Ok, so I’m minding my business while my husband was watching the football game this past Sunday and suddenly this commercial catches my attention:
Target being it’s usual flashy and colorful self. They have great advertising, too great if you ask me. I was completely annoyed with the fact that they are advertising cellphones to kids.
Now, you may be a lenient and cool parent and that’s awesome and this blog post may not be for you. I on the other hand am not ok with the over saturation of electronic and mobile devices that seem to be so pervasive within our youth’s generation.
My daughter is 11 years old; and though she has begged, pleaded and all but stood on her head for a phone, her father and I remain firm in our no. Here’s why:
She is 11:
To me this feels like a no brainer. Why does she need a cellphone? She doesn’t go anywhere where I can’t reach her. If she needs to call and check in with me she can use the phone at the house of her friend or their parent’s phone. She is a CHILD. Why do children NEED cellphones? They don’t. Plain and simple.
It’s Just Another Distraction:
My kids don’t have a lack of devices to keep them entertained. There’s a Wii, 3 Playstations, Laptops, tablets and an iPad in the house. The iPad belongs to my daughter! She can play all the games she wants, Facetime with her friends and family under my supervision and even use it as a resource when she’s doing school work. With all of these devices available, I still limit their time to the weekend only for 1 hour a day unless she is doing research on a school project during the week. My kids have dolls and action figures, a brain, a yard to play in, imagination and books to read. I’d rather them build on those skills instead of how fast they can text. I read this great Huffington Post article entitled 10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should be Banned for Children Under 12. In that article it lists good reasons, one of them is Digital Dementia which can contribute to behavioral disorders like ADHD & ADD. I have a hard enough time getting my kids to focus, I’m not adding a cellphone to her list to distract her.
She Is Not Mature Enough:
This statement in no way is to reflect poorly on my kid. She’s great even, wonderful personality, witty and smart. But she’s 11 for God’s sake. When I think about how mature I was at 11 I find the idea laughable. Believe it or not, cellphones come with the need for responsibility. She is still learning how to be responsible for her chores, and her school work and taking care of the pets. Cellphone responsibility comes with the need to explain sexting, and not taking nude photos of one’s self and posting it on Instagram etc. I’m going to let her master the core functions of being responsible; we can worry about a cellphone at a later time.
Because I Said So:
Yep. Literally that’s one of my reasons. The bottom line is, I am the parent. It’s my right to make the decisions for my underage child that I deem necessary. The rules I put in place are not designed to be painful, hurt her feelings or lessen the quality of her life. I’m trying to raise a young lady who appreciates the privileges that she has. I want her to work for and earn the right to have luxuries such as cellphones. The youth today have this thought process that things should be handed to them, there is no concept of work hard = earn privileges. I will in no way contribute to that lazy standard of thinking.
I told her that she may have a cellphone when she was old enough to contribute to a monthly plan or purchase her own minutes. I think 16 is a reasonable age.
What about you; what age do you think your child should have a cellphone?