Friday, July 1, 2011

Is Your Teen Ready for a Cell Phone?

Parents will tend to disagree on the issue of whether or not teens should have their own cellphones or not. When you look around yourself at a mall, it would appear that the parents who have said no to cellphones are in the minority. What are the reasons some parents are withholding this privilege from their teens?

10 Reasons to consider not giving your teen a cell phone:
  1. Cost of service – Cellphone service cost money. Unless a teen is paying for these costs themselves, this is just another expense that a parent has to pay for. Unless they have an unlimited plan, there can also be potential charges for overages on minutes or text messages.
  2. Lost phones – Teenagers are notorious for losing things. They lose their jackets, their ipods, their school books and any number of other things. They even lose their precious cellphones. Even if you have insurance, a replacement still can cost money. If you don’t have insurance, it will definitely cost you money to replace.
  3. Wasted time – Even when they aren’t actually texting or talking on their phone, it can still be a temptation for wasting time. Even the simplest cellphones seem to come with games to play and a camera.
  4. Down time – Kids are connected to electronic gadgetry for much of their leisure and school time. Adding a cellphone to the mix will just make it worse. Kids need some time away from their electronic world to remind them what the rest of life is all about.
  5. Distraction – Cellphones can be a distraction for kids, even if it is just waiting for a call or message. They can also be distracting to others around them while the teen themselves are totally oblivious to the annoyance they are causing.
  6. Responsibility – Many teens just aren’t responsible enough to take proper care of a cellphone and use it wisely. Cellphones have been sent through the laundry and used for prank phone calls, each of which demonstrates a lack of personal responsibility.
  7. Parental control – It can make it more difficult for a parent to monitor a child’s interaction with their peers, when they own their own cellphone. When they have to use the land line or their parents phone, it is more obvious to the parent to know how much time their kids are spending on the phone.
  8. Late nights – Unless the phone is taken away at night, teens have a tendency to stay up to all hours texting on their phone, even on school nights. Lack of sleep is a much bigger problem in schools than a lot of people realize.
  9. Unexpected charges – Teens often don’t realize the danger of giving out their cellphone number online. ‘Free’ ringtones are frequent lure to get people to give out their cellphone numbers and get signed up for a monthly ringtone fee without them realizing that they have done so.
  10. Driving – If the teen is also old enough to drive, a cellphone can be an added temptation to take their eyes off the road. It can be difficult for a teen to have the self-discipline to let their cellphone go unanswered while they’re driving.
Although there are reasons why a teen should not own a cellphone, the reality is that many of them do. When that is the case, it becomes the parents responsibility to teach them how to use it responsibly and to set the necessary limits.

Also read the counter-argument – Why teens should get cell phones.

Source:  Phone Service

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