One of the decisions we face as moms and dads is when to buy our child a cellular phone. Their level of independence can be more vital than their age.
I offered my child her first phone on her tenth birthday. She kept asking me when she might have one. I desired it to be a surprise so I informed her she couldn’t have one till she turned eleven. She cried when she opened the box. Yes. I lied. It was so worth it to see her that happy. Moments like these, you’ll always keep in mind.
A couple of months later, my daughters and I went out for ice cream after a school show. We met up with a few of their good friends and their mothers. I was truly shocked when among the moms stated to me “I couldn’t believe you got Hannah a phone. I didn’t purchase my earliest daughter a phone until she was thirteen.” Another mommy chimed in, “I know. I couldn’t think it. Now my daughter keeps asking me for one too.”
Yep. I was “that” mom. I had no idea. And quite frankly, I didn’t actually care. What the other kids had and what other moms and dads believed, wasn’t a consider my decision. It was fear.
Hannah was at the age where she wanted liberty. She would ask me if she might choose a trip on her bike. Initially, I would only let her walk around the block. Then a few blocks. Then the play ground.
All I might think of while she was gone was the dreaded white van pulling up to her. Requesting for instructions or something. Zapping her with a Taser gun and throwing her into the van. Extreme? Maybe. It’s how I felt. I would have let her take my cellular phone but I use it as my organisation line. I would hate to miss an essential call.
I didn’t purchase her a cellular phone to spoil her. It wasn’t even for her, although she likes it. It was for me. As a worried parent I can now have assurance. Now I can remain connected. When she calls me or texts me to let me know where she is or when she’ll be house, I can breathe a little bit simpler.
Here are 5 questions to help you determine if you and your child are all set:
1. Is your kid ever alone without parental guidance?
2. Does your kid walk home from school or anywhere without an adult?
3. How responsible is your kid?
4. Can you communicate freely with your child about web security?
5. Does the expense of a cellular phone fit into your spending plan?
There is no “right” age or time to purchase your child a cellular phone. It truly depends upon their level of self-reliance, your convenience level and what you can pay for.