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Highway to Cell

I’m about to hit cell hell. My daughter has been asking for a cell phone for years and I’m afraid the time has come to jump in the deep end. I always knew this time would come. It was inevitable that I would have to purchase her one, but I’ve been prolonging the decision for as long as possible. 

There are the obvious reasons to delay – she’s too young, it will distract her in school, what if she falls victim to child trafficking, her eyeballs might melt from all the screen time and what will my outlaws say. 

To understand best when the appropriate age for purchasing your child a cell phone, I started at why she needs a cell phone. Previously the answer was the vain of my daughter trying to keep up with the Joneses, but as of late the scales have shifted. The pros are pulling through in the tug-o-war. 

SAFETY

Whether the reason is for peace of mind or practical purposes, safety is the root reason. Landlines are going way of the dodo; they are being phased out. We don’t have a landline, can have spotty country internet and my daughter is at the age and responsibility level that she can stay home alone. She needs a phone to be able to contact us or emergency services for safety purposes.

EDUCATION

Cell phones make research and assistive tools more available. Most schools are limited with technology constraints, and many students are dependent on assistive tools like speech to text and translation.

FAMILY NEEDS

Children with parents living in multiple homes need the freedom to stay in contact with loved ones.

PEER CONNECTION & RESPONSIBILITY

Texting and social apps – this is how kids communicate with each other today. Kids need to stay in touch with friends and have more freedom and privacy as they grow older. Owning a cell phone teaches kids budget, safety, social and personal responsibility. However, it’s important to have clear rules to keep their cell phone privileges, guidelines of use and consequences if they aren’t followed.

Wish me luck – I’m on the highway to cell hell.

 

Janet Smith is a proud single-mom of one daughter and a marketing professional who is grateful for her rural roots in the London area. She is a big believer in connecting with people through laughter and honesty.

 

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