My son turned 9 years old this summer. Next year, he’ll be in the double digits – a tween. I can’t help but think that in just a short time, he is going to be asking about laptops and cell phones.
Just this year, he wanted his own device so he can listen to music and play video games. Soon enough, he’ll be asking to go to the mall and texting with his friends.
I thought parenting would become easier as children get older and it some ways it is – it’s not as physically demanding, and I can actually enjoy a full night’s sleep! But there are many more important decisions to make and challenges to face. I’m already starting to think about setting rules and boundaries with my boys. At the same time, I want my children to explore and have certain freedoms to make their own choices and deal with the consequences, both positive and negative.
The idea of freedom without limits is frightening to me. I’m not a helicopter parent by any means (maybe I was with my first when he was a baby) but I do want to stay connected while giving my kids some freedom. The question is, how much freedom do you give your children?
I imagine my kids holding onto a long rope. I slowly unravel it, not allowing them to travel too far but just enough to test the waters. As soon as they or I feel uncomfortable, I quickly reel the rope back in.
As my boys get older, they’re going to be asking for a cell phone. I’d feel better in knowing that my child can call home anytime from any place, or emergency services when in trouble.
Parents can be in constant touch with their kids if they have a cell phone. It’s convenient to make plans for school pickups, drop-offs, and parents and kids would be able to change plans quickly and have immediate access to each other. I can see this being important as my son gets older, when he is in hockey practice for example or an after-school activity finishes early or runs late.
A cell phone can teach your tween/teen about being responsible – from taking care of the phone to calling mom and dad and being accountable and reachable at all times. When calling isn’t appropriate, such as during a class, there is always texting – and this is actually another great way to stay connected with your growing child who may communicate more with you this way.
What I like is that even if we’re not ready to give our kids free reign when it comes to cell phones, there are options. There are plan features that limit the number of calls and texts, restrict numbers or not even allow texts.
The most important feature of all? You can’t buy it – communication. Having open doors of communication with your kids is the most important thing and will help build trust. A cell phone may be one of the tools to help.
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Disclosure: This post was brought to you by WIND Mobile via Glam Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of WIND Mobile.