Why we are giving our 9 year old a cell phone

(photo credit: Alvaro Serrano)
With my oldest child turning 10 in August, I didn't think this would be a question my husband and I would be asking ourselves so early in the game. I remember several years ago, I sanctimoniously declared, "no child of mine would own a cellphone before they were old enough to pay the bill!" So when Joshua, broached us about getting him a one, I was surprised that I actually said yes!

Perhaps it's the millennial in me, but I am a firm believer in moving with the changes of society and taking full advantage of the advancements of technology. Cellphones provide a multitude of benefits for adults and children:

Constant Contact
Joshua being 9 years old, spends some time way from home alone. He often will meet his friends at the park after school, walk to and from a friends house, head back to school to watch sporting events. With the summer approaching, I suspect he will spend even more time outsides away from a caregiver. Having a phone on him will allow us to communicate easier and at any time.

The ease of communication will also bring with it independence which is something I place a high value on. Knowing that I can call him at any time will allow me to say yes to more thing. Right now, when he calls me at work and asks if he can meet his friends at the park I will say "Yes, but you can only stay for one hour." Since I can't call him while he's at the park, I give a more strict time line as to when my aunt (who watches them after school) should expect them home.

Being a kid in the 90s meant we didn't set up formal play dates. You go to your friends house, you ring the bell and you said "Can Sally come out to play?" Have you tried spontaneously ringing someones doorbell in the year 2017?! Now, when your kids want to play, you (the parent) have to "call ahead" and speak with the other parent. I hate that. Why am I managing my child's social life? I barely have one of my own! A good portion of my kids friends already have cellphones and while I am never the parent to do something just because it's hip, I am the parent to do something to  make my life easier. Having a cellphone will allow them to contact each other by cutting out the middle man. What about the house phone, you say? The only people that have that number are my parents and my in laws...and the duct cleaning service people who love to call every.single.day!

So yes we will be giving our 9 year old a cellphone, my old iphone 4S that is currently collecting dust on my husbands night stand. We're not going to shelling out hundreds on the latest and greatest. With the cellphone will come a lot of responsibility and expectations and we don't mind entering into that with him. Also, just because he will have a cellphone available to him, that doesn't mean he will have free reign. More than likely it will remain in our room and only used when we feel he needs it.

When did/will you give your child a cellphone and why?

No comments