Saturday, July 12, 2008

They grow up so fast

Munchkin's Many Faces

Munchkin will be 7 years old in less than a month so she's starting to think about stuff. By stuff, I mean PRESENTS.

Today I was making out our grocery list and she came in and sat sweetly next to me.

"Mommy, can I have a laptop for my birthday this year?"

I stifled a laugh. "I don't think so, honey."

"Then can I have a cell phone?"

"Are you kidding me?"

Evidently all her friends have them. In the 1st and 2nd grade, these kids have cell phones?

Now... I can sort of see how it could put a parent's mind at ease when the child is away from home, but it's not like I just send the kids off by themselves into the great outdoors. They're either at a family member's house, school, a birthday party, or a scout meeting.

So what on earth do they need a cell phone for?

"To call my friends."

Of course... to call your friends that you see all day in school. Because I'm sure you have so many important things to discuss.

So here's my question to you, wonderful readers... should a 7 year old girl have a cell phone? If so, why? If not, when do you think it's appropriate to get a child a cell phone, if ever?


Robin said...[Reply to comment]

My 7.5 year old has been asking, no, begging, for a cellphone for at least a year. Futiley I might add. I do think that children should have cellphones (with very limited calling/texting abilities) once they are out and about on their own, without a parent or other responsible adult, but since that isn't happening at age seven there is no way he needs or is getting a phone now. Later, perhaps, if he's shown enough responsibility.

I do have a friend who gave her first-grader a phone after the girl got locked in her classroom at the end of the day (NO idea how that happened) but that's obviously a bizarre anomaly.

Karen said...[Reply to comment]

Half of my 9 year old daughter's Girl Scout troop has cell phones. And I thought she was exaggerating when she said everyone had one at Christmas. She's already been told to quit asking, 'cause it's going to be years before we even discuss it. First of all the child would loose her head if it wasn't attached, a cell phone would disappear in the depths of her room for sure.
So my answer to 7 year old asking for a cell phone, a Hell to the NO! You are not the meanest mom on the planet, I'm with ya on this one.
I figure until middle school I will always know where she is. Then we will revisit the request.

Leanne said...[Reply to comment]

I see a lot of kids 7 and 8 carrying phones here to school and in parks. In a crime free world maybe, but I think it just makes a child that age a target. I'd be more worried at home with them out carrying a phone.

I thiknk teenager at the earliest. Once they've learnt some responsibility and also that it costs money to buy and run. If my DD's willing to deliver newspapers in the morning before school to fund it, she'll be more than welcome to one, when she's older.

Sarah said...[Reply to comment]

I am 21, and I didn't get a cell phone until I was 18 and about to leave for college.

But it seems that once kids are about 14 now, they ALL have cell phones.

So I guess they start getting them around age 10ish? Holy geez.

So, a 7-year-old probably doesn't NEED a cell phone, but the most important thing is that you're comfortable with whatever you decide.

Shirley said...[Reply to comment]

Dude, that's funny! My almost 7 year old does stuff like that too. My son, who'll be 10, has been asking for a cell phone since those FireFly phones were being advertised.
He's going to get one, but it's honestly not going to be leaving the house at all. And that's only because there'll be some time during the day when they're home alone (I'll be on the way home, hubby will be on his way to work). So it's basically going to be for emergencies only, and then he can also call his cousins and stuff like that without clogging up our phones.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

We JUST gave our oldest boy who will be turning 14 this month a cell phone. With strict instructions on it's use! I personally don't believe there's any reason to give one to a 7 year old! LOL


Michelle@Life with Three said...[Reply to comment]

My 12-year-old niece has a cell phone, and I think that's way too young. I don't see a need to give a child a cell phone until maybe about 16, when they're driving. But...if I were to give my child a cell phone at 16, I'd only do one of those emergency phones for 911 purposes only. I wouldn't want to encourage them to be able to call friends while driving. (Gosh, re-reading that comment just now, I realize I sound like a major stick in the mud. Oh well. Facts are facts.)

Sophia B. said...[Reply to comment]

My 7 year old has been asking for a cell phone as well. She'll be 8 at the end of summer & and she uses every possible opportunity to drop hints about one.
She will not be getting a cell phone for this birthday. Or Christmas. (Sorry, Chicken.) She's simply too young. Aside from how ridiculous it is, I don't think she's responsible enough to actually properly care for an expensive, electronic device.
Already she's on the house phone several times a day talking to friends - sigh -...isn't it too early for this? I would prefer to supervise her talking on the phone. At home.
Maybe next year.

Sophia B. said...[Reply to comment]

I forgot to add that several of her classmates (entering 2nd grade this year) have and use cell phones.
However, I've noticed that many of them are from divorced parents and usually one parent gave the cell phone to the kid in order to keep track of him/her when they're with the other parent.

Domestic Spaz said...[Reply to comment]

I never thought of the divorced parent deal... that does make a lot more sense. Luckily we don't have to deal with that problem. I think I'm pretty firm about not letting Munchkin have a cell phone. I can't see any practical purpose for it at this time and I'm not giving her one so she can chat with her friends all day. She can use the home phone for that, thankyouverymuch!

Jenny said...[Reply to comment]

You sound so much like your mom!!! "Of course... to call your friends that you see all day in school. Because I'm sure you have so many important things to discuss."


Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

I plan on getting my kids a phone when they are 16 and driving, until then they use a family phone (and when they are 16 they will use a family car). I think that way they get to "test" drive things for short periods of time and still feel like they are not totally out of the loop. I do like my son, 11, to have a phone on him when he is out and about riding bikes or exploring along the creek. That way I can call and tell him to come home and I know he can call me if something comes up.

Laura said...[Reply to comment]

I agree with all of the above and am so glad that there are other parents who think the way I do. My cousin got one at 12 and I think it was too young. Maybe 14, but then you have to look at the circumstances and have strict rules (like no phone during school all). I haven't actually crossed that bridge myself, since my oldest is six and only asks for Transformers and Legos. But that's my take on it.