Should You Give Your Child A Cellphone?

There are so many reasons why parents don’t allow their kids to use their cell phones, and they all make perfect sense. But while these are very good reasons, there are some more controversial ones that might surprise you.

So if you’re thinking about giving your kid a phone, here are the top 4 reasons why you should not do it.

Reasons To Not Give Your Child A Cell Phone

They Can Become Obsessed with it

Cell phones are one of the most addictive things out there. Once kids start using them, it’s hard to get them to stop. And while they may be able to handle a game or two, anything more than that could lead to a dangerous addiction.

Studies show that kids who are addicted to their phones are more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, have trouble at school, and are more likely to engage in risky behavior.

They Can Be Used As A Weapon

Kids aren’t always nice. They can hurt other kids and they will often use their cell phones to do it. That’s not to say that every kid is bad, but there are always going to be those kids that are willing to do just about anything. And if they find out that you have a cell phone, they are much more likely to take advantage of you.

They Can Lead to Depression

If you give a kid a phone, you might think that you are giving them something positive. But that’s not necessarily the case. Cell phones can actually lead to depression. Kids are constantly connected to other people and this can cause them to feel lonely or even isolated when they don’t have their phone with them.

In addition, kids who spend an excessive amount of time on their phones are much more likely to eat poorly, have problems sleeping, and have less time to play outside.

They Can Be Used For Identity Theft

It may sound like a silly thing to worry about, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. It’s one thing for someone to steal your credit card information or your Social Security number.

But these days there are many scams that start with the cellphone. For example, many sites and apps will ask you to enter your phone number or even access all your contacts on your phone. Scammers then text message you pretending to be official representatives of well known companies, and ask you to click on links that can steal all your personal information.

Some websites look real but are set up by fraudsters to trick you into giving them your personal details. Children are much more susceptible to these types of scams.

While some of these reasons are controversial, they are worth thinking about before you decide to give your child a cell phone. But it’s important to also consider the positive aspects of giving your child a cellphone.

Here are 4 ways that a child might use a cell phone that you need to know about.

Reasons To Give Your Child A Cell Phone

Listening to Music

A common reason that kids use cell phones is to listen to music. Most kids like to listen to music while they are at home or in the car. And even if they aren’t listening to music, there are many apps that can allow them to play music on their phone.

This can help them to relax and unwind after a long day at school, or it can help them to get pumped up when they are about to compete in a sport or participate in an activity.

Connecting with Friends and Family

Many kids use cell phones for social or logistical purposes. This includes using it to connect with friends and family for fun, or to get picked up from places like school or the park or library, etc. And because they are often out of the house, they need a way to call home. 

Taking Pictures and Videos

If you have a child who uses a cell phone, chances are that they take pictures and videos on it. Sometimes, they may just be taking pictures of themselves, but many kids use it to capture moments.

And as technology has advanced, they will often take pictures with different kinds of effects and have fun with their friends and experiences. They may even want to take videos of their friends, siblings, and pets.

Looking for Apps and Games

If you have a young child who uses a cell phone, you probably already know that there are lots of apps that can help them to stay safe. But there are also many games that can help them to have fun and enjoy their time. So a phone can serve two purposes here – to keep your children occupied and let them enjoy games on their phone, but also to keep them safe.

From this perspective of looking at the positive aspects, it might be worthwhile to give your child a phone.

As a parent, you can weight the positives and negatives together, and you might decide to give your child access to a cellphone only sometime, rather than all the time.

Many times, the hustle and bustle of every day life with kids prevents parents from formulating a proper plan of how to introduce kids to cellphones, and how to manage their longer term use of cellphones.

I hope this article has put forward a few thinking points that can help you decide your approach to cellphone usage for your child!