My wife and I recently let our 9YO acquire a (hand-me-down) phone after hearing so much about how her other friends have “had them forever!” to which I used the standard parental handbook page 93 answer of, “well if all of your friends had hungry pet tigers, should we get you one too?”
Her getting one didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t come without hurdles. After a few discussions, making her write out a list on why she’s responsible enough to own one and presenting it, then I agreed.
It does still seem strange to me that kids have cell phones (or “mobiles” as they call them in Europe) so young as I got my first cell phone at 27!
When I was her age I wasn’t even allowed to have a Walkman! And kids that had their own phone (land-line) well, they were pretty much living the high-life.
We made arrangements to make her pay for the phone (discounted) out of her allowance and pay a portion of the monthly fee from her allowance as well. For being 9, I’m quite proud of her budgeting skills – she makes me proud at that for sure!
Then I wrote out a contract with her listing out things like expectations, her responsibility, payments, behavior, Apps, social things like texting, Instagram, and general phone etiquette. While writing it out I realized that having the phone is actually a pretty good teaching mechanism.
When I spoke to other friends with kids around her age, I was a bit taken back at how they thought the idea of having their kid sign a contract was strange. After some chatting then they realized that maybe they should have one as well.
Here it is for anybody to use or modify to fit their own needs: