Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kids w/Cell Phones

My once hard-line stance on this issue is beginning to soften.  Had you asked me a few years ago, kids should not have cell phones until they are teenagers and even then with limited use and strict rules.  My generation was lucky if our parents purchased a separate land line for us, so what does a modern day child need with an entire hand held computer that just so happens to also make calls?  I suppose the softening began long ago as our twins paved the way as toddlers, learning to play games on our iPhones.  Soon we were offering them phones as distractions in the restaurant instead of baby rattles.

My youngest just cannot seem to sit still for more than fifteen minutes most times.  But you give him my phone with Netflix playing Curious George and he's in it for the long haul.  I still won't pay for any of my kids to have an activated phone with its own bill.  But I did let the twins inherit our 3GS's and we even downloaded an app that lets them text for free and receive calls for free...just no dialing out.  It only works where there is a WiFi connection and of course they can continue to play all the games we've downloaded.

Other rules include, no taking them to school, and no spending hours playing on them.  When we say put the phone down, it better be put down or we take them away.  Thus far they are very compliant for fear of losing the privilege   They have discovered texting and can't wait to see if they have a new message after school each day.  I kind of like it too because they are learning QWERTY keyboarding and honing their spelling & reading skills interactively.  And the only people they have numbers to contact are direct family members.

How have you decided to use cell service in your house with the kids?