Pete Gilbert">

Too Early For a Cell Phone?

I can’t believe I’m asking this, but is an eight-year-old too young for a cell phone? I’m not talking about a smart phone with internet access, just a basic cell phone that makes calls and possibly sends texts.

A year ago, I absolutely would have said yes, too young. There is no need for a child to have a phone of his or her own. But, things change. Opinions change too. The more I see my daughter gaining independence, the more I thing she MAY benefit from having a cell phone.

Recently, my daughter started spending a lot of time playing with a group of friends around our neighborhood and coming and going from house to house. We have her call when she arrives at someone’s house, if she goes to someone else’s house, and when she leaves to come back home. Her owning a cellphone would make this easier for her, us, and her friends’ parents.

Also, she’s started doing sports and clubs that involve being dropped off and picked up. I would feel better doing this if I knew she could get a hold of me anytime there was a change in practice or club scheduling.

Her friends have also started calling my phone wanting to talk to my daughter and many days after school, my daughter NEEDS to use my phone to call one of her friends.

I’ve thought about getting a land line at our house to take care of the problem of her and her friends accessing each other with me as the middle man, but that doesn’t solve any of the other problems I mentioned earlier. Also, adding a cell phone line to our current plan would be cheaper than adding a land line.

So, I’m not sure what the right thing to do is. Activate an extra cell phone, using it mainly as a land line, and just give her limited access to it?

Wait a while?

I would love to hear some of your opinions on this issue.

-Pete

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