Parents, Kids And Cell Phones – Oh My!

It’s that time of the year again. Your 9 year old child is about to end his school session for the year and he asks the same question he has been asking since he was six, “Mom, can I have a cell phone yet?”

What Would You Say?

The question of when to purchase your child’s first cell phone is, ultimately, a personal one. Many times, families will argue because an older sibling will have a phone and a younger sibling does not.

While these decisions are based on a combination of age and responsibility, just because a child reaches a certain age does not mean he understands the amount of responsibility owning a cell phone will bring.

First Things First

Before taking the step and purchasing the first cell phone, some things you should take into consideration, no matter how old he is, include:

  • How much will the phone cost?
  • Who will be responsible for the bill?
  • Are there parental controls to control the applications, messaging and other items?
  • Does he want one because of peer pressure or because you have one?
  • Can you trust him not to lie about where he is when you call?
  • Will there be limits as to how much he can use it?

Sitting down and drawing up a Parental Agreement Contract with your child is a good idea. This way, both of you is forced into taking the matter seriously, especially if you are sitting down to talk with a younger child.

If, for example, a child is 10 and you think he is ready for that first phone, spell out what responsibilities you expect from him as well as the consequences if the contract is broken, this way, everyone wins.

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