By April Dye, Contributor to US Daily Review.
Okay, this is something that has been around for the last few years but I have to ask, “really?!”
When my daughter was in the first grade, we were at tumbling practice and I asked this little girl if she was in the 1st grade. To her disgust, she responded “I’m in the second grade – I have a cell phone!” You would have thought I asked her if she wore pull ups or something.
I know I will get flack from this because I have friends and family that do allow, and friends and family that don’t. Now, I am not going to tell you how to raise your children or that you are wrong in any decision you make but I am one that would state my opinion.
My question would be this: “what child in elementary school needs to have a cell phone?” One of my friends posted on Facebook that she saw four 2nd graders with iPhones. Are you kidding me! Those things aren’t cheap even if you get the 3Gs. I just got one a year ago and I am 40!
Growing up I didn’t need a cell phone and I rode my bike to school, sometimes a few miles and sometimes walked or rode my bike under overpasses. True cell phones weren’t invented yet, but still. There really is no reason for a child, especially in elementary school to need a cell phone (or for that matter be able to take care of one).
They should know how to get home from school, if they don’t the school should know and they can call if necessary. If your child is at a sporting event and you aren’t there, a coach or another parent would have a phone they could borrow. Surely these kids aren’t using them to text…
A cell phone should be a privilege for an older child, not a toy for a young one. Yes these kids are more technologically advanced than we are but that doesn’t mean you have to give them the most expensive and up-to-date devices now (even if they are your old ones). My kids waited two years to get a DS and it wasn’t the newest version either. They just got a shuffle (because they love music) but all it does is play music it doesn’t have a video screen to view videos or even have a play list. It just plays music. Our computer is in the family room. The kids each have an account with parental blocks on them. No iTunes or YouTube either. And no TV in their rooms.
Why is it too, that you see kids everywhere with their faces buried in their mobile video game devices. At restaurants, doctor’s offices, even walking. Really?! They don’t speak when spoken to because they are too busy playing a game. One time at Christmas, there sat 4 boys (mine included-but not with his game) not playing with each other but each playing a different video game. Where is the interaction between people – playing and talking?
All I am saying is what do kids these days have to look forward to when they reach older ages? Once you give them things like a phone at 7 or 8, what do you give them when they become 16? If they already have a brand new phone at this age do you think they aren’t going to expect a bright, shiny, brand new, most-expensive sports car? Will you be buying their first house too and not a previously owned house but a brand new, never been lived in house?
When you give them $5 dollars for losing a tooth (which happens biologically by the way) you are rewarding them for doing nothing. If you pay that much for nothing what do you pay them for actually doing chores or making good grades.
Parents are setting the bar so high on children’s selfish expectations that the children don’t gain a sense of accomplishment because to get rewarded they aren’t having to make an effort. When they do set out on their own, are they being set up for failure? Just asking…
April Dye is a wife and mother of two. She loves to read, watch movies and television, study the Bible, hang out with family and her job. You can follow her on face book at www.facebook.com/AprilVestalDye.