It’s pretty safe to assume that most of you out there in parent-land would agree that giving a 10- year- old the keys to the car and letting him/her drive would not be too wise.
What about giving a 7 or 8 year old her own cell phone?
While it may not be as reckless as handing a child the keys to the car, isn’t there a presumed age when a child should have access to something that is normally reserved for a certain age and level of of maturity?
By definition, a 7 year old is lacking in judgment, not necessarily because of some type of disorder, but because they are seven. Handling a cell phone responsibly is probably not something that one would be wagering.
To illustrate, let’s take young Maddie, a seven year old who has her own phone.
While her mother is at work, Maddie calls or texts repeatedly throughout the day. When the mom sees Maddie calling or texting, concerned that there may be something legitimately wrong, she feels compelled to answer her.
What’s “wrong” is that Maddie will call her mother to make demands though the day, with “I want this…I want that” type of requests. If Maddie does not immediately get what she wants, she will call back screaming at her mother again, and again and again.
Why does she do this? The answer is pretty simple. She wants pleasure. Literally every call and text is a demand for one pleasure or another.
Putting brakes on her actions was never one of Maddie’s strong suits. She’s a child and she lacks judgment.
Giving access to a cell phone and all that comes with it, like “Alexa,” is simply too much too soon, not unlike giving a 10 year old the keys to the car.
While it is fully recognized that this position being advocated may be a generational point of view and perhaps the parents from a more modern generation see things differently, children are still children.
They are fundamentally pleasure seekers.
Before “turning over the keys,” ask yourself, does your child really need a cell phone?
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