Advice Needed: When are phones appropriate for kids?

March 9, 2022 No Comments

Dear Band of Mamas, 

So many of my mommy friends are buying phones right now and I couldn’t be more upset about it. Our kids are too little. This is such an important topic that many parents struggle with (including myself). We think we’re putting restrictions on our kids devices but don’t realize that even without a phone plan, kids can still access the web… How do I maintain my position and remind my kids it’s for their benefit?

Dear Mama, 

We are chartering new waters as parents of kids in the digital age. Along with that, when we were younger we didn’t have the access to technology like our kids do today, and many of us are seeing the pendulum swing back in the opposite direction of the kids before ours. Now, we see addicted little people holding devices that have far too much reach for their under-developed brains. Additionally, we now have the added stress of monitoring usage because of online predators and people who intend to seek out our babies and exploit them. This is scary, but it is our reality. So what do we do?

Cool Mom or Mean Mommy?

Turns out that you have to decide now… are you going to be the cool mom, or are you going to be the mean mommy?
Being the cool mom means that your kid gets a device because it’s convenient. You’ll be able to reach them at any time and you’ll always know where they are. Furthermore, you’re taking on the added responsibility of monitoring their moves online. Their decisions now, affect their digital footprint later on. Every key stroke is kept somewhere and it can always be accessed. 
The other choice, is the less popular one, and you’re the mean mommy. Along with this, is that might have your kid screaming to the rooftops how much they hate you because they’re the only one without a phone. Tough cookies. I’m here to tell you, that there is a new wave of mean mommies around the corner and we are on team No-Phone. 

Reality of young people with phones

My 7th grade students often tell me they are up until 3:00 in the morning snapping their friends and watching YouTube and TikTok. They come to school exhausted. Some months they send in the upwards of 30,000 texts. Many kids post pictures online on TikTok & Instagram with no profile blocking and have hundreds of “friends” because their friend knows someone who knows someone. Coincidentally, they don’t know what an encyclopedia is, but they know what extension to install to block admin from seeing what they’ve downloaded. Some even start online accounts and post hurtful and mean comments about other students.

Be the Mean Mommy

Kids do NOT need phones, social media, or online “friends” What they need is boundaries from their parents. They need family dinners and copious reasons why being the uncool kid is what’s best for them. Sports and activities should be a normal part of their lives. Consistency is important and they should have a reasonable bedtime.  They need to play outside and get fresh air. Additionally, make a point to give hugs and love, everyday, even through the tough times when they say they hate you. Has anyone ever stopped to think about this: Kids aren’t allowed to see Rated R movies until they are 18. Yet, from their mobile device, they are able to watch ANYTHING they want. Talk to ANYONE they want. Anything! Anyone! Let that sink in.

Get extra security on their phones

L.L. Murray: Say no to Phones!If your kids do have a device, please get the online security apps, like Qustodio or Bark to monitor their device. Read their messages together. Turn off all Wi-Fi access and app usage after a certain time and keep all phones and laptops stored in mom and dad’s room at night. Know their account usernames and passwords. Be the uncool parent. Get them off TikTok, Instagram, and SnapChat. This is for their good. They are developmentally unable to manage adult content. You must do this for them!
Stay strong, all you mean Mamas! ❤️❤️❤️
XO, L.L. Murray
Lindsay Murray

I am a 30-something Minnesota Mama of three little ones and wife to the extreme outdoorsman. Life is full of blessings and stories, and I want to share them!

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Lindsay Murray

I am a 30-something Minnesota Mama of three little ones and wife to the extreme outdoorsman. Life is full of blessings and stories, and I want to share them!

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