Social Question

EgaoNoGenki's avatar

If you were Cara's parent, & saw the results of THIS on the cellphone bill, how would you respond & punish her?

Asked by EgaoNoGenki (1149points) February 5th, 2010

Read this screenshot of Cara’s status update:

She clearly had good intentions, but after you read exactly what she did (although to help Haiti), if you were her parent, how would you punish her?

Would you force her to get a job and pay it off?

Or would you take it off of her college fund?

Or would you sell her car in order to pay for it? (What if she doesn’t have a car yet?)

How would you deal with her? What exactly would you tell her immediately upon reading this bill?

This is the most foolish way to help Haiti that I have ever seen!

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46 Answers

Judi's avatar

I think I would be embarrassed that I had raised such a stupid kid.

odali's avatar

lmao. Notice the 3 minute delay between saying its not my money and then wait it doesnt get charged to the phone bill? She knew what she was doing.. then she realized you may see it.. so on top of this she is lying..

It’s for a good cause, but did she do this to spite you?

Part of the punishment should be she pays her own phone bill, and yes of course she should have a job to pay it off. Don’t take all her money, but probably a good 50% of her income until its paid off (which could take awhile if she is still in school.. $150 a week.. 75 to you.. that’s 300 a month, so about 9.25 months to pay off).. and also, to make sure all her friends realize how stupid she is.. put this on youtube or something, although she kind of already punished herself that way by facebooking it.

gemiwing's avatar

She would pay it off. She reminds me of spoiled children who have too much handed to them without any responsibility.

Or she’s just a normal 14yo kid who needs a sharp reality reminder.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I would take her phone, and not give it back until she was able to show some intelligence and some respect for her parents’ money. If that did not happen, she would have to work around the house cleaning to the value of $2000 to learn to respect her parents’ money.

Spinel's avatar

I would drop her little cell phone into the Missouri River and then make her get a job at MacDonald’s – with no weekends free untill the $2000 debt was paid off!

VohuManah's avatar

There’s always a work camp youth fun center.

EgaoNoGenki's avatar

@VohuManah Are they free? If not, they’d kinda defeat the purpose, now wouldn’t they?

VohuManah's avatar

Assuming illegal organ transactions are available, you would have plenty of funding for punishment enjoyable career opportunities. Kidney for your cell phone?

Pazza's avatar

In my world, she would never have had a mobile phone…......
I blame the parents, their childs stupidity is merely a reflection of their own.

Ps. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAhahahahaha…....

Alternitively, say nothing, call the cops, say you never aloud her to use the phone, have her prosecuted, she’s that thick, she’l probably do it again, 6 grand later use the three strikes an your out law, an Bobs your uncle, no more thick child!.......

Arisztid's avatar

After I was done chastising myself for raising a willful, idiotic child, I would take her phone from her, remove the plug from her computer, and send her to her room.

After I had calmed down I would tell her that, no matter her motives, that was not the thing to do. I would revoke such privileges as computer and home phone, even with my direct supervision. She would go to school, come home, and get a job until I believed that 1) she learned her lesson, 2) was on her way to paying it back. If she did not want to get a job, she also would not get privileges.

I would not take her college fund from her or sell her car, but she would pay this back by getting a job. After she got her job and showed me that she was going to do what I required, I would give her back privileges slowly and, if she backed out of the job, I would remove them again. It was like @odali said… it does not look like an accident. It looks willful.

She would not get another phone of her own… period.

susanc's avatar

The goal as I understand it is to find a way for HER to send money to Haiti. Apparently you don’t intend to join her in doing so.
But she should be praised for caring about people who are in trouble. A consequence of her goodwill, her responsibility, and her passion is that she needs to relinquish her car immediately and get a job. She can use public transportation? or, if you have to provide transportation, it will give her a chance to have conversations with you. That’ll be good. She hasn’t learned how to do this. Do you take any responsibility for that fact?
If it were me, I would kick in for some amount of the gift to Haitians; otherwise she becomes the generous martyr and you become the cruel, heartless materialist. Circumvent this.
Try to hammer your anger into cleverness.

LunaChick's avatar

I would take her cell phone away, until she paid the entire phone bill.If she doesn’t have a job, she needs to get one. If she does have a job, she needs to turn her paycheck over to her parents, to pay on the bill.

DominicX's avatar

After 30 minutes of laughing followed by 15 minutes of crying, I’d consider holding her back a grade.

If that’s a true story, that’s pretty freakin’ hilarious. Poor kid. :P It doesn’t look willful to me. It looks like a hideously embarrassing stupid mistake. I know how horrible that “oh shit-” feeling can be.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. I would sit her down and attempt to squeeze some light into her dense skull about how that deal really worked. Then I would have her write out “Each call cost $10 of my parent’s money” 2,000 times for each dollar she sent. Take away her phone except the weekend where she will go door-to-door with cleaning supplies I will provide her and she will ask to wash the neighbors cars for $10 bucks each to earn back the money she spent, and lastly take her CD, DVD, and video games hand have her hold a yard sale where she will sell them all to earn back some of the money, might make her throw in the shoes too.

Sampson's avatar

No phone till it’s paid off. She works (either chores or a real job) til it’s paid off. Summer school afterward because my kid is stupid.

Pazza's avatar

I take it you have ‘pay-as-you-go’ contracts in America too?
Give a child an inch!......

ragingloli's avatar

Ban her from using her cellphone for half a year, after that, prepaid phone only. (Which I would have given her in the first place anyway, to prevent just this).
Then some talk about how the real world works (That girl thought it was free, how stupid is that?)
And then I would make her build my shed in the garden.

iphigeneia's avatar

Reading through the comments, it’s pretty obvious the status is a fake. If a similar situation were to occur to a child of mine, I would pay the bill myself. Said child would then have the choice to pay me back with their own money, if they have any, or to make up for it with household chores, no new clothes or presents, etc.

I don’t know how old ‘Cara’ is, but she sounds young enough to be cut some slack. She’ll have to deal with some pretty tough consequences, but it’s a lesson learned and at least she meant well.

ucme's avatar

I’d put her on hold for a very long time.

bean's avatar

I’m pretty bad at spending, and accidentally spent too much on my mobile, phone and things….
and my parents pay for me and the family to travel back to Asia to see family every year since i was born, plus overseas holiday every year too…. plus my parents are buying me a car, and are worried that my job is not enough and give me extra for rent….

in a way, I don’t really like the idea of them supporting me so much, it’s extremely nice of them but they have to stop because I think I won’t be able to learn the value of being independent and organizing my own finances… point is, she needs to learn and her parents need to give her some sought of consequence/punishment, but she’s probably shitting her self because of it and they could go easy on her just to explain that what she did was wrong. she’s probably not thinking about how much its costing. It doesn’t seem like she’s understands the value of budget and saving.

Mozart's avatar

What the? She thought the phone company would pay for the donation?
Oh wow.

MissAusten's avatar

I’d find some way of having the kid pay it off herself. Then we’d have the “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” talk. And that entire website is hilarious!

westy81585's avatar

She’s clearly too stupid to be trusted with a cell phone imo.

bean's avatar

i haven’t read the link yet because anything to do with face book is banned here in china, I’ll have to wait till I go back home this week to read it :P but from every ones comment she seems too stupid to be entrusted with a phone….

good solid no no is needed.

belakyre's avatar

Nice heart but pretty stupid…I would lay her off the phone and ask her to find some other ways to donate to Haiti with her own money…but I’m 14 and this girl is probably older than me…and it would be really weird to have a dad younger than you.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Cara would not have a phone or a computer, but would have a job, even if it was cleaning the house for me. Football game, school events, spring break trip? PFFFFTTT! What are those?

Several years ago, parents I knew from a sports team did have to deal with this issue. They shared minutes on a plan as a family, and their older daughter would be laying on her bed in her room, talking on her cell phone, with a land line 2 feet from where she was. Their phone bill was $1,200 for one month. She did not have a cell phone again until she left for college. The dad also made her do the paperwork to pay the bills, so she could see where the family money went every month.

john65pennington's avatar

If this girl is a college student, she needs to forget college and start flipping hamburgers at McDonalds. although her intentions may have been good, her IQ bottomed out in this endeavor.

Cupcake's avatar

I would have her raise funds for plane tickets and bring her to Haiti to do disaster relief work.

Tenpinmaster's avatar

Well.. I guarantee it would be the last bill they ever had with that cell phone *gets hammer out and smiles *

You know, I hate dealing with these telecoms because they really don’t give a crap whether you know about the details or not or build safeguards from keeping this stuff from happening. They are predators just like the credit card companies. =\ But she would definatly be working off her mistake in the way of employment

Silhouette's avatar

I would shut off her phone service. I would deduct from her spending money until the bill was paid. New clothes for school = $2000 New clothes for Cara this year =$0

Jack79's avatar

I think I’d be more worried about my daughter’s stupidity (in thinking it was free) than about the bill, or the people in Haiti for that matter. I have a friend that always forwards spam, including a recent one that said that “for every email forwarded the local municipality plus the child services will donate $1 each for this kid’s operation”. She knows that municipality is poor (and why would they ask you to email something in order to donate money for the child?). And she knows what the people at child services are like, but she still forwarded it. And she’s 28.

So I guess I’d let Cara get away with it on grounds of stupidity. I’d still deduct it from her pocket money (or simply give her a little less since I’d have to make ends meet with the bill). And of course parents who allow their children to have phones without limits have only themselves to blame: most of the kids I know use pre-paid cards and can call their parents for free in an emergency.

I don’t think that stupid girl even cared about Haiti. She just thought it would be “cool” to send the most messages. Her comment “Ha, it’s not my money” shows how much she actually cares about her fellow-humans. So no, it’s not for a good cause. If she wants to help, I’d get her a ticket to go there and move out the rubble.

cornbird's avatar

I would explain to her what a stupid thing she has done and caution her to be a little more careful next time. I would not give her a too severe punishment because she had good intentions, but id be really upset.

Marva's avatar

Hi, I would definitly remove the concept of punishment. In general by the way. I resent the parent-child relationship in which the parent is the controller of the child’s life. Parents are here to help us, even when we make mistakes. Even if they are damn-stupid one’s. And yes, sometimes they help us by helping us to learn a lesson, but not by punishment. Punishment only creates resentment, self victimisation (as opposed to taking responseability) and often misses the lesson because of that.

Specifically, it seems to me in this time Cara didn’t mean any harm to anyone, (on the contrary) and therefor should definitly not be punished.

However, she will have to be the one to face the results of her actions, and in this case, her frivolous behaviour.

I would suggest a sit-down conversation, when you explain to her exactly how much you need to work and what efforts do you go through to achive this kind of money, and explain to her that despite her innocence in sending these text messages, you dont feel you need to be the one paying the price for this frivolousness.
Then give her the option: in which ways does she want to retrive this money to you? make a descision together, let her follow the course she chose, and if you can, participate in some of the sum initially, just so she knows you are there for her when she makes a mistake and has to pay for it, and another part of the sum when you feel she has learned her lesson and can be released off the hook.

That way, she learnes the lesson, but still gets the message that she can be incharge (and responsible) for her own actions, and that you are there for her, as oppsed to against her.

If you just punish her, all she will be left with is “My stupid mom doesn’t want to pay and now i HAVE TO….” she will blame you, since she proabbly doesn’t know how hard one has to work toachieve such a sum, and you will only become estranged from her, being the aouthorative and punishing figure.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

When the child is controlling the family budget by inflating the phone bill, the parent has every right to punish the child for acts of stupidity that result in harm to the family. That $2000 has to come from somewhere, and immediately. Perhaps that $2000 was money for her sister’s braces, or her mother’s tuition for next semester.

What’s taught by not having consequences when you do harm to others? This is financial harm. Having your parents pay for your cell phone bill is a privilege, not a right.

ragingloli's avatar

Well yes, but giving virtually free reign to deal such a blow to the family’s finances to a known to be unstable element (the daughter) in the first place is just as great an act of stupidity as those of the daughter, so the parents certainly bear part of the responsibility.

therealshard's avatar

I’d send her to Haiti

tinyfaery's avatar

@Marva Excellent Answer.

2 grand is a lot, but it wouldn’t break me. I’d pay it and then make the girl spend her free time volunteering until I felt she did what would amount to that 2 grand. The kid needs to realize that money takes work no matter what you do with it. The intentions were well-meaning. This is another example of why I am glad I do not have kids. My very first reaction would be complete embarrassment that I was responsible for that person being in the world.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

The story is fake. You are only allowed three donations which is made perfectly clear upon the fourth attempt.

faye's avatar

Fake- they ask you to confirm donation. If a person truly was that thick would they know how to use the phone?

EgaoNoGenki's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Please give us a source, because I REALLY hope so!

LunaChick's avatar

I just looked it up, after reading what @Espiritus_Corvus wrote. This is from the Red Cross site:

Q: Can I donate more than $10?
A: Most wireless carriers will allow you to donate up to $20 (two $10 donations or four $5 donations) to a specific keyword (such as HAITI), but up to $100 to a specific short code (such as 90999).

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

My source of information is nearly a week old and comes by texting 90999 and making three donations of ten dollars each to Haitian Relief. On the fourth attempt, the voice on the other end states that they are unable to finalize the transaction because there is a limit of three donations from each caller.

In order for Cara to have made 188 ten dollar donations, she would have had to use 63 different phones. Unless her family happens to have 63 phones laying around the house all connected to her parent’s bill, she couldn’t have made the purported 188 pledges.

HungryGuy's avatar

In addition to grounding the kid, I’d challenge the bill on the grounds of fraud. Companies should know that parents often give phones to children, and so companies shouldn’t allow one to donate or order products by simply sending text messages. For a company to allow that is either fraud and/or preying on minors, and the company should have to eat the charge. Sending money via phone should require entering an actual credit card number or voice verification from an adult.

HungryGuy's avatar

@faye – A phone company shouldn’t allow someone to incur ANY charges or purchases simply by sending a text message for the reasons I already said: many parents give cell phone to children.

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