I know it's a growing trend but am I too out of touch that I find it absurd that I'm expected to get one for my kid? He's friggen 8 by the way but has been getting teased consistently at school for not having one. I mean, I remember not having the most expensive clothes and I knew it made me uncool but I was untouched for the most part for caring and I rarely got made fun of. Wtf? Teased for not having a phone at 8 years old??
First off they're not allow on at school. (Kids can have them but they get taken away if they're seen during school hours) Second even if I had the money I'm still not materialistic enough to just say what the hell I'll just get him one. I myself only use a cheap pre pay that I use for necessary communication and don't text.
One of my biggest lessons has been need vs want with him and he's got a good grasp of it but I know this is starting to bug him. He's got a huge stash saved up to buy a four wheeler. (We never intended on making him pay for one himself. We actually found a deal on one that we have stashed away for his birthday but we wanted him to learn to save money) It's no where near big enough a stash for an ATV but do you think I should allow him to spend that on a cheap pre pay phone and the minutes cards?
It would be nice for me at times because he's starting to walk to and from school himself and with summer coming I'm thinking of allowing him to the park alone or walk to his friends so having that instant communication would put my mind at ease. What would you do?
I would think at 8 a kid wouldn't need a phone but since you said he walks to and from school by himself and may be going out alone to parks and such it probably would be a good idea to let him have one, imo.
My sister got her son (who is 10) a cell phone a few months ago and programed it with her number, her b/fs number and my moms number incase he needs to get in contact with them. He walks to the bus stop with his younger brother, rides the bus to school, rides it back and walks home.
If my sister needs to know where he is she can call him and get in touch immediately instead of waiting around wondering where he is. If an emergency comes up he has the means to get ahold of someone or call 911.
Getting a cheap phone with a GPS chip installed is the way to go. If the phone gets stolen you can trace it. If Emergency services is called they can locate your position without needed to know where you are.
I think it was a good investment. Most of the kids just think it's one of those neat things to have and show off, but the parents do it for peace of mind knowing they can always get in contact with their child.
I'm gonna say get him 1 and the minutes to go with it, if you were taking him to school, the park, his friends, etc. I'd say at his age, why get a cell. I was into GI Joes and Thundercats and such at that age lol
But if hes walking to/from school alone, the park, and his friends. Yeah this day and time I'd definately say look into getting him a cell and program numbers into it incase he gets into an emergency situation or has to call family.
I didn't even get my first mobile 'til I was like 17. I still don't even like using them, so I find these posts rather ridiculous.
I didn't get my first cell until I was 17... and that was because I started driving and my parents thought I needed a phone for emergencies (in case i got into an accident/got stuck/lost/etc). If you are younger to the point where you aren't driving, then you shouldn't be far from adult supervision, and therefore do not need a phone. There is no reason a child younger than 16 should NEED a phone. PERIOD.
Believe me I didn't have my first until I was 21. Even after it wasn't my parents choice I didn't feel I needed one. As for not letting my kid out of supervision before 16. Not going to happen. The world's a scary place but I can get hit by a car just walking out my front door. I'm not going to shelter and coddle him. I grew up in a way nastier neighborhood than he ever has but I still want him to learn what's right and wrong and what to do before he'll ever need to use it.
Trend or no, just decide for yourself if YOU think that HE can really utilize a cell phone. Just like 20 years ago, having a university/college education was not necessary for many jobs, the times have changed and it is increasingly difficult to get by with just high school education.
This is similar to the cell phone trend, do think the boy would objectively benefit from a cellphone (ex, if he really goes to parks alone, do you think he would be safer? is that park unsafe to begin with? etc). If the answer is yes, it is up to you to weight the cost and effectiveness of the machine, regardless of what your kid wants, its your decision to keep him safe. You can also teach him to be a responsible child by phoning you every time he leaves the park and starts coming home.
If the answer is no, then its more of a 'want'. And how you want to teach the boy how to earn something he wants and whether or not it is something you think he SHOULD have is extremely different for every parent. It may let him 'fit in' but do you think you should nurture the child into a 'trend slave'?
As for the walking home from school and summer time issue, it really depends on your area and how well you trust your kid to not talk/walk with strangers. I started walking to school when I was in grade 3 or 4 (so when I was 9 or 10) and I always walked along the main road. I didn't have my first cellphone until I was 22, my buddies had it, but I didn't feel a pressure to have one too.
Hope this helps.
my parents got me a phone when i was around 10/11 because i would spend all my hours after school at horse barns and they wanted to be able to get in touch with me. if it sets your mind at ease just get him something very basic so that you alone can contact him.
True Lawlyss I agree with you 100 percent where you coming from, trust me you and me was born in a different era were cell phones wasn't even created and people were rocking the beepers and even that had a HUGE monthly bill so it was very hard to give it out to kids unlike today where phones are affordable.
But times are differently and much more stuff going around, I mean yeah we had it bad too but today anything is possible and it's really scarier out there. Best thing is if it's possible for your budget is to get him a really simple phone with 100 minutes per month all he needs for in case of a emergency and you need to let him know that like none of that BS talking this is for EMERGENCY only.