Whether or not to give your child a cell phone is a big decision to make as a parent. There are many positive as well as negative aspects that go along with cell phone use, but there is a lot of information out there to help us along the way.
I was recently involved in an AT&T Mobile Safety training session. The session I attended was for children age 8-11, since my oldest son is about to turn 9 in just a few days. He doesn’t have his own cell phone yet, and I honestly can’t see giving him one for awhile.
From the session, I learned that the average age kids are getting their first mobile phone is 12 and 34% of kids who have a mobile phone have a smartphone. The biggest fear 89% of parents face in regards to their kids’ mobile use has to do with texting and driving, and 53% of kids have been in a vehicle with someone who was texting and driving.
Talking with your child about mobile safety is important. 2 of 5 kids, however, say their parents have not discussed it with them. Also, for those children with cell phones, only 42% say their parents monitor their phone use.
Some of these statistics are staggering. The decision to give your child a cell phone is one only the parent can make, but I think the important thing to take away from this is that we need to talk to our kids about the dangers that go along with mobile phones. AT&T has put together a website with a variety of family safety resources to help parents with just that.