My oldest child will be starting middle school soon and with it comes the issue of a cell phone. My husband and I have discussed it and decided it will be time for her to have a cell phone. She will need it to reach us at times and start being more independent. We are unsure, though, if she should have a smart phone or not. I have written about the dangers of social media before and I know it is a lot of responsibility for a tween. I work at a middle school and see first hand the drama it causes. It is very difficult for kids (and, let's be real, adults too) to stay off of social media when they have easy access to it. Right now, my daughter has an Ipod and we closely monitor it. Of course, we can try to closely monitor a smart phone but it is a bigger challenge.
On the other hand, it would make sense for her to have a smart phone instead of a regular cell phone and Ipod. Plus, she needs to learn more responsibility. I know that we can set up limits and enforce consequences if she does not follow them. Also, she has never broken the rules when it comes to the internet.
We have a little time to decide but it will be a decision we make together. I would love to hear other's experiences.
Stefanie F. Pisarkiewicz, LPC
Experience and information from a counselor and mother- sharing her two cents on children and teens.