….or, “Why I Won’t Let My 13 Year Old Daughter Have a Cell Phone.”
Really, it’s simple. She doesn’t need one. That’s the main reason, so if you don’t feel like reading my supporting reasons then just stop reading now. I feel the need to add a disclaimer here: this is what we have decided to do at the time for our family. What other parents choose to do with their families is their own biz-ness, and I am not going to say it’s wrong for someone else’s kid to have a cell phone. Well, you know what I mean 😉
Here are the reasons why-(short version)
1. She doesn’t need it. Really this is the main reason.
2. I am not going to pay for her to text her friends, which is the only reason she wants the phone. Facebook is free and you can do the same thing. It took us awhile for us to consent to that as well, but we have access to her account-that was the main condition in order for her to have a page.
3. Having a cell phone is one more way for a kid to tune out their family and retreat into their own little world. Don’t think Satan doesn’t use that one.
4. My job as a parent is not to fulfill every desire my children have, and as much as I love my little darlings, I have to keep them safe as well. Cell phone users are not immune to predators.
My reasons why-(long version) 🙂
First off, she’s just a kid. A homeschooled kid at that, who spends most of her time (much to her chagrin sometimes) with her family. I know where she’s at. She doesn’t need to call me on a cell phone from the other room to let me know she’s ok. When she is with a friend or group of friends, most of them have a phone anyways so no worries there. She can take Jeremy’s cell phone out with her if need be and that is fine.
Secondly, the only reason she wants it is to text her friends. I asked her to come up with 3 good reasons why she needed one and the only one she stated was “In case of an emergency.” As long as she has facebook, and most of her friends have one too, she is able to talk with her friends on there. Why on earth would I pay a monthly fee for her to text her friends when she can do basically the same thing for free online? The money isn’t even an issue, it’s the principal of the thing.
Thirdly, and I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but she is young. I mean, last time I checked people under the age of 19 are still kids, right? I want her to be a kid for as long as she’s supposed to be a kid. It’s kind of dorky really, like, “Oh man I wish I had a cell phone.” It’s like me saying, “Oh I wish I had a programmable crock pot.” It’s just a crockpot, and while very handy, it is by no means a necessity. Kids pining over cell phones is just…..weird to me. Go be a kid-have a friend over and actually talk face-to-face!!!
My daughter thinks she is a “loser” because she is the only one of her friends who doesn’t have a phone. What a crazy way to think. Why does it have to be like this? Peer pressure over a phone, how messed up is that?! To some people I may be over-thinking this. It is just a phone.
13 years ago I never would have guessed that the peer pressure my daughter would be facing would be about having a cell phone, and I’m thankful it’s just that, because it could be something a lot more harmful and difficult to deal with. But a cell phone, really? Strange times we’re living in, strange times indeed!