By Dana Arevalo,
P.O.V. Contributing Writer
What would you do? What is the appropriate age to purchase a cellular phone for your child? Parents seem divided on the issue of whether or not to purchase their child a cellular phone. My daughter approaches me once a month begging for a cellular phone. I hear, "Mommy, all of my friends have a cell phone. I am the only one in my class that does not have one". My reply, "I don't care what your friends have; there is no need for you to have a cell phone". She asks the same question and I give her the same response.
I refuse to get my daughter a cellular phone to keep up with "the Joneses". Honestly, there is no need. I know where my daughter is at all times. Not to mention children often act irresponsible during school hours, why give them an extra reason to get in trouble? I feel that she can get a cellular phone when she gets her first job so that she can learn responsibility. I refuse to pay an extra bill just because everyone else is walking around with one.
I have discussed this with one mother who has two daughters ages 9 and 12. She allows her children to have cellular phones. Her daughters are often at activities and she wanted a way to be able to get in contact with them. My daughter attends activities as well and I don't believe this is a strong enough reason to purchase a cellular phone. My daughter is 11 and if there is an emergency, I will be contacted by their personnel. Other parents believe their child should have a phone for safety reasons such as walking home alone from school.
I sought an alternative to a cell phone. I do not think it is a good idea for a school aged child to have cellular phones. While children are in school, the school will contact you if there are any emergencies. Not your child from their phone. I decided to purchase her an iPod touch, this iPod does not leave home when she is at school. I do have her carry it, however, when she goes to an activity. I also monitor the iPod. It is very important to be involved in who your child is communicating. I believe in privacy, however, you can never be too careful when it comes to your child's safety and well-being.
Opening up the discussion to the audience: When is the right time to get your child a cellular phone and why?