Teenagers and Cell PhonesHow old should a child be before they get a cell phone? Why should teens have cell phones? We asked ourselves this many times within the past couple of years. Having two teenagers asking us for a cell phone every month, kept the idea fresh in our minds. So we began tossing around the idea before Christmas on what the benefits would be, and the drawbacks, you know, the pros and cons. Here's a few things that we discovered.
We thought it would be a great idea as far as keeping track of the kids, not realizing at the time, that they would have an option of
off the phone whenever they wanted to, especially when they're with their friends.
It comes in real handy if you take them to the movies to have them call you once they get out.
It has also helped a lot in keeping the main phone line in the house clear, because as you know, teenagers spend a lot of time on the phone, and they were continually arguing over the phone. The cell phone we got our younger teen comes with an alarm, so now he gets himself up for school every morning.
Why cell phones are bad for kids. At first we were concerned with the cost of cell phones, wondering if it would be worth having a higher phone bill every month for the so called, Family Plan, and we still have to constantly remind our teens to only use the cell phones during the day for emergencies.
Update: We just had our son's cellphone suspended for going over
the minutes $450 dollars! He explained to us it was not his fault people
would call him. Hahahaha!
One problem we had was when we tried to activate two additional lines to our own cell phone, we were told that we could only have two lines on our account. So our older daughter had to activate a new account. Plus they get you to stay on their service with a Two Year Agreement.
Having cell phones in school
The school that our son goes to has a rule about not bringing cell phones to school, which is too bad in a way. They say they'll take them away, yet they know the teens need them. Who would they call anyway? All their friends are in school. But it's nice to know if he has to stay after school for activities, then he won't have to be searching for a pay phone, and most pay phones don't work anyway. Now an big issue has been made about "skirting" as my son calls it.
We decided that age 16 is a good year, like for their sixteenth birthday. But if you have teenagers that are responsible and accountable, then you could probably get them one as early as age fourteen. Parents are probably getting nagged with, Well, my friend has one why can't I get one? even at age twelve.
Nowadays, cell phones are becoming more affordable, yet at the same time, more expensive, and of course if you ask your teen which kind they would like to have, they are going to go for the more expensive ones on the market. They are making some cell phones, and I hate to say it, disposable. Usually if they last a year you're lucky. However, technology is advancing so quickly, even the cell phone we use isn't made anymore. We would advise starting your teen on a cheaper brand of cell phone, just to see how they handle it, and just in case they lose it. Maybe even a reward for a great report card would work too.
Funny Cell Phone Story
I went in my daughter's bedroom one morning to wake her up for school. She was in bed, sound asleep, yet incredibly, she had her hand cupped by her ear and she was mumbling, "Hello? Hello? I couldn't believe it. She was dreaming answering her cell phone!