Guest blogger Dani Klein Modisett: "At what age should children get their first cellphone?" I read out loud at the breakfast table this morning.
How about never?" I mumbled to myself, or so I thought, through a mouthful of oatmeal. My mother, who flew 3,000 miles to see my oldest graduate from pre-school (any excuse), and my husband, tripped over each other responding to me.
"Sometimes it's important for a child to have a phone for safety reasons," my mother said.
"Yeah, like if your kid is going to a school that's an hour away," my husband added. His tone was particularly pointed since our son will be starting kindergarten in the fall about an hour away.
I continued reading silently. Until I burst out laughing.
"My 4-year-old has been on the Web since he could sit up," I read to my family. It's the next line that makes me guffaw.
"My 6-year-old has an iPod and wants a cellphone, although my husband and I aren't sure who he'd call."
Gee, I don't know. Maybe his dealer?
Who are these people who think giving an iPod to a 6-year-old is a sound idea? The last thing I want to do is encourage my child to stick something in his ears to block out the world. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't think a child should be able to tune out the sounds of real life by plugging pods into his ears with music to score his life.
The thought is so insane to me I almost can't read the rest of the article. But I do, and it does make some valid points about the timing of introducing technology into our children's lives.
I want him skipping stones, counting stars and...I'll finish the thought in a minute, another mom just texted me about a playdate and I have to get back to her.