Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Do Your Kids Need A Cell Phone?

Mobile PhonesImage by yisris via FlickrIn most cases, whether or not to get your child a cell phone, especially if they are a teenager, is going to be like any other parenting decision. Things to consider include:

  • Does your child really ‘need’ a cell phone?
  • Can you afford a cell phone?
  • Is your child responsible enough to take care of a cell phone?

My daughter came home from school one day and said, “I need a cell phone.” She’s 10. What I heard was, “Everybody has a cell phone. Can I get one too?”

My wife and I aren’t the type of parents to run out and buy something just because someone else has one. I know this gets frustrating for the kids, who see all the toys and gadgets their friends have, and would like to have more.

We never had the cell phone issue growing up. We just had to make sure we had enough change in our pocket for the pay phone, or call from the school office if there was a problem.

When we sat down and asked her why he thought he “needed” a cell phone, she gave the usual answers:
In case there’s an emergency at school
In case I need you to pick me up from school early

Both of these I shot down with, “then you can go to the school office and call us from there.”

There are different reasons why some kids should have phones and others don’t really need them. These reasons have nothing to do with age, but with their activities. If they are left alone often, then I can see having a cell phone, or if they will be late from a school activity or other event.

Safety is probably the main reason I would consider a cell phone for children.

If you’re considering getting a phone for your child, here is a link to some phones for kids with different levels of parental control: http://cellphonesforkidsguide.com/2010/05/08/best-cell-phones-for-kids-2010/

Reader: What's your experience with kids and cell phones?

1 comment:

  1. If I had kids I wouldn't buy them a cell phone until they had an actual after school activity and even then it would be a regular phone nothing smart nor fancy. Having spoke to my mom about the issue she says so many kids have smart phones that they browse the internet during class. I think they have there place and that one should factor the pros and cons.

    -Ravi G.


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