Yesterday the OH and I had a discussion regarding when it was acceptable for children, in particular our child, to be allowed a mobile phone. Now I appreciate that not yet being 11 months old, we have some years yet until this debate becomes a reality……..or do we?
Now I hope I do not offend any parents here who allow their youngsters their own mobile phone, I am sure they have valid reasons for letting them have one. However, I just do not see why children – certainly those who are not yet teenagers – should have a mobile phone. Who on earth do they need to phone or text during the day? They are with their friends while they are at school, and once they are home they probably have access to a land line, telephone or a computer to communicate with.
I know that parents I have spoken to regarding this subject, who allow their kids a mobile phone, argue that they can find out where their children are when they are out their friends and they are contactable at all times. It makes the parents feel their kids are safer because they can be contacted and vice versa.
Well, call me old fashioned but when I was a child (and yes I know mobiles were only used by the yuppies back then!) I told my parents where I was going, and if I was going to a friends house I had to leave a contact number. If I needed to get hold of one of my parents I used a pay phone or asked the friends mum or dad if could use their telephone. Obviously, if I was at school I was allowed to use the office phone with permission, or there was a pay phone. Or failing that, I had to return home and tell them in person. Why have all these forms of communication been replaced with being given a mobile phone? It’s just easier, I know, then having to go and look for an alternative solution.
By the time Burton is of primary school age goodness knows what the ‘in thing’ to have then will be – probably an iPad!! My OH (a self confessed gadget geek!) believes that if all of Burton’s peers have a mobile phone (or the equivalent by then!) then he should too so that he fits in socially and wont feel left out. Of course I don’t want Burton to feel excluded, but I also don’t want him to have everything his friends have or grow up too fast
I know I have to accept that times change and I need to accept and move with them, but if kids are given adult accessories and gadgets so young, what is there for them to look forward to when they are older? Why does childhood have to end so early now? I think it is a shame.
I guess I do need to learn to embrace change more, but hopefully not at the expense of Burton’s childhood. No doubt fast forward 9 years and he will have his own up to the minute gadgets after all!!
I would really love to hear your thoughts on this. Am I the only one who feels this way?
Thank you xx