Let me start off by saying that we don’t have a home phone. Husband and I each have cell phones and Daughter has the ability to text on her touch device. At age nine she does not have her own phone, but it isn’t necessarily because we don’t think she should.
You see, nine years old should be the time when experimenting with independence really starts to happen. That’s what Husband and I think, anyway, and we’ve been starting to try little things out. Letting her stay home alone while we walk the dog for ten minutes was our first step. It went really well and we started to let our walks get a little longer each time. Then at one point on a walk we realized, there’s no phone for her to call 911 in an emergency. She can text us to say “can I eat this or that?” but in a real emergency, there’s nothing she can do. Dang.
Husband and I began the process of debating whether or not to get her a phone. It’s not just the 911 issue, though that is pretty important. Frankly, there’s no reason we need to leave her alone other than to let her start to feel what this independence thing is all about. There are other factors though. She’s starting to be the age when she wants to call friends and have them call her. What number does she give them? Mine? Husband’s? What if she’s not with the parent whose number she gave out? What if she wants to chat but I need my phone? What if I’m working online and my phone won’t stop going crazy? We have been listing reason after reason why having her own phone would benefit her. There are two reasons why we can think of to not allow her to have her own phone:
1. She’s only nine and that just seems young.
2. People will judge us.
Mostly, it’s just the second one.
How ridiculous is that? At our ages, we are worried about what people will say to and about us if our child has a phone. Why we care, I don’t know. The people who seem to have the most to say about this either have no children or are raising their children in a way we do not want to emulate. Still it bothers us to our core. So we debate. We talk and reason and rationalize. We come to no decision. The adult peer pressure wins today, but hopefully we can put it aside to figure out what really is the best thing to do for Daughter.