How to Do.
 

DVD

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My daughter enjoys Play-Doh and making slime and all those types of things. She knows I absolutely hate it because I am forever trying to scrape it off the floors or get it out of the carpet after she plays with it so she only asks mom to get it out of the cupboard for her. But then when I come home she inevitably smuggly tells me, "Mom let play with Play-Doh today!" as soon as I walk in the door.
My kids are required to use a giant vinyl table cloth for play-doh. The slime thing is huge right now. Another messy one though. My kids also love the little pre packaged craft things. We usually get a few each year from Oriental Trading. It entertains the neighborhood kids.
 

kjel

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My kids are required to use a giant vinyl table cloth for play-doh. The slime thing is huge right now. Another messy one though. My kids also love the little pre packaged craft things. We usually get a few each year from Oriental Trading. It entertains the neighborhood kids.
Play-Doh is always fun to clean up. Thanks for the pro tip with the vinyl table cloth. Bella likes slime, I've made it for her a couple times but she plays with it for a little while and then moves on. I store it out of reach.

Times two on the little packaged crafts, Michaels always has them for $1 to $3 and she can generally do them own her own.
 

Rygor

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My wee one is about to turn 4.

She's into:

Calico Critters/Lil' Woodzees (Target version)
Simple board games like Candyland and Sorry
Coloring books where you just use water and the color is kind of built in already to the pages
Puzzles! She can do pretty much any puzzle under 100 pieces and it keeps her occupied for a while
Magnetic letters and numbers
Stuffed animals
Her mini-kitchen and play food and shopping cart
Her Doc McStuffins doctor playset. She loves playing doctor with her stuffed animals.

All in all, she's pretty damn adorable.
 

gtpeach

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Next parenting dilemma! I don't have a home phone. So especially for when I may need to leave the girls home alone for a few minutes (the older girl will be turning 14 next month, so she'll be fine to be in charge here and there), I wanted to get a really basic, pre-paid cell phone so she can get in touch with me if there are emergencies. The thing is that I don't want her to have internet access through the phone. I'll have to talk to the social worker, but it's not a problem for her to talk on it, but I would need to be able to monitor internet use, so I'd prefer for that to be limited to a shared computer situation.

Any suggestions? I need to know EVERYTHING about the phone situation. Do I need a SIM card? What kind of SIM card? What kind of pre-paid plans have you found that have worked?

Thanks!
 

mendelman

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Next parenting dilemma! I don't have a home phone. So especially for when I may need to leave the girls home alone for a few minutes (the older girl will be turning 14 next month, so she'll be fine to be in charge here and there), I wanted to get a really basic, pre-paid cell phone so she can get in touch with me if there are emergencies. The thing is that I don't want her to have internet access through the phone. I'll have to talk to the social worker, but it's not a problem for her to talk on it, but I would need to be able to monitor internet use, so I'd prefer for that to be limited to a shared computer situation.

Any suggestions? I need to know EVERYTHING about the phone situation. Do I need a SIM card? What kind of SIM card? What kind of pre-paid plans have you found that have worked?

Thanks!
Just get her a 'dumb' phone (aka flip-phone)
 

kms

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Next parenting dilemma! I don't have a home phone. So especially for when I may need to leave the girls home alone for a few minutes (the older girl will be turning 14 next month, so she'll be fine to be in charge here and there), I wanted to get a really basic, pre-paid cell phone so she can get in touch with me if there are emergencies. The thing is that I don't want her to have internet access through the phone. I'll have to talk to the social worker, but it's not a problem for her to talk on it, but I would need to be able to monitor internet use, so I'd prefer for that to be limited to a shared computer situation.

Any suggestions? I need to know EVERYTHING about the phone situation. Do I need a SIM card? What kind of SIM card? What kind of pre-paid plans have you found that have worked?

Thanks!
I'd get a landline.
 

DVD

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Land line works. For flip phones, they have VERY limited internet use, you just go to your favorite carrier and ask for a plan and phone. The phone will probably be free. The plan should cover minutes and texts for maybe $20/month or less. No need for sim cards and all that mess.

Computers are much harder to monitor. You can set some parental settings which avoids the naked people stuff to some degree, but it's the social media stuff that's harder to deal with. In my case I randomly look at browser histories and the kids don't know that I'm the one logged into youtube so I can see what kind of stuff they've been watching. Fortunately we caught our kids early and made sure they know no social media friends that you don't know personally and you can follow celebrities. Sacred the crap out of the kid by telling her how creepy people are out there.
 

kjel

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I'd get a landline.
I'd +1 the landline in your situation. You may be able to bundle it into your cable/internet service. Before my cable provider offered phone service in South Carolina we used Vonage and never had an issue.
 

giff57

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I have a "home phone" through Verizon. It's essentially a cell phone in a box that you plug a land line phone into. No data or text, just voice. It's $15/mo I think.
 

gtpeach

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So I don’t actually a phone jack in the house. It was renovated before I bought it, and I didn’t think to request one. Not that it can’t be put in, but it’s not going to be super simple.
 

Maister

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So I don’t actually a phone jack in the house. It was renovated before I bought it, and I didn’t think to request one. Not that it can’t be put in, but it’s not going to be super simple.
Call 'em up and ask what would be involved in getting a landline hookup. Because the landline in this situation sounds like a pretty good solution.
 

JNA

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So I don’t actually a phone jack in the house. It was renovated before I bought it, and I didn’t think to request one. Not that it can’t be put in, but it’s not going to be super simple.
Call 'em up and ask what would be involved in getting a landline hookup. Because the landline in this situation sounds like a pretty good solution.
My landline is through my computer modem.
 

Jen

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I would go with a cheap flip phone, that way's it's portable if you want it to be and the internet access on flips seriously sucks and is worthless. Burn through the very limited data and then don't add more.. pretty sure you can just buy service, voice and text time. Tracfone is what I'm familiar with in pay as you go phones.

Adding a land line would be folly imo and opens you up to a gazillion sales pitches, and robo calls. Not too mention those misdialed international calls and getting collect calls from county:-c
Besides Teens are more prone to reply to a text than pick up the phone to talk...lol
 

Whose Yur Planner

Cyburbian
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I'd go with a cheap flip phone with limited minutes myself. I haven't had a land line since I moved here nearly 11 years ago. Landlines are now outdated tech and really don't offer you that much.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
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You can always get a magic jack. I believe it just plugs into the computer and uses the internet for phone service.
 

kjel

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So I don’t actually a phone jack in the house. It was renovated before I bought it, and I didn’t think to request one. Not that it can’t be put in, but it’s not going to be super simple.
If you have cable tv/internet they most likely offer phone service. The jack is part of the modem.
 

kms

Cyburbian
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Depending on where you are and what the service is, a landline may give an address if you call 911. If the phone is bundled into cable, it'll cost about $5/month. It could be worth every penny if you have to make an emergency call.
 

gtpeach

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Depending on where you are and what the service is, a landline may give an address if you call 911. If the phone is bundled into cable, it'll cost about $5/month. It could be worth every penny if you have to make an emergency call.
I'm in a really rural area. Fortunately, I'm on the broadband route, so I have high-speed internet (when it's functioning), but the companies here don't offer any sort of packages. They're all small, local ISPs. I'll have to check into the MagicJack, though - that's something I hadn't considered and may be a good option. From what I understand, the older girl has her own phone, but doesn't have a plan, so it essentially would be able to connect to the WiFi network for her to use.
 

kjel

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I'm in a really rural area. Fortunately, I'm on the broadband route, so I have high-speed internet (when it's functioning), but the companies here don't offer any sort of packages. They're all small, local ISPs. I'll have to check into the MagicJack, though - that's something I hadn't considered and may be a good option. From what I understand, the older girl has her own phone, but doesn't have a plan, so it essentially would be able to connect to the WiFi network for her to use.
Vonage or MagicJack would be your best options.
 

Michele Zone

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I'm a little late to this discussion, but will add a bit of info about Tracfone in specific. I've had one for years. I'm no longer a big phone person.

You can get a "dumb" phone for as little as $10 or $20 and then you need to add days and minutes once a quarter. If you don't use the phone a lot, a $20 card with another 3 months service time is the sweet spot for good value. With taxes, you can keep the phone alive for around $7/ month.

However, some of the dumb phone are capable of doing things like checking email. They deduct minutes for being online instead of having a separate Data amount. So you would need to check that angle before committing.

The Tracphone is called that because tracks how many minutes you have left and how many days you have left and conveniently displays it. I use it because it's the lowest maintenance, best value kind of thing for my needs that's readily available at many stores (I have done some research and there are some other options out there that would theoretically be cheaper, but you can't walk into your nearest Walmart, Target, or grocery store and re-up).

I looked at other prepay phones and they often have a really short 30 day leash where you need to pay more every thirty days and if you are late, you can lose your phone service and phone number entirely. Paying once a quarter works vastly better for managing cash flow when money is tight.
 
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