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When Do You Give a Kid a Phone?

article-page-main_ehow-uk_images_a06_r5_n5_child-cell-phone-safety-800x800Well, if you’re me … when they just turned seven.

And here’s where we are going to momentarily pause for you to tell me off. Go ahead, get it out of your system.

Let me provide you with some lines if you’re feeling too hate blocked:

“NEVER! That’s when you give a kid a phone! You put them outside with four sticks and tell them to make a fort!”

“Uhh …  SEVEN?! Are you insane?! Why don’t you buy her a car while you’re at it?” (For the purpose of full disclosure this is where I need to admit I offered her a fully loaded car when she was three years old if she WOULD JUST GO POO IN THE POTTY.)

“Maybe when she’s old enough to be by herself, you crazy lady? What does she need a phone for? To call a cab when you are sitting RIGHT there?  Order a pizza with the credit card you got in her name? (I did NOT do this.) Or how about just call her friends and talk about NOTHING as she absorbs your minutes plan?!”

Maybe we just go with a simple:

“I hate you.”

Okay! Slow down there. Pump the breaks, Momma Bear, and let me explain myself! Because yes, there is an explanation. Does it make sense? I don’t know, I’m still trying to figure that one out. Here’s the story:

We recently had a celebration in our home where my daughter achieved something that she’s been working very hard at. It was a big day for her. In a very casual, nonchalant way I asked, “If I was to get you a small gift as a congratulations what would you like?” She responded without hesitation, “a phone.” And that is when I reached into my cavernous purse and pulled out my previous iPhone and said, (say this in slow motion)”DONE.”

She lost it. Jumped up and down and screamed and, truly, I’ve never seen her so excited. And that’s when it dawned on me that I think I was half-joking. The phone had been in my purse because she liked to take pictures and videos and I thought this was a good alternative to her smashing my brand new iPhone to pieces when her younger sister tried to rip it out of her hands. It doesn’t work as perfectly as it should and it certainly doesn’t have a data plan but in her mind it’s still a phone. And that’s when I realized that I had not just opened the pandora’s box but smashed it open with a sledge-hammer, never to be closed again.

I thought, if my husband doesn’t kill me my girlfriends will.

But in a strange twist of logic her dad seemed to okay with the whole thing. Which was a surprise considering we basically raise our children like it’s 1978. The only difference being neither of us make our children pants from old curtains. We have very limited technology use in our house and our kids are only allowed to watch TV on the weekends (or if one of us just feels like we need it for medical reasons — like sanity). So I found it out of character that we both seemed to suddenly be okay with her not only having a device, but a PHONE.

In the end, we decided that we liked that she took so many pictures/videos and she’s only permitted to have free games (for now) that we need to okay with a password. She’s also only allowed to have the phone for 15 minutes a day and yes, we know that this is the beginning of a phone being in our kid’s life but there is zero data plan.

Hmmm … maybe we should have thought this through a bit more instead of being immediately seduced by the fact that she was over-the-moon excited about something that we didn’t have to pay for? Essentially we got suckered into giving the ultimate hand-me-down.  Nothing can possibly measure up to this. I could probably give her my engagement ring at one point and she’d respond with, “remember that time you gave me a phone?”

I’m really hoping this thread gets filled with comments like, “We gave our kid a phone at three! She now teaches us how to use ours!”



Photo via planet tech-news blogspot 

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Check out other posts by  Sam and Allana:


Newborn Babieeeez

The Winter Mother

Frozen: The Obsession

3 year old in the morning

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