My 11-year-old is already asking, “Mom, when can I get a cell phone?” Many of her friends have cell phones, many have Facebook accounts, Instagram accounts and Whatsapp. So the question is, should my child or your child have a cell phone? And if so, at what age is it appropriate?
Please understand that these are my opinions and you are under no obligation to follow them or agree with them. If what I am about to lay out works for you, great! And if not, that’s ok too. Do what works for your family. These are simply my thoughts.
When should a child have their own cell phone?
When there is no longer adult supervision
My son only got his own cell phone when he went to high school. Why you may ask? In primary school, there are always teachers supervising children. If my child needs to get in touch with me, they can go to the secretary’s office and make a phone call. However, I found this changes in high school. Teenagers are less supervised at high school and many times sports are cancelled or school lets out early. I found my son needed to get in touch with me because of the frequent changes to schedules in high school and the diminished adult supervision.
When they grow in self-control
I find that my 16-year-old has a lot more self-control than my 11-year-old. My 16-year-old can switch off a game when he knows his time is up or he needs to study. In contrast, my 11-year-old can spend hours playing video games or watching TV if I don’t control it and keep an eye on it. Giving an addictive device such as a cell phone to a child who is yet to grow in self-control is a recipe for disaster. I heard someone say that the addiction to a cell phone for a child is similar to a cocaine addiction. That is a pretty sobering thought.
In my next blog, we will look at the dangers of cell phone use by children and what you can do to protect your child.
We all need wisdom and insight to raise our children. When I don’t know what to do, I turn to God in prayer. Do you need to reconnect with God or know more about a real relationship with Him? If so, click on the banner below or on the pop up for more information.