My son is 11….he has a cell phone but it wasn’t because of some great conversation that we had. When my hubs died the cell phones were in my name so I was under contract. It meant either breaking the contract and paying $200 bucks or keeping the phone to give to my son. When the hubs died my son was about to be 10….I felt it wasn’t the age yet. The hubs and I talked and we were going to wait until he was 12 years old for a phone. Life doesn’t quite work out how you planned and now I have an extra phone that I needed to do something with. The deciding factor came when my son went with one of his friends and I called the mom to check on my son.
Me: Hey this is Dman’s Mom I was just calling to check on him
The mom: Oh let me call my sons cell to see where they are (she has a big house and I guess she didn’t feel like yelling for him)
Me: Your son has a cell phone?
The mom: Yep lol actually your son is the only one here that doesn’t have one
I felt bad because here I am the only mom calling the mom instead of the child. That night I thought about it….in middle school I had a beeper (yes I know I am telling my age) and I was fine. I got my first cell phone in high school and it wasn’t as advanced as it is now. I decided to give my son the hubs phone and explained some rules to him.
- I am on all social media and I have passwords to everything….there will be no questions. Until you leave my house I need to have access to everything. I don’t care if you 17….you still in my house. My house, my rules. I won’t embarrass you or call you out for white lies or anything I just need to be aware of what you are doing. My son has a lock on his phone. I have the key code and I also have the passwords to everything he has access too. He is on snapchat and he has rules on how he can post. Only post a snap if he is in his room. Nowhere else in my home can he post a snap. He can’t show the outside of my house nor the number house we live in. He can’t show his sister room or anything else. He can snap anything public and he can snap if he is allowed at school with his friends. I will be following you on snapchat to monitor everything. So far he has had no problems with it and as a matter of fact he is hardly on snapchat lol
- I need to get your phone for random checks. Are you talking to a girl, what are you watching on youtube, who are you emailing. I need to know all of it and I will grab his phone to do random checks whenever I feel like it
- School work comes first. If you are failing anything I take the phone for the week. One failing grade equal a week of no phone. Yes an entire week…I am not here to play. You can operate that phone you can operate your mind and do your school work
So far we have had no problems with the phone he has had it for a year now (I gave it to him on his 10th birthday). He texts his friends and they use a lot of emojis but mostly he is on his xbox (which is another set of problems because he plays live with all types of people) He rarely uses his email and he only has snapchat so far. I have a location app on his phone that monitors his whereabouts at all times so I am good to go.
Giving your child a phone has to be a decision that you make and you have to do what’s best for your family. I think a child under 10 shouldn’t have one but that’s just me. There were a few factors I considered before I gave my son a phone
Does he need it? My son stays home alone for a few hours by himself so he needs a phone so that I can contact him. He also has to be dropped off for afterschool activities and I need to know his whereabouts because sometimes I have to leave him to drop his sister off or I need to leave and run errands. There is an additional cost to having a phone. I was already paying that cost so it wasn’t like it wasn’t budgeted into my bills so there was no added cost.
Are you able to share your phone and have open honest conversations? If I need your phone to call someone I am not asking to use the phone that I pay for….I simply say hand me the phone and it should not be any say so. I pay the bill and unless you got a job…I don’t wanna hear nothing. I also need you to be able to be honest with me. Open honest conversations are a must. Again I am not here to embarrass you but I need you to be honest with me when I ask you a question. We have nothing to hide…I get it…you are 11 and things are said online but I need you to make sure you know the consequences of whatever you say.
Are you responsible? Do you know the dangers of online? My son is okay when it comes to responsibility so far….maybe it’s because he isn’t at a regular middle school. I don’t know but I want to make sure my son is responsible and that I can trust him. Online is one of the most dangerous places for boys and girls…for children period. Hell even for some adults with bullying and keyboard gangstas. Make sure they can explain back to you that even though they delete something like a text or a photo that’s been sent, it doesn’t delete anywhere else. People can and will screen shot and you can be embarrassed so make sure you know the consequences before you post on anything.
Does your child have a cell phone? What age would you give your child one?