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Question
Posted by: linda | 2012/06/13

kids and cellphones

hi doc
my boyfriend is divorced with a young son (10years) 2 weeks ago the son asked his dad could he get a cellphone and my fiance said no, now his ex wifes new boyfriend has bought him one, there is not much that can be done now but in your expert opion is it right to have a cellphone at that young age, or we just too old fashioned to rule against it.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its not old-fashioned to have concerns about this. My personal view is this - cell-phones are not essential for kids, but a BASIC model to enable emergency calls to and from parents, may be a wise precaution. But children absolutely DO NOT need blackberries, i-phones, and other fancy doodads just to keep up with other spoiled brats - those add nothing whatever a child needs, and much to distract them from schoolwork and other important tasks, including real play.
The new bf would of course be tempted to please the kid, and the mother should have delayed that to consider the issue and discuss it with the biodad, and then made a decision and informed her bf what she thought best.

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2012/06/14

Both my sons have had cellphones from age 9, but they''re only allowed the basic models (i.e. no graphics, no mixit etc) which can basically just make and take calls and sms''s. With my boys staying with their dad, it''s a necessity so that I can contact them any time. Besides, their stepmom gets a little upset if I phone the ex-husband more than some predefined limit she has. Being able to call the kids directly gives her some peace of mind that I''m not up to anything with the ex. Not quite sure why she''s so insecure - she has absolutely not reason to be, but I''d rather keep her happy because she''s good with my boys.

The oldest is now 15, but we still don''t allow facebook/twitter etc. Cyber-bullying is becoming a big problem these days and as parents we need to get a little tech-savvy to protect our children.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Bongi | 2012/06/13

My 10-year old has a cellphone just for me to be able to contact him while I am at work or for him to send me a " please call"  if he needs something. We don''t have a landline. But it''s nothing expensive - it has no camera and it cost R200. Anything more fancy I see no need and I will not get my kids fancy phones until they can get them themselves when they are older.

Reply to Bongi
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/06/13

Its not old-fashioned to have concerns about this. My personal view is this - cell-phones are not essential for kids, but a BASIC model to enable emergency calls to and from parents, may be a wise precaution. But children absolutely DO NOT need blackberries, i-phones, and other fancy doodads just to keep up with other spoiled brats - those add nothing whatever a child needs, and much to distract them from schoolwork and other important tasks, including real play.
The new bf would of course be tempted to please the kid, and the mother should have delayed that to consider the issue and discuss it with the biodad, and then made a decision and informed her bf what she thought best.

Reply to cybershrink

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