Activity › Forums › General Discussion › At what age do you allow your children to have a cell phone/smart phone? › Reply To: At what age do you allow your children to have a cell phone/smart phone?
I have to agree with you on this one. It’s sometimes complex, and a lot of people don’t understand all the reasoning behind not allowing children devices like cell phones.
If we were talking phones like we had when I was a teenager (trac phones mostly, but flip-phones came about then, too but did not have such wide access to things like internet and multimedia sending options), then I would allow my child to own one around 13, I guess. When they began going out and staying overnight with friends more often and those sorts of things, so that they could get in touch anytime, then I would allow a phone like the ones we had as I was growing up, but never an iphone or phone with options like internet. No way.
It may sound bad or “strict,” (which I am far from!), but there are logical reasons behind this. For example, among teenagers, sexting is so common as is nude photo sharing and internet access? Just no. Not without serious protection and stuff. I don’t care how “responsible” my teen would be, I would not allow them to have access to get into the situations I myself got into (and I was very responsible, known for being responsible in fact) as a teen. Too many risks and things they would most definitely fall into.
Another reason is my nephews who are teens and although we tried hard to teach respect for themselves and for others and how to be compassionate and kind (including in the world of dating,) I still see their behavior on cells phones and in everyday life. It’s not pretty, to say the least. I just would not chance it. There’s no reason a teenager ever needs unlimited access to internet or image sharing.
And I certainly wouldn’t feel “right” contributing to kids’ ideals that you have to have certain material things to be accepted by others. In my family, we’ve demonstrated to the kids (nieces and nephews of mine) that they should not ever do anything just to fit in, but that those who only accept them for material and other things are not true friends. True friends will accept you for you, no matter what devices you own. And for the most part, the teenagers don’t really care what others think of them to such a large extent, and they don’t really behave in ways only to be accepted. The oldest could care less if someone accepted him or not. He likes to be who he is, like it or leave it & I’ve come to love his attitude for that.