Mom and Dad debate if a 12 year old should have a cell phone.

Mobile Phone showing multimedia options

Image by johnmuk via Flickr

Mom is for.  Dad is against.  It’s  been this way since the topic of cell phones first came up about 3 years ago.  Up until now, my oldest son, now 12 and half, has been totally fine with not having a cell phone.   In fact, he has been going around telling other kids why he doesn’t like cell phones.

  1. All everyone does is text stupid messages
  2. When he gets together with friends, they just focus on the phones instead of each other

Then last night for the first time, one on one with me, he asked for a cell phone.  I believe he is one of the last, if not THE  last, of his 7th grade friends who still doesn’t have one.  National statistics show a majority of kids have cell phones by the time they are 12 or 13.  And this survey is from 2009. It’s now 2011.

I asked my son last night, “Why the change of heart about a cell phone?” He said, “girls at school have started asking for his number”.

I gently brought up the subject with my hubby this morning, saying I think it was finally time to get our son a cell phone.  His immediate reaction was “Why does he need one? We didn’t need cell phones when we were growing up?”

In my opinion, times have changed in 25 years.  Just because the technology didn’t exist then, doesn’t mean your kid should have to live in the past.   There are countless luxuries we had growing up that our parents didn’t have when they were kids like TVs,  VHS players and Microwaves.  Our parents survived without all of those inventions, but recognized they needed to live in the present.   Life evolves.    I feel the same way about this cell phone deal.  I believe learning how to use a cell phone responsibly is part of growing up these days.

I am not saying you should get a cell phone for your child the minute they ask for it.  My 5th grade son has been asking for a cell phone for 6 months straight because several of his classmates already have them. However, my husband and I both agree, he can wait.

It’s been so different with our older son.  I feel like his dad brainwashed him into thinking cell phones were evil. Then last night, when he so politely expressed interest in getting a cell phone, it actually made me happy that he was finally coming around.  If you ask me, I think cell phones are a great learning tool that can help kids develop better communication skills.  The ability to network is one of the best gifts you can give a kid.

I promised my son last night I would do my best to convince dad that he had earned the privilege of carrying a phone.  He had a great report card.  Not to mention he gets up every morning on his own and gets himself ready for school.  He makes his own breakfast and lunch and is very quiet so he doesn’t wake the rest of us up.  And the best part is, he leaves us notes.  Here are a few samples.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

He is showing responsiblity by taking care of himself every morning.  And I am proud of him.  Hopefully, this blog will convince my husband that it’s time to get his oldest a cell phone, and that it’s not such a bad thing.

I think the hardest part might be figuring out what phone? What plan? So many choices.   Anyone have any suggestions if mom and dad are both on Verizon? What has worked for you?