How Young Is Too Young For a Cell Phone?
Are We Taking Cell Phone Usage Too Far?
The other day at the playground, I watched as what looked like a 5-year-old girl answered a cell phone call from her grandmother. No, it wasn't her mom or dad's cell phone she was using -- it was her own. Which raised the question -- are kindergartners too young to have their own cell phones? The answer may surprise you.
Listen, anyone who knows me knows that I'm not one for the overindulgence of children. In fact, I think the excess of spoiling our children is the reason why we have so many disrespectful irresponsible young adults running around today. That being said, however, I do honestly think that giving a cell phone to children of all ages isn't really a bad idea.
A Changing World
We have to admit the fact that we live in a changing world and the cell phone is a big part of that world. Years ago when I was little, I remember getting lost at an amusement park. What seemed like hours later, I was reunited with my mom. What if my mom and I had both had cell phones that day?
Think about it. You're at the mall with your 7-year-old and suddenly he's not next to you anymore. Instead of the panic attack most parents experience at this point, you simply call your son's cell phone. He answers, you find out exactly where he is and you go get him. No harm, no foul.
Or what about this... Your 12-year-old is at soccer practice and you're going to be about five minutes late picking him up due to an accident that slowed traffic. You call your son on his cell phone and tell him you're running late and to wait for you. Now your son doesn't worry when you don't show up right on time and you don't worry about your son having to worry.
Let's face it -- we all have enough stress in our lives when we're parents. If a cell phone can reduce that stress, I'm all for it.
Not All Cell Phones Are Created Equal
It is important to realize that not all cell phones are created equal. I do not advocate getting a flip phone with a camera and a mp3 player for a 1st grader. In their case, a Firefly or Migo will do. There are a number of age-appropriate cell phone options on the market. If you have kids, I suggest looking into them and getting them a cell phone that suits their needs and their age.