I’m not sure how parents (or kids) ever survived without mobile phones. Mobile phones, texting and modern technology in general catch a lot of flak these days. It’s time to set the record straight!
“Back in the olden days, we used to actually talk to people face to face,” you’ve probably heard a grandparent say at least once. There was a time when business deals were sealed with a handshake too. But those days have come and gone.
Today, parents need to be able to communicate with their children from afar. Life is hectic. It’s nothing to have your children strung from one end of town to the other. One is at gymnastics, one’s at soccer and yet another is hanging out at a friend’s house.
Life can be dangerous too. One miscommunicated meeting spot or a discrepancy in the pick up or drop off time can put the children in harm’s way. I remember an event in my own life when my mum didn’t show to pick me up from soccer practice. Al of the other kids had been picked up and there I was…all alone. I didn’t know what else to do but to walk home. It was…a long, long way. In the meantime, my mother arrived at the soccer fields at what she thought was the set pick-up time. Of course, when I wasn’t there, she panicked. At the end of a very long night, we finally connected but if you were to ask my mum, mobile phones are a must for a fair go at keeping up with children these days.
For sure, we can’t forsake the value of a good face-to-face conversation. It is true that it’s becoming a rare commodity at the dinner table or any family event that no one is texting, talking or playing a game on their mobile phones and that everyone is simply enjoying one another’s company. But rules can be set for such occasions. Wishes can be voiced for a “no phone zone”. The use of mobile phones for families can and should be monitored but certainly not abandoned.
When to give a child or teen his or her own mobile phone is a matter best evaluated on an individual basis. Some children/teens are more mature than others and some have more of a need for one. If you do a lot of coordinating pick-up times with a child, you may want to consider a mobile phone for him or her. You can also customize the privilege such as buying a prepaid mobile phone with a certain amount of minutes allotted.
Another option is to give the use of a mobile phone on a trial basis and keep a close eye on how he or she is doing with it. Never feel bad for being snoopy! A parent’s job is to be snoopy.
There are a lot of things to consider about mobile phone use within families. There are rules to be set and rules to be followed. But you need only to hear one story where a mobile phone saved a life or even saved the day to realize that they are a matter of parental survival in this day and age.