I can't tell you how many of my 8-year old daughter's friends have iPod Touches or even cell phones. And not surprisingly, she's been begging me for one of her own.
While I can see circumstances why some younger kids might need a cell phone, I'm pretty sure mine does not. And I'll be honest, most of the kids around her that have one don't need one either.
What's funny is that I made the final decision about my daughter not needing a cell phone or iPod Touch after we left her with one the other week while my husband and I went away to a holiday party overnight. Since it was really only the 2nd time we'd ever both been away from the kids ever, I felt as though she'd feel a little more comfortable with the ability to text us.
And she did. In fact, it was the most entertaining part of our night.
But we also realized that based on a few things, we needed to snatch that iPod Touch right out of her hands the second we got home.
First of all, she would not stop texting us, and it was everything from must saying "Hi" to telling us that she was being blamed for not flushing the toilet. I can only imagine how much she'd be texting her friends.
Then, when we got home, we found it laying in the middle of the floor, amidst Barbie shoes and stuffed animals, which was a pretty clear indication to us that she didn't really understand the gadget's value.
And finally, after she kept hiding herself in her room in play it after we got home, and continued to bug us even after we took it away, we made our final decision.
For us, the cell phone is not a toy. And she needs to show us that she's not only responsible, but also that she has an actual need for it rather than just texing her friends back and forth about things they can talk about at school. I realize it's not the popular parenting opinion, given how many of her friends have one, but I definitely think it's the right one.
Do you think an 8-year old should have a cell phone?
Photo via WoodleyWonderworks/Flickr