Our 8-year-old child has her first personal technology, her own cell phone.
Now, let me clarify. That cell phone doesn’t have access to cellular service right now. It does have access to our home wifi. When we gave it to here, here were the rules we set in place:
- No access to the phone prior to school
- Only 15 minutes when she gets home
- Only 15 minutes after dinner
- It is not allowed to leave the house without permission
- It is not allowed in her bedroom
- She can’t download anything without my permission (I have it set up so she can’t, it notifies me – best part, she has never tried)
- I can take the phone and check it at ANY time
- If at any time these rules are broken, the phone is DESTROYED and she doesn’t get another one until she is 13
- So, here is the interesting thing. She was ATTACHED to the phone for the first week. Now, 6 months later, it goes days without leaving the charging area. She has 3 friends who have similar situations, so occasionally she asks to use it in the morning (like maybe once a week). She uses it to schedule play time with her friend who lives across the city and is learning how to schedule her time. She has also asked to download an app that helps her practice her dancing. She has a Bible app that she uses on Sunday afternoons to look up and read more information about the bible verses she learns in the morning. She also downloaded a Shopkins game.
I know this isn’t the decision that a lot of parents would make, but it is what works for us. As parents, we believe in moderation. We have allowed our children to have access to television but they are just as likely to ask to go outside or create or draw something. My 8-year-old is more likely to curl up on a chair across from the TV and just read her book.
We are already starting to talk about alcohol and other issues like that. In Europe, it is not uncommon for children younger than mine to have access to a small glass of wine with dinner. Not sure where we are going with that one yet, but we will figure it out.
Now, once we get to Social Media, that will be another discussion. We made the choice to slowly introduce this type of technology and allow access to our children- to teach them the power that comes with having access to other people and how to use it in a positive and supportive manner.
Hey, come and check out our Facebook page and give us