To be relatively young, I'm pretty set in my ways. Some of my family calls me the youngest "old fart" they know. That's fine - I usually take it as a compliment. For a long time I've heard about kids as young as seven years-old getting a cell phone. When I first heard of this I thought it was an utterly ridiculous expense, and vowed to never buy my kids a cell phone until they were old enough to pay their own bill. As the saying goes, never say never.
Cell Phones Offer Peace of Mind
A few of my daughter's friends have a cell phone, and after talking with their parents I can understand how it may be comforting to know your child could reach you if separated. I began to think of scenarios when it could be important for my kids to have a cell phone.
Separated in a store. Every parent's worst nightmare is to lose a child in a store. Assuming your child is old enough to operate a cell phone, a quick call could reunite parents and lost children.
Sleepovers. When we send our kids off to sleepovers we are essentially entrusting others to care for our precious children. Let's face it, no one cares for your child like you do, so it is natural to have reservations. If my child had a cell phone with them I could call and check-in often, and they could call and ask for a ride home if needed.
Parties. As kids get older parents are more likely to do the party drop off instead of staying with them the entire time. It is a two-hour break to run some errands, or run back home and knock out some chores. What if your child gets hurt, or sick, or just wants to come home early because other kids are being mean? Without a cell phone they would have to rely on other parents, a store employee or a stranger to use a phone.
Notice none of these scenarios involved school. That's because most school systems have banned cell phones. Still, they could be a useful way to keep tabs on your kids after school and on the weekends.
Ask the readers: What are your thoughts on kids and cell phones?