When Should You Get Your Child a Cell Phone?

It’s a rite of passage for parents: When your kid is over 10, they decide they have to have a cell phone. You know the reason: if they can’t text or talk to their friends all day and night, there social life is worth nothing.

You may be doubtful about that, but the concept poses some interest to you.

As your kid gains their independent, you want to be capable of staying in touch with him/her, particularly if she begins going places or riding public transportation by herself.

However, the idea of the cell phone brings with it a ton of concerns:

CostShould you spend money on an object that a kid can easily break or lose?

Runaway data charges: Your bill can be over the moon without your child realizing that they are costing you money. There are numerous stories of kids putting small fortunes on the credit cards of their parents for apps and games.

Crossing the line: What if your kid posts or texts something sexually explicit or tactless? Mistakes can be permanent and harmful.

Getting hurt: The more ever-present the cell phone, the greater the risk of cyberbullying.

Checking out: And lastly, there’s the dis-respectfulness of your kid coming to the dinner table with the cell phone, staying glued to the screen during the meal.

Given the risks, should children have cell phones? How do you know when the right time is to purchase one for them?

Parents must realize that it isn’t so much about the age as it is about the child’s understanding and awareness of what having a cell phone really means. You could have a very silly-acting, not serious about anything 15 year -old and a mature 11 year-old. Who do you think is going to handle the responsibility of having a cell better?