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Challenge: Kids and Technology

When Should Your Child Get A Phone?

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This parenting thing is tough stuff. I mean, really insanely hard and we're all trying, but we screw up and second guess, make decisions, change our minds and struggle. I'm deep in the struggle phase of this phone thing.

An iPhone would make my 11 year old son terribly happy, I mean, thrilled, but is it time? He had a watch Phone which he decided was too childish. A flip phone (which we don't have yet) provides the safety aspect and allows kids to be social, though deemed old fashioned. My child was the only one in his cabin that didn't have a phone. The only one, according to him. He met some really nice boys and I want him to keep up with them- they're all texting, but he can't. This is the struggle part.

Passwords, parenting monitor apps, no data, limited data, social media restrictions, rules, and more rules, it's just too much for ME. I hate for my precious boy, who I trust very much, to feel left out. His world is marked by technology and I can't keep him bubblefied forever. I remember getting a phone in my bedroom when I was 12. It was such a big deal, no more having to talk in code while my mom cooked dinner.

The internet is a scary place and I don't feel ready to hand it over yet. I know he has access though, after all, he has friends and goes to people's houses, uses computers. The phone thing maybe is no different, but it feels different.

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I read an article about the grooming of children, secondary Snapchat and Instagram accounts, adults posing as children, and I feel scared. A daughter who was pulled in to a dangerous situation and the parent? Much like me. I read the story and I thought, I am this parent. The type that is careful, but not overly vigilant, the type that loves an awful lot, but isn't perfect.

I don't know what to do and I know all kids are different, but I'm not ready. It's the same reason we don't do travel soccer, its just too much for our family. You see, it comes down to me and I'm just not ready to be the police of technology at my house.

Some day, we will have a boy with a phone at our house, but only when I am ready for the responsibility. Me, not him.

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