Okay, I can hear the outcry already...
Contrary to public opinion, we are not bad parents for not allowing our teenagers cell phones. Our kids, 16 and almost 15, have never had their own cell phones and we don't plan on allowing it in the near future. For a while they did have my old phone to share for a few months to take when they went out. The phone was on a pre-paid plan and I quickly learned it was a huge waste of money and the experiment ended in short order.
Both Husband and I have cell phones for our jobs as it's essential equipment for both of our lines of work and we are both on call basically 24/7. Believe me sometimes I wish I could smash the things, but for us it's a necessary evil.
Son used to ask quite often for a cell phone, but has given up over the past few years. I think he realizes that should he need to use a phone, he can usually borrow one from a friend.
Daughter on the other hand is still pestering us for one. She sees all her friends have cell phones and thinks she needs one too. Perhaps it is the texting that is so alluring. Though a couple of years ago she had some friends over and she became extremely frustrated because she wanted to do something fun, and instead the girls sat around texting on their phones and pretty well ignored her. A double edged sword; you can't have it both ways.
Our reasoning for denying the kids cell phones - it is unnecessary, and an unnecessary extra expense. Both of our children have good heads on their shoulders, and should they need to get in touch with us they will almost always be able to borrow a phone. I know a lot of people purchase phones for their children citing it as a security measure, but I'm confident that we have taught our children how to handle themselves should trouble arise. I don't always wear rose coloured glasses and I know that issues can arise that children can't handle, but will a cell phone truly help when Mom and Dad are far away? I'd rather have kids that are independant and can think things through themselves, and I'm proud to say it has worked well so far!
We also want our children to be social and be able to communicate with others face-to-face and in a proper manner. Social media and texting is fine to an extent - but it is not fine when kids lose basic communication skills. I can't get over how many people can't even answer a telephone properly, or know how to really speak over the phone anymore (and it is not just children!)
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