Wednesday, March 2, 2016

To give him the phone or to not give him the phone?

I have an almost 13 year old son. Is that enough said? He is an extremely bright boy with a strong personality. He knows what he wants and will argue his point very intelligently. At times, I have to remind him that raising his voice doesn't make what he's saying have more weight but mostly he does make good points.

Are 12 and 13 year olds mature enough?

I have been avoiding giving him a phone for many, many reasons but most of which, I don't feel a 12 year old is fully capable of being responsible for an iPhone. I wouldn't mind him having a flip phone that he can text and call from but not a mini computer that gives him access to a world he may or may not be ready for.

He actually has a flip phone that he refuses to use because it's embarrassing amongst his friends for him to have such a substandard piece of equipment. I find the whole thing amusing. I get him all tied up talking about that. I say, "Are you the person who cares?" "Are you the person who wants a phone just to show off in front of your friends?" "If that's the only reason then that's even more reason to say no to the phone." I know that he does care, he does want a phone to belong and that I may say yes based on those previous statements. I was a teenager once too.

This is not a question of whether I trust him or not. He is super responsible. However, why tempt him with something that he doesn't need in his life right now? That's my struggle.

Am I good with him being one of the final few?

The problem is that he is one of the only few 7th graders who are without an iPhone. His latest argument is that he wants it to text, call, listen to music and google something such as the weight of a wrestler. I couldn't make that last one up even if I tried. I see his points in a lot of this.

My issue is not with these things, my issue is with social media. I feel that some adults aren't mature yet to be on social media let alone kids who have hormones raging in their system. I also feel like it's a productivity suck. I would rather he be outside playing tennis or shooting baskets instead of playing on his phone and that will eventually happen. It's happened to all of us. Whether we are checking email or Facebook or whatever, we are on our phones a good portion of our day.

What to do?

On the one hand, I wish I could just say no and move on. On the other hand, I feel I might be a bit unreasonable in my stance. I would love to get some advice on this. I've heard from several parents saying that they would have said no if they could do it over but then again are they taking that phone away?

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  1. Well, I suggest you give him the phone for a trial period on condition he doesn't lack behind on his studies. Or you can give him the phone just on weekends.

  2. I like the idea of the phone on the weekends. That's really when he'll need it the most as far as I'm concerned. I like to be able to reach him if he's playing sports or with his friends.

  3. Deanna Gale DawsonMarch 2, 2016 at 4:52 PM

    Are you familiar with Gary Vee? He's a social media and marketing genius. He makes some GREAT points in this video. He's a very engaging speaker (lots of F bombs, so you might want to listen to it when the kids aren't around), amazing story, brilliant businessman. I LOVE his points about kids and phones and where the world is going. It's not going back. This is the world they are growing up into. Period. They may as well learn it, because there is a good chance they will be using it to make money, also. I love when he says, "You can walk into a room and see a couple of people looking at their phones and judge it, but it's not changing" Kids use it more for games than anything for a long while and that should have limits. But deciding that their childhoods should be filled with the same things ours were, is just a weird judgment we have because it's so different.