iphone saga

My 12 year old daughter approached me and informed me that she had saved her money and was going to purchase an i-phone 4. WHAT??? Um… NO! My practical side called out. ” 3GS’s are $50.00- choose that. That is more than enough for you. When I was a kid we didn’t even have phones and for goodness sake I operate a business off of a 3Gs. There is NO NEED for you as a 12 year old to have the most “state of the art” equipment. NO WAY! It’s going to get stolen, you are going to drop it, it will break and it will be like flushing $200 down the tubes. Do you have $250?? because you are not leaving the house without a case!!
I won’t tell you which of these arguments I blurted out and which I kept in the recesses of my mind. I definately had strong feelings of what the prudent decision should be in this situation.  My husband piped in with one simple word…NO! Clara says calmly, “It is my money and I am buying an i-phone 4 with it…..”

As a parent what do I do? What would you do?

Let’s chat this out … Tomorrow, I will give you an update.


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Angela Culpepper About Angela Culpepper

Angela Culpepper is a wife, mother, triathelete, and real-estate agent who enjoys a good laugh and great cup of coffee. Above all, she's a woman with a heart for God. She has volunteered for many years with adoption agencies and child advocacy groups, giving a passionate voice to those can't always speak for themselves.

In her role with Parenting by Design, she oversees sales and curriculum promotion for churches. Contact Angela if you have questions on how to bring the Parenting By Design materials to your church.

Angela and her husband Chris live with their three teens in Fort Worth, TX.


  1. Steve S says:

    You miss a very important and insightful fact in this story. In this day and age of spending recklessness most people are submerged in debt. And while she is only 12…she has shown an ability to save money. Thats right….save money! Not borrow…not steal…but save. She is doing so for a purpose. To buy something that she has wanted so dearly. By denying her the reward she has worked for you are essentially punishing her for something that 75% of America refuses to do. Instead, you should allow her to have her reward and tell her never to let go of the premise of saving for what you want. Tell her she has done well but now she has to work hard to keep care of this device. And that should she break or lose the phone it would undermine all of her hard work.

  2. My son came to me and told me he had been viewing porn on his ipod touch. He had tried several ways to block these sites but couldn’t. He decided to sell it. He didn’t get caught, but rather came to me and confessed. I would be very hesitant to let one of my kids have one again. Other than that, he really loved it. Apple has blocks for computers, but not sure if they have it for their phones, and ipod touches.

  3. Scratching my Head, in Garland says:

    I agree that this generation of teens (and tweens) has a lust/overdesire for new technology. This is a source of conflict in our home as well; my boys want to spend most of their waking moments “plugged into the wall” on computer, facebook, skype… or video games like modern warfare…. or looking down at some PORTABLE flashing box (phone, ipod, nintendo). I am always putting distance between them and their Machines, only to get labeled a control freak. It’s such a weird world right now, because this whole generation of kids have been marketed to believe these things will actually bring them happiness!! It’s a constant struggle for me as a parent, because I know this overdesire for technology, and their dependence upon it, is not healthy … and I am eager to hear dialogue from other parents, hopefully with solutions!! Thank you for your blog! I am right here with you, I wish I could offer some suggestions but I’m in the same boat over here praying for wisdom and trying to discern what is reasonable vs. what is greed.

  4. Scratching my Head, in Garland says:

    and by the way … my kids did purchase most of these devices with their own money, that they had saved for a time. With the exception of the family computer which is where they use facebook and skype. But they each saved allowances, lawn-mowing money and birthday money for quite some time, to purchase the nintendo DS, playstation 3, and the fancy phone which is indeed, fancier than mine.

    Since they worked hard to save for them, they do take good care of them. Your daughter would probably do the same, if it has taken her some time to save up for the phone she wants.

  5. Clara Culpepper says:

    I Think It’s Good She Saved Her Money And Thats Hard Work For A Kid!

  6. Just because it is her money doesn’t mean she should be able to buy whatever she wants with it. She is 12 years old. I truly believe you need to decide what your family values are around technology, phones, etc, and operate from there. Additionally, you cannot get an iphone without a data plan of some kind, and as far as I am concerned, a 12 year old does not need to be walking around with 24/7 access to the internet, even if there are some parental controls used.

  7. Angela Culpepper Angela Culpepper says:

    Thank you ALL for your comments and advice. Let’s keep talking. Share your stories, triumphs and struggles and let’s keep the dialogue open. All of us love our children and are striving to do what is best for them. Protecting them in this “techno” world we live in is not a simple task. I am seeking to honor the Lord in the decisions I am making each day. The circumstances, questions, and requests are changing constantly. For example: as I am typing this comment my 14 year old called to ask if she could dye half her hair purple for the summer. WHAT? Shoot everyone, I have to go, I can’t miss this opportunity to find out if that means one side? The back? one strip…… Talk to you soon. ~Angela

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