Friday, July 11, 2008

The Hard Cell

The Girl, who is fast approaching 12 at lightning speed, has been petitioning us for a cell phone. This request has only come of late, mainly because she herself indicated the reasons that a cell phone would be frivolous at this stage in life less than 6 months ago.
  1. She has no need to have one during the day at school.
  2. She’s home most of the time and has the house phone for use.
  3. When she does go out to a school activity and is in need of a phone, her friends will let her borrow one.
  4. She doesn’t think that she has enough to say to anyone else to warrant a phone of her own. (She’s like her mother that way. She wants to get to the point and then get off. Poor dear…)
  5. She can always use our cells to make long distance calls.

What has changed between 11 ½ and 12 to make her request a phone now?

“Everyone” else has one.

Of course we told her no mainly because we don’t think she needs one yet and she’s not old enough by our standards. I’m not for giving my kids things just because everyone else has/does something. Start down that road, and I’ll be not only poor, but only showing love by materialistic means: a poor compensation for real reflections of love like time together, conversations or finding ways to connect together. Besides, it’s an unnecessary expense at this point, even if I just adding her to our family plan.

But then she asked the big question: When will she be old enough? And to that, I draw a blank.

At what age do you think a child should have a cell? My first instinct is to say the age in which she can drive. Is that too late in this day and age? Am I missing something? I don’t need to consider the security of a cell for walking home from school because she will ride the bus.

Besides, most youths that we see using cells aren’t using them for security needs. Mostly we hear them chatting to friends about non-essential things or seeing them texting each other about where to meet later. It’s not really being used as a precaution; rather it’s more of an entertainment item.

Talk it out here. I want to get a feel about how you all would have this conversation because if you’re not already there, it’s coming. You might want to plan for it now rather than fumbling around like me later.

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