cellphones for kids

Let’s face it, today’s technology era is not the world we grew up in. I got my first cellphone just before I graduated high school and it was huge! I have fond memories of that Bosch that made me feel like the coolest kid in school. Being seventeen years old at the time, I cannot fathom that giving my kids’ cellphones before the age of ten has become not only an option but a necessity.

Like many other working parents, our kids were given cellphones for safety reasons. When both my husband and I were working outside the home it was important to keep in touch

Crazy Momma of Three recently said that cellphones for her own young children were unnecessary as they are dropped and collected from school so they’re always either in their family or the schools’ care. Our situation used to be exactly the same so I shared that opinion while I was a WAHM.

A few months ago we became part of the other group of families where both parents work full-time jobs outside the home. My husband and I both work full-time jobs and as a result eight year old son’s schedule is a bit chaotic.

Although his school is quite close to home, he now travels with private transport to school, has extra mural activities every other day after school, is taken to aftercare and then brought back home around the time when I arrive home from work. I always have an idea of where he is and his driver and aftercare is a super nice lady whom I completely trust but I didn’t have much peace of mind knowing that I’d only see him in the evening and that he had no means of contacting me or his dad before that time.

For this reason, we decided to give him his first cellphone at the age of eight, even though I had before always said that was way too young.

Safety and peace of mind

I have so much peace of mind now that I know he has a phone with me, his dad, granny and aunt’s contacts programmed in. He doesn’t really use data or text message facilities yet but knows how to hit the speed dial for any one of us and how to answer our calls too.

The phone that we gave him is a very basic smartphone. It’s tiny and made of plastic and was only used as my spare / in-between phone (I did mention that I go through phones a lot!).

As with his other allowances, we had to set a few ground rules for the cellphone:

  • The cellphone remains switched off during school hours as per school rules and is switched on only after the school day ends.
  • The cellphone remains concealed in his bag. He is not allowed to flaunt it even after school as this could endanger him.
  • The cellphone is used only as a point of contact between us eg. He phones me if he arrives home a few minutes before I do.
  • We don’t text/phone during the day, it is for important stuff only.

Other than that, we are happy with our choice and so far he is being responsible and not really that phased at being one of the first in his grade to own a cellphone because it’s not really for entertainment. I think there is no right age for a cellphone as each family is different so you will need to decide what works for you.

I realize we’re being a bit unconventional so I’d love to hear your opinion in the comment section below on where you stand with young children and cellphone privileges?