may2015 017


My son is going to be 9 years old and he wants a cell phone. I see a lot of kids his age do have cell phones. I am  on the fence about it. In one way I will be able to reach him at all times. but, the other part of me thinks he's still to young.

Just the other week he lost his lunch box. I couldn't understand how he could misplace such a big item. We retraced his steps and the bag wasn't even where he thought it was.

Many parents wrestle with the issue of cell phones for kids. What's the right age for kids to get cell phones, and what functions are age appropriate? And what about smart phones with their abilities to download apps (not to mention their additional data plans!)? Is he going to call people and bug them? My son does ask before he buys something from the iTunes store.

These questions are best answered by asking other questions:
•How independent is your child?
•Do your children “need” to be in touch for safety reasons — or social ones?(My son is never alone.)
•How responsible are they?
•Can they get behind the concept of limits for minutes talked and apps downloaded?
•Can they be trusted not to text during class, disturb others with their conversations, and to use the text, photo, and video functions responsibly (and not to embarrass or harass others)?
•Do they really need a smart phone that is also their music device, a portable movie and game player, and portal to the Internet?
•Do they need something that gives their location information to their friends — and maybe some strangers, too — as some of the new apps allow? ( You can turn these off)
•And do you want to add all the expense of new data plans? (How upset would you be if they lost it?)

Just remember: When you hand kids phones today, you're giving them powerful communications and production tools. They can create text, images, and videos that can be widely distributed and uploaded to Web sites. They can broadcast their status and their location. They can download just about everything in the world. Times may have changed, but parenting hasn't. We're still the parents. And it's our job to say “no, not yet.” I am not getting my son a phone. He Is not ready yet. Your child may be ready.


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