My eleven year old daughter has been asking for a cell phone for a couple of years now. The answer has always been, “When you are older and if you need one”. This is a new concept for us as parents because when we were as young as our kids, cell phones existed only for a select few adults. We called those mobile phones “bag phones”. Do you remember those?
Well, it’s 2012 I know, but I was surprised to hear that some 6 & 7 year olds already have their own cell phones. My daughter might say that I’m not with the times, but do kids really need cell phones and new technological gizmos? Each family has different circumstances which determine and guide their families needs. So what is the right age for kids to have their own cell phones? Depending on the time your kids are away from you, might help you decide whether your child needs a cell phone or not. Perhaps if your child takes part in several activities. You might like to know where they are, how to reach them and want them to be able to reach you.
Staying in Touch
Cell phones have changed the way we live and keeps families in touch. Cell phones saves time & allows families to get a hold of each other in case there’s an emergency. Kids can call their parents if plans have changed, if they are delayed or not feeling well and need to be picked up early.
I remember shopping in a store one day. I was approached by a grandma and she asked me if I had seen her grandson. I noticed her and her grandson earlier but couldn’t recall if I saw him leave or not. She told me that her husband had left the store to get a drink but she wasn’t sure if he took her grandson or not. I asked her if she wanted to use my cell phone. She said that she wished he had a cell phone so she could contact her husband. I offered to help her look for her grandson but a couple minutes later her husband and grandson walked in. I was so relieved for them.
Downfalls – Kids and Cell Phones
Unfortunately, there are several disadvantages to cell phone usage being that they are very distracting and can be time consuming. Cell phones offer many cool features such as cameras, video, surfing the net, games, instant messaging and more. It’s no wonder kids like them.
What about the health concerns of cell phone use? Kids can be especially vulnerable to the effects of cell phone radiation. However the FDA has not found any links to cancer and cell phone use.
Since there is not a way to completely supervise online web use, this tends to raise some concern with parents when they are considering a phone for their child.
While cell phones have many advantages to parents and their kids, it’s important to weigh out the benefits and drawbacks and determine what age is appropriate for your kids to get their cell phone.
An interesting poll was done by Soda Head Infographics in November 2011 that asked: What age should children receive a cell phone? Take a look at the findings.
- 24% for kids under the age of twelve
- 54% for kids between the ages of 13-15
- 22% for kids older than 16 years
How old do you think kids should be before they have their own cell phone? Tell us your comments below.