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Question
Posted by: Bankrupt | 2007/02/19

Phone abuse

I am the single parent of a 17 yearold finishing Matric.During the holidays he abused my landline and cellphone to such an extent tnat the cell c.phoned me to warn me of overuse; unfortunately it was after the fact - end of school holidays.

I immediately telephoned him at school and told him about the huge bill, I had been expecting a delivery of his contract cellphone which i immediately cancelled.(He is a boarder in KZN and I work in Port Elizabeth so the phone was to help when we communicate)

I have reduced his allowance to the bare bones. He has had access to my phone before but never abused it like this!! During the
break I had repeatedly warned him to be careful not to abuse the phone. ( Actually the bill is over R3000)
I do not get the feeling that he is contrite enough - he always asks for when I will get him a cellphone- even while I am battling to pay it off.
I am very angry with him at the moment and feel that I need to punish him further, maybe the way I punished him was not enough. I ust say that generally he does behave well.
What do you think?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageTeen expert

You are right to feel so upset at such a huge bill.

In terms of him paying something back you may want to think about jobs/chores he can do when he is home from school.

In terms of him asking when he will get another phone you could consider telling him he will get a phone when the last of the money he owes is paid off and not before.

For the future consider getting your landline locked for use and also check on calls if he has used your cellphone.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Another single Mom | 2007/02/20

Sorry to say this, but I think your son is old enought to get a part time job! He can then pay your WHOLE telephone bill, see what that feels like... and then he can organise his own phone with either a contract or "pay as you go" option, pay all the monthly costs on that with his own money. I bet he'll realise what you go through every month paying bills, food, school fees etc...
I go through the same sort of thing with my 12 year old daughter - I'm now giving her a certain amount of pocket money, she has to buy her own airtime, pay for movies etc... It's amazing what her priorities are now...

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