Parenting by Polling

Hand up picFor over a year, my daughter has asked when she can she get a cell phone.  I’ve known that this day would come [where the ask would be a real ask], but it really gets you thinking as a parent when faced with this decision.   There were many thoughts and scenarios I explored in my head, only to lead to the decision (along with the hubby) that’s right for our family.

My daughter has made it a point to show us when/how she’s being responsible.  It’s often followed with a question: “Do you think I’m responsible enough for a phone?” or “Do you think I’m responsible enough for a dog?”  The dog will be another post (maybe) one day...we’ll see.  For now, about the cell phone, while we make it a priority to do what’s right for us, as a parent, I can’t help but wonder what other parents are doing?  If I'm 100% honest, there have been times where I look at 'how other parents do…' and it may have influenced a decision I've made with my daughter.  Does this happen to you too?

During the past few events, where my daughter and friends were around, I took a brief poll with the girls, asking how many of them have a cell phone (vs. iPod touch or tablet).  In fact, I went so far to ask them whether or not they had their own phone number.  The answers were shocking.  All but one other child (other than my daughter, had cell phones with their own phone number…hmmm!?

In this current culture of social media, we know too well how important it is to train our children on how to safely use these tools.  In terms of the cell phone, this would be applicable, including sharing phone # information online and/or the appropriate time it should be used.

My view on an almost 10 year old getting a cell phone is ok with me.  Based on my own kid [up to the point that the she would potentially be unsafe] I wouldn’t mind getting her a cell phone.  We discuss the importance of safety and I'm deciding on the right software to monitor activity…because when it's said and done, a child can/will push boundaries, so we have to be prepared.

The other share for us is that I feel that if an emergency were to occur in school, my thoughts are that I would have a way to contact her directly.  This is the most given response as to why parents provide their children with cell phones at an early age.  It's a level of control we tell ourselves we have should something happen, right?

Thanks for reading!

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