Children and cell phones

Years ago middle child attended a different school then her siblings. Her school was a considerable distance from our house, and because she was occasionally walking back and forth, my husband and I decided it was best she had a cell phone for emergency purposes. We purchased her a simple pay and go phone with texting, and a few extra dollars were put on the phone in case she felt it necessary to call one of us. There was no data plan, thus there were no app’s installed. In cases of emergency, individuals can still dial 911 for police/ambulance/fire at no cost.

Now there are many arguments both good and bad, in regards to whether or not children in elementary school should have cell phones. In our case, we were extremely happy that our daughter did have a cell phone. Why? On one of her walks home from grade seven, in the company of other kids, a child in her class decided it would be fun to throw large, yes large rocks at my daughter and her friends. Well, one of the large rocks hit the entire right side of my daughters face. We were very lucky that her eye was not damaged but the side of her face was bruised and swollen for days after. By having a cell phone on her, she was immediately able to phone us.

One of the main reasons for today’s blog was because I read an excellent but very scary story on the Yummy Mummy Club’s website. It was about a child who thought she was texting another child, when in fact it was an adult posing as a twelve year old. If you would like to read the story, it’s called “TextPlus Scare” by Maureen Turner.

Note: The rock incident happened off school property but the elementary school my daughter attended had a fabulous Principal at the time. After speaking to her about the incident, she decided that even though the attack happened off school property after school hours, she still felt it would be appropriate that the child was punished. Sadly this child had been in trouble many times, and had inattentive parents, instead of suspension which is the punishment in most cases, we decided that the child should still attend school and an appropriate punishment would occur there.

10 thoughts on “Children and cell phones

  1. Maureen

    Catherine, the story about your daughter is awful. Kids can be so mean. I’m glad she had a way to get in touch with you.Thanks for sharing your story (and mine).

    Reply
  2. Anoop Singh-Best

    It’s a tough decision when and why to give your child a mobile phone. My sons are 9 & 10 and just starting to go out by themselves. No doubt by this summer they’ll be going to the park without me (it’s five minutes walk from home and backs onto their school which we can see from our house) So lucky she had a phone and could call for help. Hope she’s ok now.

    Reply
    1. Catherine Burden

      Very tough decision, which is why they started with pay & go. My 17 year old son still has pay & go and sees no reason for a plan. My daughters, who are away at college and university do have plans, so they can chat with us numerous times throughout the day.

      The rock incident happened when my middle daughter was in grade seven, she was off school for a number of days, x-rays were done because we were very worried about her eyesight. The incident is clearly sketched in her mind to this day.

      Reply
  3. Beccah

    It’s an interesting topic! My children will be given mobile phones (basic function, pay and go) whenever they reach the age/maturity level that they might be somewhere without myself or my partner with them. Even if it’s just walking to play in the park along the road or to the shop, I would rather that they be able to call me if they have any concerns at all, and that I be able to contact them if necessary. I will be teaching them, though, about the dangers of strangers and while they are still young asking them to let me know about anybody they’ve been in contact with so I can be aware and ensure everybody is who they say they are.

    Reply
    1. Catherine Burden

      Pay and Go gave me the security to know my kids were a phone call away in calling help. It also taught them to use the phone responsibly. My best advice is to be friends with their friends, whether texting, Facebook, etc. and start young. My children are older (22, 19 & 17) and have no problem with me being friends with theirs. >/font>

      Reply
        1. Catherine Burden

          If you are honest, and always, always talk to your kids, the relationship will be good. There will always be bumps and bruises along the way, but communication is the key to any good relationship (gosh, I sound like I am lecturing, sorry). There is nothing my kids don’t chat my husband and I up about, it is wonderful!

          Reply

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