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Posted by Jeff in Marketing

Should Children have Cell Phones?

With cell phones becoming a symbol of status, many children as well as teenagers consider having a cell phone as a necessity. Although there are people who say that giving phones to children has several benefits, there are others who still have doubts whether it's really necessary. The answer to this question can be a difficult one, especially for parents whose children want to have mobile phones. However, before parents succumb to their wishes, it's important for them to know about the pros and cons of giving mobile phones to children.

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Mobile Phones for Children

Handing a personal cell phone to children can be a dilemma for most parents. The reason for this is that there are people who support the claim that it's important to give phones to children as well as those who say that children don't require mobiles at a young age. As a parent, providing a cell phone to a child can be a tough decision and hence, it's important for parents to weigh the pros as well as cons before taking a decision. Let us take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of giving mobile phones to children.

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Advantages

One of the most important advantage is that it becomes easier for parents to track where their children are exactly. it's said that mobile phones gives a sense of security to the parents and children. For instance, if a child comes home alone from school, it becomes easier for the parent to know where he's reached. Also, if the parent is running late to pick the child from school, then, he/she can contact the child and tell him about it. Apart from this, people also believe that giving a cell phone to children is a good way of teaching them to take up responsibility. it's said that children tend to be careful not to lose their mobiles as well as stick to usage limitations set by the parents.

Disadvantages

Although there are some advantages, the disadvantages of mobiles are much greater. One of the main reasons why children want to own a cell phone is because their friends have it. Also, mobiles are considered to be cool where they can be in constant touch with their friends through calls and texts. Moreover, phones that are available nowadays have several applications where they can take pictures, listen to music, browse the Internet, chat, etc. it's these things that make children want to have the cell phones.

Apart from the above given problems, there are many more associated risks to the children. it's been observed that children tend to waste lots of time calling or texting their friends, sometimes ignoring their studies. Moreover, giving mobile phones to children also makes them vulnerable to check Internet sites which you've banned at home. Other than these problems, giving mobiles to children can expose them to health problems too. Studies conducted by scientists have shown that too much exposure of the cell phone can give rise to physical problems.

Though parents give phones to children to know their whereabouts, many schools have banned mobile phones because it disturbs the decorum of the school. Also, it's been found that having such phones may encourage children to indulge in some kind of misbehaviour like cheating or copying during tests, making harassing calls to classmates or sending embarrassing pictures, etc.

How Should Parents Handle this Problem?

These pros and cons might be of help to parents in taking the right decision. The first thing that parents should consider is whether the child really needs a mobile phone. For instance, if he wants a phone just because his friends have it, this shouldn't be the reason you should get him one. However, if your child travels alone from school, giving him a phone can be useful. Another way of avoiding any risky behaviour would be to give him a cell phone which only has basic necessities. Even if you give a phone that's various applications and accessories, don't hesitate to limit the number of calls and text messages that he can send.

The decision of giving a cell phone to your child is entirely yours. However, you should make sure that he gets a personal mobile phone only for the right reasons and not because he can show it off to his friends. Keeping a close check on how your child is using his cell phone can help in preventing him from misusing the benefits of having a mobile phone.

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