Lately, my husband and I have been discussing the right age to get our kids a cell phone. Well, actually, this has been an ongoing discussion for awhile. A few of our kids' friends have cell phones. And of course, when we see these other kids with a cell phone, the discussion comes back to us.
How old should kids be when they get a cell phone?
In our house, in comparison with other parents, we are pretty lenient with technology-related things. Both our kids (with a good parent block and secure password) regularly go online and surf the Internet. Both kids know how to use iTunes and an iPod and a digital camera. Both kids are comfortable using applications on my iPhone. And currently, I am trying desperately to get my oldest son to write a blog.
(No luck yet. According to my son, ((the nerve)) "blogs aren't cool!")
However a cell phone is different. My kids will LEAVE the house with this technology. They will have to keep it safe. They will have to be responsible. And they will have to bring the phone home in the same condition they left it in. This terrifies me.
It really terrifies me.
Can my 6 year old really handle a cell phone? Well, this answer is easy. Ummm no. My 6 year old would treat a cell phone as an open opportunity to call me at work - just to tell me what he wants for Christmas. He may also try to call someone in
Can my 9 year handle a cell phone? This answer is not so easy. Ummm maybe. But again I would be nervous. My 9 year old has trouble finding his shoes in the morning. (Well...then again … so do I.) Can I really trust him to keep a cell phone safe? I don't know. Would he understand basic cell phone rules - like not running up minutes - and not using a cell phone in a classroom? Again, I don't know - probably. My son usually does listen to what we say and for the most part, we do trust him.
But the biggest question is - does my 9 year old really need a cell phone? This is always where we always make our decision. Not really. Currently, my son is rarely in a situation that would require a cell phone and if he were to need one, he's around plenty of adults who could help him out. So, at 9 years old, does my son’s lifestyle – in any way that I can think of – require a cell phone?
Not yet, I don't think.
Right now, a cell phone would serve as little more than an expensive but very cool gadget in my son’s pocket.
But of course, this decision is just postponed to another day. When we see another one of our kids' friends with a cell phone - we will have the discussion again, I'm sure.
Here are some useful kids/phones related sites.
Top rated cell pones for kids (I don’t plan to use this yet.)
Cell Phone Etiquette (This is not just for kids.)
Should Nines Year Olds Have Cell Phones? (Interesting)
My Mobile Watchdog (Monitor your Child’s Cell Phone usage and Text Messages - I hope I will never need to use a service like this.)