This week we're discussing the dilemma of when you should give your child a cell phone. How young is too young for a child to have his or her own cell phone?
In this world of instant communication, kids are anxious to jump on the cell phone bandwagon. Fifteen minutes into a walk around Jefferson Valley Mall on a Saturday afternoon, you would see countless kids and teens chatting and texting away on their phones.
Soon after putting their Barbies and Tonka trucks away, kids are negotiating with their parents for a cell phone. Savvy consumers, kids quickly learn the different features and applications available on today's hottest cell phones. After rehearsing their sales pitch, cell phone hungry kids are determined to convince hesitant parents that a cell phone is a necessity even before high school.
Wouldn't it be refreshing to see kids fight so hard for more books to read? Whether parents like it or not, the question of when and if a child should have a cell phone is being discussed in homes across our communities.
Today, the world is seen as a scary place. And you worry about your kids -- when they go to afterschool activities or go over a friend's house -- and are no longer playing ball just outside your window in near sight. The easiest solution might be give your child a cell phone. That way, parents and children have a direct line of connection and you can easily confirm your child is safe.
Here are some discussion questions to get us started.
- What's the most appropriate age to give your child a cell phone?
- What qualities should a child demonstrate before receiving a cell phone?
- Can you share some rules that you established with your child about cell phone responsibility?
- How can parents emphasize the importance of always keeping their cell phones accessible when kids are away from home due to activities or social engagements?
- Should parents monitor the amount and subject matter of texting on their kid's phone?
- How can parents make sure that cell phone use does not interfere with homework and family time?
A special thanks to our Moms Council: Patrice Athanasidy, Laura Belfiore, Carolyn DePaolo, Laurie Gershgorn and Kelly Galimi.