Should You Buy Your Kid a Cell Phone?

March 25th, 2010 posted by Family Corner Staff

According to a recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 66 percent of kids own a cell phone. Are you part of the remaining 34 percent and you’re wondering if you should just go ahead and buy one or stand your ground and not give in the pressure? This is a divisive issue with some parents who firmly take the pro-technology stance—and there are certainly arguments in favor of giving your child a way to call 911 at any time or to receive calls from parents. On the other side of the fence are the parents who don’t see the need and worry that once the kids get phones, they will start texting like mad, running up enormous bills that the parents then have to pay.

Here are some commonly-held positions you may want to consider:

  • “You can have it when you can pay for it.” Take the onus off yourself and put the responsibility firmly in the hands of the child. 
  • “You can have one but it’s prepaid and for emergencies only.” Start small—give them a chance to prove they can handle the responsibility and see how it goes. 
  • “You can have one when you start driving (but of course you can’t use it while driving).” The safety feature of being able to track them using GPS is a major contributing factor to this school of thought. 
  • “No cell phones for children in this house.” Hey, you’re the parent and if you decide you don’t want your kid to have a phone, then they don’t get one. End of discussion. 

What are your thoughts?

Family Corner Staff (674 Posts)

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