When should your child get a cell phone?
Each family will have a different answer and it depends on the circumstance. I don’t think you should ask the researchers in Europe, who reported that children who use cell phones are at higher risk to develop behavior problems.
Hang up on this study
This study is so flawed that I wouldn’t draw any conclusions from it. The title is misleading, and I don’t want to be boring, so if you want to read more on my personal dissection of it, skip down 2 or 3 paragraphs. But for now I’d say that his is one of those that will probably receive a lot of press, but when you look more closely, the 411 isn’t valuable.
Texting is a skill
Just think about all the great eye-hand coordination that is involved in texting! Really. They may not be able to make their bed in less than 30 minutes, but boy can they communicate with all their friends in less than 30 seconds.
And, were you worried about your child not learning a foreign language? Guess what? If they text, then they are learning a foreign language. Hmmm, Italian, Spanish, or Chinese, no, they’re learning one that they can use right now, in fact, they are using it right now. These are not languages that you or I are fluent in…..yet, but they are foreign, none the less. Too bad, they don’t recognize the Texting language on College Applications, because many of our children would have received an A+ in the AP course.
Can someone please point me to a website that translates all of the esoteric OMG, LOL, TTFN, etc?.
We allowed a cell phone for our 12 year old after 1 month in middle school, when it became obvious that we needed to know where he was after school. He rides his bike with a group of friends, knows what’s allowed and what’s not, and of course there are times, when things come up like flat tires, or someone needing to use the bathroom at the coffee shop on the way home. Our phone bill has stayed the same and he rarely uses it.
For other friends, who have children in after school programs, 5th grade was the start. I’d be interested to know what other people think.
Dissecting the study
In the study, only 1% of the children, age 7 and younger used cell phones for more than 1 hour each week. And the data was collected over the last 2-4 years. Things are changing rapidly and so this is not applicable to what’s happening now. The study looked at the mom’s cell phone use and the effect on the children later on. The researchers said that it’s probably not the radio frequencies from the cell phones, but that moms who spend a lot of time talking may not be spending enough time caring for their children.