Monday, June 20, 2011

Teens and Cell Phones: Should Your Teen Have One?

This is a question many parents face as more and more tweens and teens are getting cell phones.

Is your teen ready for this responsibility?

Different families have come to different conclusions on this issue. In some families, every member of the family has their own cellphone, even kids that are not yet in their teen years. In other families, parents do feel it is necessary for their teenagers to own a cellphone.

Here are ten of the reasons parents have given for allowing their teens to have their own cellphones.
  1. Emergencies – This is the biggest one, especially after a teen begins driving. They want their teens to have access to a phone if they should need it an emergency, such as an accident.
  2. No excuses – Another reason is to eliminate the excuse for not calling home when they are going to be late or to ask permission about something. If they have a cellphone, they can’t use either of these excuses.
  3. Busy schedules – Families have such busy schedules these days that it can be difficult to keep everything straight. It becomes a convenience issue for the parents. If the kids have cellphones, the parents can call to let them know if they are running late or if there’s been a change of plans, and vice versa.
  4. Responsibility – Many parents use the cellphone as a tool for teaching personal responsibility. Kids are responsible for taking care of their phone and not losing or damaging it. They may also be given a limited number of minutes or text messages that they can use during the month and have to pay for overages themselves.
  5. Texting – Much of today’s teenage communication goes on via text messaging rather than voice. A standard land line phone doesn’t have that option.
  6. Phone conflict – If kids don’t have their own cellphones, then they are bound to be asking to borrow their parents on a regular basis. This can become an issue with teenagers who can often spend hours on the phone.
  7. Babysitting – Teens who babysit sometimes will be in homes that no longer have a land line available for them to use while they are caring for the children. By having their own cellphone, they can call for help in an emergency and stay in contact with parents if necessary.
  8. Privacy – The parents privacy, not theirs. If adults are sharing their cellphones with the kids, it eliminates their own privacy. Text messages they’ve received can be accessed by their kids, which is not always something a parent would want to happen.
  9. Parental connection – Many kids have two homes to travel between after their parents divorce. Parents sometimes will provide their kids with a cellphone for their times when they are staying with the ex-spouse, to be assured on continued contact.
  10. Savings – At times parents can find that giving their children their own cellphones is a cheaper alternative than simply sharing their phones with them. Check out special family plans to see what is available on your network.
This is a very individual subject. What is right for one child, may not be right for another. Each family needs to way out their own decision on the matter.

We also want to point out that we did make an argument for teen not getting a cell phone that you might find interesting.

Source:  Phone Service