Should Your Child Have a Phone?

by Dave Jackson

Kid on cellphoneOK, if you’re a kid – say, under 18, you’re going to have a million reasons for a cellphone. The primary one should be to stay in touch with mom and dad, and granted, that is the best reason. While your mom and dad may argue that in their day they didn’t need a cellphone to keep in touch with their parents, we have to admit, with Casey Anthony trending in all media, we’re living in a different era.

In fact, there are probably many time parents 20 years ago wish they had some form of communication with their kids. Just think of the many lives that have been saved with this technology.

At the same time, when you open the door of instant communication with a few hundred million other cellphones, not to mention hard wired phones, the mind spins.

So I was in prayer this past week about whether or not to get my 10 year old a phone. I’m the dad who is totally connected – Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz, FourSquare, Yelp, etc, etc… but tethering a 10 year old immediately made me a little cautious.

The biggest reason that I didn’t want my child to have a phone had nothing to do with that. It meant that I would be taken out of the loop when they talked to mother. Their mother and I are separated. This would mean I would have less contact with her.

The second reason, and the most important, is that my child now has the ability to call anyone and have anyone call her without my knowledge. So now I have to trust the judgment we have instilled in our child to prevail when they use their cellphone.

After much prayer, I decided it more important for them to stay in close contact with mom, and at the same time have a way that I could know where they are at all times. (These things have become appendages for this generation.)

What is your opinion on this? At what age did you decide a phone was a good choice for your child? I’d love to hear what you think.

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