"It's a scary world out there. I like to know where my kid is all the time and I want him to be able to reach me."
People often get defensive or even argumentative with me when I say that our kids will not have cell phones anytime in the near future. I am not judging you for giving your kid a phone, so don't judge us for deciding that we will hold off on cell phones for as long as possible with our kids. Truly, I do not see the need for my child to have a phone until he is driving. And even then, he doesn't need to have a smartphone, a simple flip phone with no data will do just fine.
Good kids make bad decisions everyday. They are growing...learning...it's okay to make mistakes. Unfortunately, the mistakes that kids make on their phones today, can hurt them for a lifetime. And you might not even know about it. When I was 13 and made a mistake, there wasn't a video or picture as proof. Today, kids are documenting EVERYTHING.
I know, I know. Not YOUR kid. It's everybody else's kids that look at, listen to or do bad things on their phones. I know you might feel like you are very techy, but I have personally seen apps and secret techniques used to hide and delete pictures and messages on their devices so that parents will never find out.
Is it worth it? We have decided that the risks of giving our children phones do not outweigh the benefits. It is a personal decision that parents have to make and every family's circumstance is different.
I just hope and pray that when you give your child a phone, that you educate him or her about the lasting consequences than can accompany a smartphone and social media. Too many kids just don't know and understand how devastating a split second decision to send or post can be.