Let the debate begin!  At what age should a child have a cell phone?  I am not sure there is a clear and concise answer but here's my opinion~Ok so it's no secret Chad and I are no spring chickens!  We both agree that letting kids have phones as young as they are getting them these days is absolutely CRAZY!  Both of us did not even have the priviledge of a cell phone until we were adults.  I had one for a very short time in college, jacked the bill up, and my mom took it and I never got it back and didn't get another one until 25 years of age.

While I know many parents have a strong opinion on both sides of the coin here is mine.  I think this goes back to a blog I did a few months ago about the appropriate age to leave your child home alone.  It depends on the child, situation, and their maturity level.

As much as I hate to admit it cell phones are convenient(which is one reaason so many kids have them).  My boys did not get cell phones until this past Christmas against my better judgement.  They received them as a present from their dad.  I just knew they wouldn't be able to handle the responsiblity and guess what...I was right!  However, after a lengthy punishment one of the two boys got his phone back.  It helps me because they are home in the summer while we work.  I can text or call and check on them and have them do the chores I need done before I get home.  They have been asking for phones for about 3 years now.  I still don't feel like they are mature enough but it does make life a little easier.  And we set rules like they must give us their phones before we go to bed and they get them back in the morning.  We also check them without notice.  They do not have internet and know it does not truly belong to them.

Many parents provide a cell phone for their children if they have some type of medical condition or for specific health reasons. I think this is a great reason for a child to have a cell phone.

There are also the kids that play every sport known to man or those kids that are constantly on the go doing something extracurricular.  Giving your child a phone when they are so busy allows them to reach you at any given time if practice or an event ends early or if they just need you.

But what about the parents that just buy their children phones because every other kid is getting one.  A cell phone is a HUGE responsibility and when you place on in the hands of a child not ready for it you are asking for trouble.  It seems to be the norm and I have seen it cause huge problems among families.  I have witnessed kids lose their minds over a parent taking their phone away.  This is beyond my understanding.

The common age that most kids are getting their first smartphone is 10.  This seems extremely young to me.   Here the opinion's of 12 year olds that were given phones.

With social media sites on the rise and predators prowling around it seems like you are just giving them easier access to your child.

I also think if you are going to give a kid a phone you need to make sure they know proper phone etiquette, as well as knowing that they are capable of communicating with others outside of the walls of that mobile device.

What do you think?  What age should a child receive their first cell phone?  If your child has a phone do you set rules?  Do you check their phone?  Do they have to leave it with you?

 

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