About this cell phone thing…
In earlier posts, I told you that my husband and I had no intention of getting our daughter a cell phone until she reached high school. I couldn’t imagine the reasons why she’d need one before the first day of sixth grade, but every parent I spoke with confirmed that they’re as basic as school supplies: backpack, lunch tote, cell phone.
But why? Yes, I know … it gives our girl a lifeline. She can get in touch with us if she needs something. However, I can only assume phones must be turned off — if not put away entirely — during class, and I assume they’re dropped to the bottom of a bag of some sort during practices or after-school activities. Please tell me if I’m wrong.
As I look back on my first year of junior high, which is now middle school to our kids, I had no need to call anyone. I was in the hallway with my friends before school, seated next to them in seven classes, at the same table during lunch, and on the field with them for band. My dad dropped me off at 7:45 a.m., and my mother picked me up sometime around 4:00 when band ended. Once again, who was I supposed to call, for what reason, and when was there time?
On weekends and during summer vacations (from June to September), my friends and I got together at each other’s houses or at the neighborhood pool. My mother told me to be home at this hour, or that she’d be there to pick me up at that time. I didn’t call to tell her when I was ready to come home. She told me when to expect her.
Am I as out of touch as a rotary phone?
But all the middle school kids have them, I’m told.
Fine. So all the kids have some version of a cell phone. Many have fun phones (I hesitate to call them “smart” when they can cause so much trouble), and others have less glamorous flip styles. For those parents who are as stubborn as we appear to be, their children have “pay as you go” phones that are truly held for emergency use.
I took to the Internet to search for “first phones” and I found a list of possible choices. As reported by numerous parenting sites, these are a few good ones available through local stores:
1. LG Migo
2. Sanoxy GSM
3. Firefly Glow
4. Buddy Bear
….WAIT. STOP. The “BUDDY BEAR” phone?
I clicked the link and literally choked on a long sip of Diet Dr. Pepper. Indeed, these are “first cell phones” as I typed into the Google search box, but they aren’t intended for middle schoolers. They’re intended for “little hands.” Yes…preschoolers.
Pardon me, Mom, but WTH?
As I read RooGirl’s article dedicated to the best cell phones for kids of all ages, I discovered that entry-level communication devices are similar to an elderly person’s First Alert button that’s worn and pressed if they’ve fallen and can’t get up.
“…Parents give their children cell phones for reassurance and added security. It also allows them to keep in touch with their kids when they’re not together.”
Are they home alone?!
“Parents can choose phones to track children’s whereabouts via GPS, monitor phone activity and block content. Finding the cell phone that’s right for your child depends on how old, tech-savvy and responsible they are. And, whether you want them to use the phone for emergencies only, communicating with friends and family or have the ability to surf the web.” — RooGirl blogger
I’m sorry, but I can barely finish this post. I am completely shocked that at least 10 phones on the market are designed for the younger set, gadgets that include cameras, text messaging, full-sized multi-color screens, and customizable ringtones. “Let it Go” has been downloaded more times than any other song.
I sit here thinking that if your child needs an SOS device in his or her hip pocket, then you don’t need a tiny tyke cell phone that whistles. You need your head examined.
As I scrolled down to the tween and teen line of phones, I stopped on one of the first models reviewed by RooGirl. The LG Rumor.
That’s it. I’m done. Maybe I am Frozen in time. But in the words of Elsa the Queen, let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway.
First phones for little hands…