Honestly, my children a several years away form being teens.. My oldest is seven. Though I know of many children my daughters age and under 12 that have cell phones.. I feel that is not a good thing.. Unless your child, teenagere is alone a great deal or has a part time job, etc.. there is no reason for a child to have a cell phone.. I think most of us lived thru our teenage years without a cell phone.. If or when my daughter has a cell phone it will be when she can afford one on her own. She knows when she is 15 she will get a part time job.. then she can get one. I think the best cells for kids are the ones offered by Dinsey.. You control who they can call and receive calls from.. Look at all these kids getting lured from their homes form predators with the use of their cells and pcs.. It's sick.. I can go on and on, but i won't.. Just adding my 2 cents.. Great question
I am a clinical psychologist. I have three sons ages 14, 11, 8. The older two have cell phones.
This is an excellent topic and worth greater depth. I plan to address it on my online TV or video show.
However until then a few thoughts from a psychologist who has spent over 20 years working with victims of trauma - including sexual trauma.
The first issue is the introduction of sexuality at an early age that is itself traumatizing, overwhelming and preoccupying. When this is introduced too early it is traumatizing. This is great for marketers and horrible for kids.
Secondly the scale of magnifications and the 'viral' aspect of texting take what can be teenage indiscretions and make them not just fodder for that teen’s school. It can move to other schools, the community, and the region and even, sadly, YouTube infamy and national attention. If you don't think so go to this link and read the article with this title at:
"Her teen committed suicide over ‘sexting’
Cynthia Logan’s daughter was taunted about photo she sent to boyfriend"
Yes, employers even find out about these kinds of issues. Yes, employers check facebook profiles, other employee’s report employees for whom they find evidence of such things. This sort of thing has the potential to affect a person's entire career.
So, this is not your 80s middle school party with people making out. This is a different scale and has substantially different ramifications.
Again, I will address this issue on my show at www.fitfamilies.tv next month. I have a companion site at www.ourfitfamily.ning.com. You are invited to go there join the sites and give me feedback as both sites are in a beta phase. I invite you there and I will open a discussion on this topic.
Charles Shinaver, Ph.D.