Fredericksburg Parent

August 2013

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Six Reasons You Should Get Your Tween a Cell Phone BY PAM MOLNAR W hen my oldest daughter was in 5th grade, she started asking about cell phones. Evidently, some of her friends recently got their own cell phone. My first reaction was to assume that their parents were crazy and were simply giving in to the wants of a spoiled tween. Why did a 5th grader need a cell phone? According to a report for the National Consumer League, conducted by ORC International in 2012, nearly six out of ten parents of tweens (ages 8 to 12) got cell phones for their children. Thankfully, the majority of the parents did not take their decision lightly. The report showed parents taking the steps to phone ownership slowly by reading articles, talking with other parents and comparing cellular service before taking the plunge. The result was a better understanding of the benefits of buying a cell phone for their tween. Peace of mind. The most obvious reason to get a cell phone for your tween is the security in being able to reach them when they are not at home. Many middle school kids take a bus to school for the first time and prefer to walk to the bus stop alone. As your children get older, their activity level increases, taking them away from home more often. It is a comfort to a parent to know that they can call their children to see if they arrived safely, or to tell them of a change of plans to pick them up. 16 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • August 2013 Comfort for your child. While it is reassuring for the parents to be able to reach their children, the kids also feel more secure. Your tween is trying to spread his wings and gain a little independence, but he still finds comfort in the fact that his parents are a phone call away. When my son and youngest child got a phone, he felt better knowing that if he didn't see me the moment practice got out, he can call to see if I am on my way. He can also call to ask for permission to go home with a friend after school, knowing I would worry if I didn't see him by 3:45.

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