#Sponsored: How Young is Too Young for a Child to Have a Cell Phone? #SprintLatino

Children with cell phones

Disclosure: I was compensated to participate in a Sprint Latino research study around Latina Moms and mobile security for their children. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

When my daughter turned ten, one of the items on her wish list was a cell phone. As a mom of three children, I thought ten was a bit too young for a child to own a cell phone, especially my own daughter. I bought my 16 year old son a cell phone when he was about 14. This request is four years early.

At the time, I was a stay-at-home mom and I knew where my children were at every moment. So I thought, “Why would she need a phone?” I saw no reason so we decided to pass on the cellphone and gifted her new clothes instead.

A few weeks later, after further consideration, my husband and I decided 11 would be a better age for her. We agreed that even though we knew our children’s whereabouts at every moment, emergencies are inevitable and unplanned. A cell phone would be a great way to communicate with our daughter should an emergency arise; we could get in contact with her in a matter of seconds.

So, we made a proposition. We promised our daughter that if she continued to keep her A-B+ average scores throughout the semester, we would get her a cell phone for her 11th birthday. Sure enough, she kept her grades above a B+ to get that phone! She worked really hard. When she turned eleven, we bought her a basic cell phone. And of course, we had rules she had to follow in order to keep the phone.

Five Rules To Follow

1). Charging takes place in the kitchen, not her bedroom.

(This rule is beneficial for us both. She gets time away from the cellphone and understands that I’m able to monitor the phone for security reasons.)

2). No texting after text 9 P.M.

(This rule is a must. A lot of pre-teens spend too much time texting their friends when they should be sleeping or studying. This takes away from their focus and concentration both in and out of school.)

3). Know where your phone is at all times.

(Nowadays, cell phones hold personal information. Teaching my daughter to protect her property early in life may help her avoid the headache that comes from losing personal property in the future.)

4). Never lend your phone to anyone.

5). Inappropriate texting is unacceptable.

The rules were broken a few times, especially number 1 and 2 but most of the time she abided by them. During the time those rules were broken; her cell phone was confiscated for two weeks. Our strategy was successful.

This year she requested a smart phone for her birthday but that’s where I draw the line. I believe that once she can pay for her own phone, she can have the one of her choice. Until then, she’ll have to work with what she has.

Why?

Well, it took me years to own a smart phone and that is only because I started working full-time. I’ve gotten the lecture about “well, my friends have an iPhone – why can’t I have one?” I explained to her that a smart phone is something she has to earn on her own because mommy and daddy simply cannot afford it. Our children have to learn that there’s a difference between our needs and wants. She understood and hasn’t asked for one again. Hopefully it stays that way. 🙂

I was asked to participate in a survey with approximately 270 Latina moms. Out of 270 moms, 150 had already purchased cell phones for their children, including me! And about 120 moms are planning to purchase a cell phone in the next few months.

Take a look below at the infographic to get a better understanding of the survey:

This study was sponsored by Sprint, features Sprint Guardian which offers bundled, value-priced services to keep your family safe and secure on their mobile phones. Social Lens Research conducted this study in partnership with iNSPIRE!

So what’s your take on young children having cell phones? Are you a mom of a young child who owns a cell phone? Have you set guidelines for your children?

Please share in a comment below.

Disclosure: I was compensated to participate in a Sprint Latino research study around Latina Moms and mobile security for their children. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

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