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Am I mad? Giving my Kindergartner a cell phone?

By August 9, 2008 - 11:32am
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A part of me feels like I must be crazy but here it is -

I plan to give my child a cell phone when he starts kindergarten next year. Most people think I'm a little loopy but it's for his backpack (not in class, or when/where the school forbids them, obviously) and for emergencies.

The cell phone is restricted, meaning he can only call/text me or his Dad (or 911) and one other trusted family friend. There are phones and highly restricted plans specially made for children.

Many people say "we survived fine without cell phones when we were in school!" and I agree with them but am also a believer in using new technology even if it's not strictly necessary.

So is this madness or simply life in 2008?

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I agree with Alison in that the pros outweigh the cons. Have even seen cell phones that have very few buttons so kids don't start dialing randomly. Believe the buttons are preprogrammed to dial 'mom', 'dad' and emergency. Pretty basic. And like Todd, I have a few of my own examples, where it was probably more dangerous for me to hunt down a pay phone (like the time my bike tire blew out on the way to a friend's house and I had to stop at a creepy apartment building to use its pay phone.)

August 11, 2008 - 11:00am

I think the "pros" outweigh the "cons", especially when safety is concerned.

Since we are not discussing giving a young child a cell phone with 1000+ minutes per month, but rather a cell phone for emergencies with a few pre-determined phone numbers that are allowed, that seems logical.

Plus, is it my imagination, or are there less pay phones since the invention and availability of cell phones?

August 10, 2008 - 7:54am

It's a great question.

Kids are getting them younger and younger now.

I can remember at least 10 times in my childhood where I was out of contact with my family and I needed to connect with them.

Like the time my mom dropped me off at school on a holiday and I was stuck their until the janitor arrived hours later to clean the classrooms.

If I had a cell phone (they were not invented yet) I could have called my mom.

I'm interested in hearing how your family/friends are reacting to this decision. Do tell...


August 9, 2008 - 5:01pm
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