Recent news from the US Surgeon General stating that 13 years old is too young for developing minds to engage in social media made me think about my two “tweens,” and their lack of cell phones, social media and any online presence not related to schooling.
Many friends with kids of similar age have folded on this issue, telling me “it helps me know where they are” or “everyone else has a phone, and I don’t want them to be the odd man out.” But I think “I’m their parent and I KNOW where they are. I don’t need a phone to confirm that.” And I can be the bad guy if my kids need to explain to their friends why they don’t have phones.
Recently, I dropped my 12-year-old son off at the local library for a program that I didn’t realize had been cancelled. After 15 minutes without anyone showing up, he checked his email on a library computer and learned the class was cancelled. He used the librarian’s phone to call me to ask to be picked up.
If he had a phone of his own, he easily could have gotten in touch with me. Instead, he used his head to find out the information, speak to an adult in charge and ask for help. He showed quick thinking, practicality and courage to overcome a problem that would cripple some kids his same age. We’re proud of him!
Our Kids Don’t Have Cell Phones