Asking the question is my preteen ready for a cell phone is a big one. I would start with the same questions that you should always be asking about your preteen when it comes to their trust and responsibility.
Something that we try to continually talk about in our preteen ministry is the relationship between the parent and student. It’s so important to keep the conversation pipeline open and here are some questions to get you thinking about if your preteen is ready for a cell phone.
1. Has my preteen adequately gained my trust?
If your preteen is struggling to fufill responsibilities around the home or at school, they probably aren’t ready for a cell phone. “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” – Luke 16:10 this a principle that is very easy to teach to your preteen.
In what ways are you expecting your child to show that they are responsible? Do they know which areas or are they untold expectations of behavior?
pic via steven -l-l-l- monteau
2. Do I have conversations with my preteen about things that others don’t see?
Do you and your preteen talk about manners of the heart? Does your ministry resource parents on how to have great conversations or ask great questions? The bible teaches us that the “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” -Jeremiah 17:9
If your preteen only talks about surface level things, chances are that if something happens in the dark, it might not come to light until it’s too late. Evaluate the trust that your child has in you.
Do they trust you enough to be gut level honest?
This question is incredibly important when you think about the statistics on sexting, “11% of young teen girls (ages 13 – 16) have sent/posted nude or seminude pictures or video of themselves”
Definitely some conversations that must take place between parent and child.
3. Why does my preteen need a cell phone?
This is an important question because of the amount of cost involved in a cell phone and the high level of responsibility involved. If your kid wants a cell phone just because, is it necessary?
What are the benefits and downsides of the phone? What are the rules and expectations that you put in front of your child about the use of the phone? Are you willing to put the time into knowing how your child is using their phone?
There are so many apps out there designed to hide how they use their phones and there are also a ton of apps that track how they use their phone. Here’s an article talking about 4 big rules of teens and cell phones
Should your preteen receive and use a cellphone? Take the poll and look for a followup soon.
What are your thoughts on the cell phone debate? Weigh in below…