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Should Children have Cell Phones?

A Burning Question of Parents: Should Children Have Cell Phones?

Parents have varied opinions when it comes to gifting cell phones to their kids. It is always better to understand the pros and cons, before deciding to get a mobile phone for your child.
AptParenting Staff
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
With cell phones becoming a status symbol and a necessity, even small kids have started demanding the gadget. Although some parents say that giving cell phones to children is beneficial in various ways, there are others who still have doubts whether it is really necessary. However, before they succumb to their kids' wishes, it is important for the parents to know about the pros and cons of giving mobile phones to children.

Advantages

One of the most important advantage is that it becomes easier for parents to track their children. It is said that mobile phones gives a sense of security to the parents and children. For instance, if a child comes home alone from school, it becomes easier for the parent to know whether he has reached home safely. Also, if the parent is running late to pick the child from school, he/she can contact the child and inform him about it. Apart from this, some people believe that giving a cell phone to a child is a good way of teaching him/her to take up responsibilities. Kids tend to be careful not to lose their mobiles, and stick to usage limitations set by the parents.

Disadvantages

One of the main reasons why children want to own a cell phone is because their friends have it. They can be in constant touch with their friends through calls and texts. Moreover, phones that are available nowadays have several applications which can be used to take pictures, listen to music, browse the Internet, chat, etc. It is these things that make children want to have cell phones.

It has been observed that children tend to waste lots of time calling or texting their friends, sometimes ignoring studies. Moreover, they can check Internet sites which you have banned at home. Other than these, cell phones can expose your kids to health problems too.

Though parents give cell phones to children mainly for safety reasons, many schools have banned the gadget because it disturbs the decorum of the institution. It has also been found that having cell phones may encourage children to indulge in some kind of misbehavior like cheating or copying during tests, making harassing calls to classmates, or sending embarrassing pictures.

How Should Parents Handle this Problem?

The first thing that parents should consider is whether the child really needs a mobile phone. For instance, if he wants a phone just because his friends have it, this should not be the reason you should get him one. However, if your child travels alone from school, giving him a phone can be beneficial. Another way of avoiding any risky behavior would be to give him a basic version of the gadget. Even if you give a phone that has various applications and accessories, do not hesitate to limit the number of calls and text messages that he can send.

The decision of giving a cell phone to your child is entirely yours. However, you should make sure that he gets a personal mobile phone only for the right reasons and not because he can show it off to his friends. Keeping a close check on how your child is using his cell phone can help in preventing him from misusing the gadget.
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