Are Cell Phones For Kids A Luxury?

  • We wait months for them.
  • The day arrives when we finally get to take them home.
  • We get the special little seat in our car for them.
  • We wrap them in their little protective clothing.
  • We proudly present them to friends and family.
  • We insure them, and keep them fed.
  • We clean them, and keep them away from harmful germs.
  • We protect them from injury, and keep them away from strangers.
  • When they are sick we take them to the doctor for proper care.
  • We stare into their little faces, and talk to them.
  • We play silly games with them.
  • We want them to get to know us, and we want to know and understand them.
  • We take them with us much of the time, and our bond grows.
  • We grow to understand that we need each other.
  • In spite of all of this care, they don’t always do what we want.
  • They wake us up in the middle of the night.
  • They just frustrate us at times.
  • Sometimes we love them so much we can’t help but do it all over again in a year or so.

Cell phones (mobile phones depending on where you live) have become a way of life. We use them for talking, texting, photos, videos, games, banking, shopping, research, email, music, calendars, GPS, and the list goes on. At what point does it become suitable to equip our offspring with one of these wonderfull little mobile computing / communication devices?

Providing cell phones for kids can be a help. When you and your child are apart due to work and school, you can update each other instantly about schedule changes or initiate any other topic of conversation. You can create a shared google calendar so you both can keep aware of due dates on school assignments or sporting events and more. 

On the other hand, providing cell phones for kids can be a distraction and hinderance for some kids. By now, who hasn’t heard of young people who are so socially awkward that they would rather text someone than to look them in the eye and have a verbal conversation. Yeah, it’s a thing. Or those who spend so much time on their phones with games, texting, etc, that they neglect their school work.

 

Things To Consider Before Getting Your Child A Cell Phone

They are such a useful tool that it seems to me that it’s a must in this day and age. We didn’t get them for our kids until they were in middle-school. I think several things need to be considered when you get them one.

1. Obviously your budget… they can be so expensive

 

2. Set limits on how much they can be used on school nights (not during meal times, not until homework has been completed, instrument practiced, chores done, … whatever..)

 

3. Require that you have their passwords so that you can monitor the content of their texting and pics being shared. You know your own child. Some kids don’t need that level of supervision… but then there are others.

 

4. keep the gps setting turned on so that you can monitor where they are. Read about it here.

 

5. there can be serious consequences to childhood brain development because of excessive cell phone use. You be the parent and set your foot down to establish the limits even if it upsets your child.

 

Cell phones for our kids can be a blessing or a curse. It is largely up to us as parents to determine which.

P.S. If you hire me for a magic show, ask me about doing the cell phone and ballon magic trick. You’ll like it.

Related Article: 10 Tips For Taking Pictures of Children

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Talk Back

At what age did you allow your child to have a cell phone? What was it that made that age the right time for you and your child?  Let us know in the comments below.

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