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Rant

8-Year-Olds Should Not Be Texting

by Kristen Chase on December 22, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Should kids have cell phones?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.

NO WAY!

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

Filed Under: behavior, cell phone, technology

Comments

63
  • KWnav...
    --

    KWnavywife

    December 22, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    No a 9 year old does not need a cell phone or iPod touch.  When I was 9, i was lucky to get phone (as in corded and attatched to the wall) time. 


  • Vegeta
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    Vegeta

    December 22, 2012 at 9:40 PM
    Not a smart phone but a cheap prepayed or free phone just to contact a parent wouldn't be so bad. I'm 23 and I don't need the android I have at all.
  • fave82
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    fave82

    December 22, 2012 at 10:17 PM
    I agree that a prepaid phone for emergencies is okay... But id only be letting them use it when they're out without me.. Not holing up in their room wasting minutes talking to friends. I would never get and child an expensive phone, mainly cause theyre so easy to break the screens and to accidentally add charges with apps and what not. Also, my first phone was when i was 19, so they'll survive.
  • the4m...
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    the4mutts

    December 22, 2012 at 10:32 PM
    I have a cheap, crappy, $20 phone that is only able to call & text 3 people (I blocked the internet, and all incoming/outgoing calls & txts from anyone not on the contact list) that I have my 9y/o & 6y/o share as they walk home from school 2-3 times a week. When they walk in the door, it goes off, and sits on top of the microwave until the next time they'll be walking home.
    They are not allowed to even think of touching my phone, or my tablet.
    Technology isn't for most kids, especially expensive technology. Mine can just find something else to do with their time.
  • Karma...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Karma Grant

    December 22, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    I am so happy to see other parents sharing the view of this writer and myself. No child needs a phone and certainly doesn't need to be texting. I think what Mutts is doing with her kids is the exception, an emergency phone that's only available to the child on a limited as needed basis.


  • Ashley
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Ashley

    December 22, 2012 at 11:13 PM
    Yes, my 10 year old daughter has had an iTouch for a year now. She enjoys texting family, and since her dad and I are not together, its nice to text her on the weekends she is there. I check the texts, photos, and Internet history regularly.
  • loves...
    --

    lovesouldoula

    December 22, 2012 at 11:39 PM
    I don't understand why The Stir writers don't proofread their work. It's one of the first rules of writing, kids in grade school proofread their papers, why can't you? Grammatical errors folks, that's what really grinds my gears.
  • Heather
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Heather

    December 23, 2012 at 12:32 AM
    Sounds like your daughter is an irresponsible brat. My daughter has had hers since seven and she takes excellent care of it. I honestly have no idea why people wouldn't want to have a way to stay in constant communication with your child? I think you just can't afford it so you are making up stupid excuses for why your child can't have it. My daughters school was evacuated for a fire a couple of months ago. My daughter called me and I was able to go get her and comfort her instantly from the trauma she'd been through. The school didn't get around to calling parents till two hours later. There are so many other times where her having a phone has saved her and I from a frantic situation.
  • Sarah...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Sarah UsedtobeZech Cone

    December 23, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    I agree 100% that in most situations,most 8,9 and 10 yr.olds don't need a cell phone, especially one with Internet access and I'm SO glad that I'm not the only parent that feels this way!


  • Venae
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    Venae

    December 23, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    My son is 15 - he has a cheap pay-for-minutes phone.  He uses it to call me to pick him up from school or when he's out w/friends.  He has been using it more to talk to his friends instead of using our land line (I do not have a cell phone); but when minutes run out, he has to wait until I go get more.  He has not overused yet; if that happens, he will have to pay for them.


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