This week I’ve been running my kids around to baseball camp and hockey camp. I keep getting stuck in construction delays or postponed due to traffic accidents. I end up sitting there in a panic watching my clock count up to the time when my kids are expecting me to pick them up. I can feel myself start to perspire. I imagine my children crying as they wait, wondering if I’m ok or if I’ve forgotten them.
Then it hit me: if they had an iPod or a used cell phone, I could let them know if I’m running late. That would decrease their anxiety and mine. I haven’t done the research yet, but apparently you can get them a sim card or phone number so they can text me during an emergency and vice versa.
They are only seven and eight at the moment, and while I’m afraid they could be too young to handle the responsibility, it’s left me wondering how young is too young?
One group has an answer. I came across a campaign started by one Texas mom who is getting schools across the US to band together and commit to not getting their kids a smartphone until 8th grade.
Called Wait Unti 8th (https://www.waituntil8th.org), the campaign already has 2,000 pledges in 500 schools across 49 states. The pledge is for smartphones only and doesn’t apply to flip phones or children who need it for specific reasons, such as joint-custody arrangements or those who rely on phones for medical reasons.
Ultimately, it’s an individual decision and parents should make the choice that’s right for their families.
So what are your thoughts on giving kids a smartphone or low-tech version?