Little T may only be three, but she has four mobile phones already.
Yes, I know, there are only three in the photo. Her favourite pink sparkly phone is missing – goodness knows where it is right now. All these phones came as freebies in her kiddie magazines which she likes to buy or – let me rephrase that – which her Dada likes to buy for her. She loves all of them and like all children her age, likes to make pretend phone calls and talks as if she is really in an actual conversation. When she hangs up, she’ll turn to me and say “That was F” (her best-friend).
She may only be three, but I’ve been wondering lately, what would we say to her if she suddenly turned to us and asked for her own mobile phone – at what age do we give in?
In case, you’re wondering, I don’t really like the idea of children having it so early, then again, how young is young? I asked my husband about this and as usual he grumbled, grumbled and replied fifteen, after a few seconds moved it to eighteen. Then quoted a conversation between Gru and Margo in Despicable Me 2:
Gru: Woa! Hold your horses who are you texting?
Margo: My friend Avery.
Gru: Oh Avery. Avery? Is that a guy’s name or a girl’s name?
Margo: Does it matter?
Gru: No, no. It doesn’t matter… unless it’s a boy!
I have a feeling my husband will be worse than Gru! Incidentally, I think Margo is probably between 10-12? A bit too early I think! Bear with me while I make a list:
1. If we wanted to get in touch with our child, all we have to do is phone them right? Who am I kidding? Chances are, if they’re busy having fun, they’ll ignore mum’s annoying phone call to ask What time are you coming home? Shouldn’t you be on your way home yet?
I can’t think of any other … Can you? I can think of loads of cons though …
1. Addictive: Too much texting. See above conversation between Gru and Margo. One thing I also dislike is how children/teens nowadays seem to have their phones permanently glued to their hands. They can’t seem to survive without their phones. They sit in the lounge and have conversations with you while actually texting.
2. Bullying/cyber bullying: You hear a lot of horror stories in the news about how children nowadays are bullied over text and online and a lot of these stories end in tragedy. I know that not allowing your child to have a mobile phone won’t prevent any of this from happening, but I’m wondering if somehow it will alleviate the threat.
3. Unrestricted access to the Internet: Then there’s also the worry about your child browsing through websites that isn’t age-appropriate for them or downloading apps and before you know it, their mobile bill is off the roof, which of course, you will end up paying.
The good news is that mobile phones and companies alike such as Three Mobile have come up with phones or sim services that automatically restricts access to inappropriate websites. And of course, as parents it’s also best to get a PAY AS YOU GO service instead of getting a contract for your kids that way it would limit their access to the internet and also teach them to stay within a monthly budget.
As of writing, my husband and I agreed that little T may have a mobile phone at age eigtheen. Just kidding of course, but no, we haven’t decided on an age yet, too early for that, we will cross the bridge when we get there. Besides by then, who knows, they might have invented something so hi-tech you won’t even need a phone anymore! If mobile phones are still around, one thing is certain, she won’t be having it younger than 13. Is that too old?
In the end though, if you’re a parent of a child entering into their teen years and is faced with that predicament – one must also consider that all children are different. If you feel that your child is mature for their age and they can handle the responsibility of having a mobile phone, then maybe you might just consider giving in.
What about you? Do you have a young child and what age do you feel is right for them to have a mobile phone? And for those who have teens, what age did you give in?
This is a sponsored post, however, all photos and opinions are by Yours Truly.