Cell Phones before Middle School..I think NOT!!

So I saw this story on Once Upon a child about cell phones for kids. The article stated that 22% of 6-9 yr olds have cell phones and that 54% of 8-12 yr olds are expected to have them in the next 3 years. I find this ABSOLUTELY ridiculous. As of a mother of 5 (3 of which are soon to be 13, 9 and 7) I don’t think it is necessary to have a cell phone. My oldest 2 got them at 14 when they started high school. Now I do have to say that my soon to be 13 yr old got one 2 years ago but the situation was unique in that I was going out of the country and the person he was staying with didn’t have a phone. Had they had a house phone or cell phone I wouldn’t have gotten him one.

Now personally I am down right aggravated that I see elementary school kids with phones. Not just a phone to call out for emergencies but a high-tech get on Facebook and YouTube phone. If you are going to justify to me that they need one for emergencies then a high-tech phone is not necessary for that. I also believe that parents use cell phones as a replacement for adult supervision. I know this isn’t true in all cases but I have seen it. I can tell you that my youngest 3 are now NEVER at a place where I can’t reach an adult or aren’t with me. So why would they need a cell phone??? My kids don’t go to anyone’s house that I don’t know their parents well (and yes I know you can’t know someone 100%).

Kids have WAY too much as it is.  Laptops, PSP, and PS3 OH MY!!!!Why do we think juvenile diabetes is on the rise or that the obesity rate in kids is skyrocketing?? I remember riding my bike to a friend’s house to see if they could come out and play. Or going to the local park to play baseball or tennis (we had tennis courts at our park). Kids need to get out from behind the computers and cell phones and get outside. Honestly it is a battle sometimes to get my soon to be 13 yr old off the computer to get outside and ride his bike. But now that we live in Florida and the weather is beautiful most of time there is no excuse. I make it a priority now that he has to go outside everyday.

We should encourage a movement to bring back NEIGHBORHOODS. How many of us know our neighbors or the kids in our neighborhoods?? Back when I was a kid everyone knew everyone. People helped neighbors out. Whether it was cutting the grass for an elderly neighbor or taking over a casserole to a family in need. We need to get back to that place. It doesn’t matter whether you live out in BFE or some crazy city. Knowing your neighbors can enrich your life and your kids life.

Now in the post title I said middle school and for different states middle school starts either in 6th grade or 7th grade. I think by then if they are in after school sports a cell phone is necessary due to changes in schedules of sports and needing to get picked up at a different time. Other then that I don’t think it is necessary.

I realize that we ALL lead busy lives but you know what we need to SLOW DOWN!! Make our kids and family a priority. Step back from all the electronic devices, go outside, take a slow deep breath, be in the moment and ask your kids “Tell me something good that happened to you today.”

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