A kid on a cellular phone.
Family, Kids

Should You Give Your Kid A Cell Phone?

Believe it or not, this is one of the biggest decisions that a parent will have to make. When should you give your child a cellular phone? It is an important decision and you should give some care to making a choice. Here are some thoughts that might help you decide.

A cellular phone seems like such a trivial thing, but it is a very big decision for a parent. This is especially true when you consider the relatively young age at which most kids get cell phones these days. The decision to allow or not allow our child to have a cell phone will have lasting ramifications and you should think carefully before you make a choice.

Here are some reasons that you might NOT want to and might want to and out a cell phone to your child.

Reasons Against Cell Phones

Let’s start out with some reasons that a cell phone should NOT be a child expense. If you are like most parents, you are looking to come up with reasons against a cell, so you can argue with your child. Here is some ammunition for your battle.

They Will Become Dependent

You know how addictive cell phones are and you should use this knowledge to help you make a decision about whether you should give one to a child. Do you want your child to become as addicted to their phone as you are?

This is obviously a classic “do as I say and not as I do” moment, but kids have a lot of other things they should be concentrating on. Schoolwork and playing outside with friends are far more important for a young developing mind.

Phones Are Very Expensive

Even a basic cellular phone is expensive, costing hundreds of dollars, but that is not what your child will want. They will want a top of the line iPhone or Samsung device and these can easily approach or exceed 1000 dollars in cost. This is a lot of money for a piece of electronics that might get lost and will likely get repeatedly dropped.

It Will Keep Them From Sleeping

That glowing light from an LED screen is particularly bad for sleeping. If you give your child a phone, they will almost certainly want to keep playing with it late into the night. Even if you take it away from them at bed time, the lingering effects of staring at their phone all evening will play havoc on their circadian rhythms.

There Will Be Fights

Buying a cell phone for your child will almost certainly lead to a few fights from time to time. They will want to be on it constantly and the app downloads almost always get out of hands. Buying them a cell phone is like buying fights, is it worth it?

Your Child May Get In Trouble

For those kids who get distracted at school a cell phone is only going to make matters worse. Your child will be unable to fight the urge to text or play games during the school day. This could lead to school discipline or even having the phone confiscated.

The Case For A Cell Phone

Now, let us take a look at the other side of the argument. Are there some reasons to give your kid a cell phone? Certainly, and here are a few of them.

Everyone Else Has One

No, following the pack is not something that you need to teach your child, but there does come a time when it does not pay to be an outcast. If almost every other kid in your child’s class has a cellular phone, your child will feel left out and will probably be teased about it.

Giving your child a cell phone to fit in could aid their social game in school and help them communicate with and even make new friends.

You Can Keep Track Of Them

For a parent, this is one of the best perks of giving your child their own phone, you can track them. Not only can you call them, but you can also use the GPS feature of the phone to know their location at all times of the day. This is a very valuable tool for your peace of mind and to communicate with your child. When the day comes that you are going to be a few minutes late picking your child up from school, you will be glad that they have a phone.

It Is A Negotiating Tool

When you give your child a phone, they will cherish it and it will be love at first sight. They will do anything to keep it and you can use this to your advantage.

When you give your child a phone, make some condition. These conditions could be anything from having to keep their room clean to maintaining an A average at school. Don’t underestimate how powerful that phone will become for keeping your child in line.

You Have An Old Phone

Who says that you have to give your child a brand new cell phone? If you are due for an upgrade, or close to it, you can use this as an opportunity to get a better phone for yourself. Instead of trading in that old phone, hand it over to your child and then get a new model for yourself. It is a win win for both you and your kid.

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