I have a confession.
My 9 year old is the proud owner of a mobile phone.
Three weeks ago I made the decision to buy Boyo a mobile phone. After protesting for the last year about how he didn’t need one, I relented. It was a difficult decision and one I did not make lightly. I agonised over what it would mean for us.
Recently, the council have created a park at the end of our road on the playing field. It is out of sight of our house but Boyo and Princess Pants want to be at the park whenever they have a free five minutes. It is this reason I bought Boyo a mobile phone. If anything happens he can contact me; if I have a Mummy panic and need to make sure they are okay, I can! Not only that but I can text Boyo to come home for dinner.
Boyo loves his phone. He doesn’t care that it only cost £10; he doesn’t care that it can only make calls, receive calls, send and receive texts. He loves it because it is his phone and he can listen to the radio… it even has a torch.
Before buying the phone I weighed everything up. There were things that were important to me such as:
- It has no camera – Cameras can be abused. We’ve all heard how cameras can be abused and I did not want to allow any room for abuse. This sort of leads onto my next point.
- It doesn’t have any apps – Again, the ability to download apps can lead to abuse. I certainly do not want my 9 year old having a Twitter/Facebook/Instagram account. In fact the phone has no internet capabilities at all.
- It is completely undesirable – Desirable phones may get stolen and cause other problems. At least with an undesirable mobile phone it is less likely to get stolen/cause Boyo to get beaten up for it/etc. etc.
We set boundaries for the mobile phone usage. In fact the boundaries are tight – he only uses the phone to contact me.
Buying your child their first mobile phone is a difficult decision, but Family Lives has a great article discussing if your child really does need a mobile phone.
Have you bought your child their first mobile phone? If so, what boundaries did you set?