Growing up, not only was our home phone attached to the wall, it was on a party line system. That meant the neighbors could hear our conversations at times and that we could not make a call out if the phone was in use. Explaining that to my children is like telling them I walked uphill to school, barefoot, both ways, in the snow.
Benefits of cell phones for kids
The fact is cell phones are, for the most part, a wonderful tool to have. I sure would not want to go back to operating on a party line with a phone that is attached to the wall! My parents would not have chosen that over individual cell phones either, but it was all we had. Now that there are more options, I say, take advantage of the technology. The benefits of having a child carry a cell phone outnumber the bad in my opinion.
The convenience factor: My son can give me a call when he is done with practice, or let me know when plans change at the last minute when he is carrying a cell phone. It may sound simplistic, but these little details are good to know and I do not have to worry or wonder where he is. Well, I don't have to worry or wonder any more than I already do.
Cell phones promote safety: I feel safer knowing my preteen daughter can call me in case of emergency. New drivers need to be taught not to use a phone while driving, but in the case of a fender bender or other situation, they can contact emergency services or AAA without having to leave the car. The GPS feature can also help locate a child.
Encourage and test responsibility: Unlike a puppy, if a cell phone is left uncared for the burden is not yours. The consequence of not being responsible is not having a cell phone plain and simple. Kids who are not ready to handle the responsibility probably need closer supervision so this handy gadget is a good litmus test.
Talk to your kids in their language: Texting is the language of teens, and for that matter, preteens. You do not need to know all the little acronyms in order to communicate though, simply sending a short text using proper grammar will get a response. It is easier for your child to send a quick text to come pick her up than it is for her to try to call you.
Cell phones do not have to cost an arm and a leg. The wide variety of plans makes it possible to at the very least keep an emergency cell phone to send along with your child when they are out of the home.
More by Sylvie Branch:
Kool-Aid Tie Dye and Other Uses for This Colorful Powdered Drink Mix