I had a great conversation with friends the other day about the current craze of children and text- messaging.
I must admit, I am so CLUELESS when it comes to using this feature on my cell phone. If I had to text to save my life, I probably wouldn’t be here right now.
But the discussion was mostly geared towards what each person felt the appropriate age was to allow our children to:
a) Have a cell phone
b) Use the texting option with friends
Since my kids are only six and eight years old, I’ll have to admit I haven’t thought about the whole texting phenomenon much until now. I must say it kind of worries me and freaks me out. But the conversation was very intense and provocative but mostly interesting. It made think about something I had not been considering as a parent.
One of the concerns was texting potentially allows children to say things to each other they may not have said otherwise. Is this good or bad? If it’s sexual innuendos, predatory or bullying I think it’s horrific. If it’s genuinely telling each other how they feel about something in a constructive way, it’s good. But are kids really doing that? Honestly, I really don’t know.
It seems texting has become the modern-day channel for communicating instead of the old-fashioned methods of note-passing, whispering in someone’s ear or just talking.
I think texting and cell phone usage has put another twist on parenting. To text or not to text?
Allowing a child to use text messaging may vary for different reasons and that’s okay.
You may have a child who is mature and responsible or this might be the only method you have available to keep in touch. It’s going to be very different for everyone.
Do you let your child have a cell phone and text because everyone else has one and is doing it?
Has anyone had a good or bad experience as a result of using the texting form of communication?
I would love to know at what age you feel it is appropriate to give your child a cell phone and if you let them text or not.
Does cell usage depend on the child or is it a rite of passage to have this technology at their fingertips?
I know so many questions! Sorry. I’m just really curious about everyone’s overall experience.
Of course every generation looks back at the previous one as if living during those times was less than civilized. It just seems like kids are more precocious with technology yet may lack responsibility in its usage.
I just know my hooligans are going to ask me for a cell phone someday and want to use it to text all their buddies. I want to respond with a decision that is rational and keeps them safe.
I would probably allow them a cell phone and put certain restrictions on its use, with no texting allowed. But by not allowing them to text am I then setting them up to be an outcast? I lack all the answers here.
Hopefully those of you with experience can shed some light on this debacle.
I love conversations that make me think about things I hadn’t previously considered.