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Your 5-year-old does not need a cell phone

Apologies for sounding preachy, but seriously, does a five-year-old really need a cell phone of his or her own? Apparently, there are plenty of people who do. We suppose they forget the days of yore, when criminals were put in the stocks, and almost no one had a cell phone. As we remember it, that wasn’t much of a problem. According to some parents, though, it would be a problem if kids didn’t have a cell phone today. It makes us wonder how we got through our youth without some horrible incident that could have been prevented with a cell phone.

Let’s take a quote from Collene Twitty, who gave her five-year-old daughter a cell phone last Christmas:

“I think all kids need them. I work a lot of long hours, and [my husband] does, too. She needs to have a phone to get in touch with us.”

Once again, both our parents worked, and we never needed a cell phone to contact them. Heck, they didn’t even have a cell phone we could call. If they were in the car, we were out of luck.

One of Collene’s concerns is that her daughter’s soccer camp might get rained out or let out early. Without a cell phone, her daughter would be abandoned! Surely no counselors would stay behind and make sure she got a ride, or even ::gasp:: offer her use of an office phone.

If you don’t think this is funny yet, please read the following paragraph. We’ll hold our comments for just a minute so you can get out a good belly laugh:

Before getting her a cell phone, Collene and Deandre bought Quri a toy phone that played music. After time, they were confident she could handle the responsibility of a cell phone.

Yes. We bought our nephew a Powerwheels Jeep last week. We’re now certain he can handle the responsibility of driving on the freeway.

Thankfully, we have the backing of Dr. Eileen Gallo, a psychotherapist from California who specializes in issues of family and finance:

Parents are recommended to buy prepaid cell phones for young children, but “I wouldn’t buy a 5-year-old a phone,” she said.

Yes, kids need to learn about phones and technology in general. But handing a 5-year-old a prepaid phone just isn’t sound parenting. For what it’s worth, there was no mention of what service Ms. Twitty has provided her daughter, meaning she could have completely unrestricted calling access. They mention that they “taught her” to dial a few numbers, including mom, dad, grandma, and the police. However, kids these days will figure out how to dial other numbers pretty damn quickly.

If Ms. Twitty got a bill with a bunch of unknown numbers on it, what what would she do? Probably take the phone away. Gee, what a novel concept. She could avoid that inevitable headache, though, by saying “no” to her child. If the kid needs a phone, she can borrow it from a parent.

We just love it when people use faulty logic to try to prove a nonexistent point.

[Jackson (TN) Sun]