Quantcast » Blog Archive » #9: Cell Phones for Children

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008...4:18 pm

#9: Cell Phones for Children



The Best Parent always has something of the utmost importance to say. On the off chance they are not at their home computer to post this profound thought of the moment to their various Yahoo parenting groups, they are forced to express this insight in other ways. Unfortunately, the non-white nanny does not speak English. And neither does the $3,000 yorkshire terrier they are carrying in their Gucci dog bag. Perhaps they could call another Best Parent friend on the phone? Not if it entails listening to someone else other than themselves talk.

Enter the cellphone they have bestowed upon their Best Parent child, sometimes as early as preschool. Nothing says “I love you” more than being able to reach their child during preschool math class to let them know the new Paul Frank t-shirts just came in at Fred Segal.

Additionally, since the Best Parent’s child is being shuffled from school to dance class to art class to martial arts class to music lessons to various scheduled play dates by the non-white nanny, they understandably have a difficult time remembering their child’s exact whereabouts. The obvious solution to this quagmire is a cell phone for their child.

The child’s first cell phone is a big responsibility and therefore comes with a few rules. Prime among these rules is: the child is not allowed to use this cell phone. Ever. Unless, of course, it is to call their Best Parents to tell them they are the best parents in the whole wide world. Or, unless the Best Parent is calling to remind their child to thank them for getting them their very own cell phone.

The Best Parent is also teaching their child valuable life lessons. It allows their precious progeny to brazenly show off an inessential luxury to all the non-best children in the area who have to use disease-ridden payphones to contact their non-best parents. Thus, Best Parent children will learn to become better Best Parents themselves some day. Yet another Best Parent circle of life finds its completion.

So take that landline-lugging, non-best parent! The only thing more beautiful than seeing a child’s first tooth is hearing them on their first Bluetooth.

For more “helpful” parenting tips, join the BPE Discussion Board!


  • OK-Wait….

    I am SO Black that I sport an afro. When I got my six year old son a cell phone (which can only dial, paternal grandma, maternal grandma, daddy’s cell phone, mommy’s cell phone, and the Po Po)-my WHITE neighbor got angry and yelled at me.

    Yes-she actually yelled at me.

    I later found out that it’s because THEY can’t afford to get their nine year old daughter a cell phone.

    ….So, this may mean these are the “wrong” sort of White people.

  • black ghetto children have cell phones too


  • I find that hard to believe. How would the parents pay for the cell phones?

    How many Black ghetto children do you know? I am Black and I don’t know any.

  • Yes, I know a 7 year old girl with one and I was shocked. I didn’t think that was a common thing until I read this post. I received my 1st cell my senior year of H.S.

  • There is also a SIM call reader that allows you read your children’s SIM card and determine who they are calling.

    Also, you can get a specially configured cell phone that allows you to listen in on pre-teen Ava’s calls on her cell phone.

    My friend, Heidi, tells me there’s a whole industry for spying on your kids, centered around cell phones.

  • What does ANY kid under the age of at least 15 need with a cell phone?!

    1 for 9.

  • Wow. I’m white, and I got my first cell phone during the summer of my senior year in college. I still have it, some 5 odd years later. Guess I’ll never fit in.

  • danielmybrother
    April 17th, 2008 at 4:57 am

    I have four kids, our non white nanny (their Mom, Haa Haa) and I wont get anyone their own phone. They have to buy it using their own money. But if they get caught texting, while talking to another adult, we take away the CAR, which they paid for with their own money that they earned. Todays users of texting phones, etc have become so rude they will enter data while they attempt to physically talk to someone, if that someone is me, I just walk away, uninterested, and the conversation stops. Cell phone users in public have become a pariah, hopefully the ridiculous parents who smother their poor children with idiotic gifts that are so useless and mind killing, will stop and learn that a warm smile, firm handshake and an attentive ear, along with active listening is now a skill they must have to be successful.

  • danielmybrother,

    I am sorry, but if your child bought a car with their own money that they earned, you don’t have a right to take it away, for it is not yours to take to begin with.

    That’s why its a good idea to buy them their first car with your money, not theirs. That way you have the moral high ground in restricting their car rights.

    You realize of course that if the car is registered to them and not you, and you take it away, you are technically and morally committing grand theft auto and can get in legal trouble if your child has the thought of mind to report you to the authorities.

    I bet you run your household like Guantanamo.

  • danielmybrother

    It’s parents like you that raise children who have their kill counts at their local school on the nightly news.

    If you were my parent, I’d have run away and joined the circus years ago.

  • Damn… lot’s of animosity towards daniel… If my kid bought anything with their own money I wouldn’t steal it back from them, but at the same time I have no qualms regulatin’ on their asses when they get out of line.

  • Many black ghetto children do have cell phones. i am a public school teacher

  • First I must address the many “Black Ghetto” comments I read. It is offensive and racist. So stop.

    Secondly, who ever came up with the idea that just because a child bought something with their own money, the parent shouldn’t be able to take it away. What? My first problem with this is that a child’s “own” money is usually a result of allowance, so really, there is no “child’s own money”.

    Secondly, kids will make purchases that are stupid and dangerous and it is your job as their parent to regulate the use of these purchases to best benefit the long-term success of that child. Saying that you can’t take away their car or cell phone just because they “paid” for it is just crazy. If your kid paid for a bag of weed, or a pack of cigarettes, or a bottle of “pep” pills, should they be allowed to keep them just because they paid for it? I can see it now —

    Mom: What are you doing with this hand gun?

    Child: That’s my pistol mom. I bought it with my allowance and the money I made from mowing yards last summer. Now, mind your own damn business before I have to remind you of who’s in charge.

    Mom: You’re right. By the way, do you need any more money to pay your cell phone bill?

    Lastly, just because a child makes a $20 or $2000 purchase, it will never come close to how much money you spend on them everyday so there is no obligation you have to your child to respect his wishes or his purchases when it is in the child best interest to regulate the use of such items as cell phones or cars. I mean, you can’t take away things like his food or the roof over his head (all things you pay for) so if it takes loosing a cell phone so that they will do better in school, taking away video games so they help around the house, or restricting use of a car so they understand the importance of a curfew, so be it.

    As far as the appropriate age for cells phones, it is truly dependent on the maturity level of the child. I have met 9 year olds more responsible than 19 year olds. So I believe that each family needs to weigh the risk-benefit factor and decide for each of their children what age is appropriate.

  • I think there is a huge difference between those little phones that can ONLY call the mom, dad, or police and that can be tracked with GPS if the child is ever taken- I think they are the Firefly model… and adding a cell phone onto your plan and letting them chat it up.

    I get the point of the firefly- as sort of a piece of mind for the parent. I know I’ve thought about it once my DD is 7-8-9-10 depending on her activities and our situation.. but a regular cell phone, no f’ing way.

  • Aaron Kinney

    Are you actually a parent or were you one of those brats who threatened to call the police or CAS every time your parents tried to discipline you?

  • I thought this ‘Best Parenting Ever’ was a satire. I cannot believe how many people actually bow down to their kids and compete with their neighbours thinking this is for the “good of the child”. What a sorry society we live in. Kudos to you Morgan!

  • I’m 37 and I still don’t have a cell phone. Why should my kids have one?

  • My son is 10 and he has a cell phone. He walkd home by himself and I just felt safe getting him one.

    Oh Yeah I am black

  • Get a Grip
    With all the technological advances in tracking, it is astonishing to consider how many people lose their children. There are so much technologically advances devices available to parents that there is really no reason for people to misplace their kids. New easy tracking phones for kids have become very affordable and accessible for parents, and still people do not take advantage of tools to keep their children safe. There are also other tracking technologies available that use Global Positioning System (GPS) along with Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) cellular or the internet to keep track of kids; these include: tracking chips, wrist monitors, teddy bear transmitters, personal pagers, car key trackers and other devices that can be added to PCs (Personal Computers), iPods, and other electronic devices trackers (Brick House Security 2008). With the variety of scientific advancements that are available to people of all income levels, everyone should take advantage of what is available to keep themselves and their family members safe.
    Cellular phones are the most common way that people keep track of their loved ones in the United States (US). Currently 82 percent of Americans own cell phones and it is expected that by 2013 all citizens will have a cellular device of some kind (Gearlog 2008). Cell phone companies have learned that they have to market for young children as well as adults. A big part of that has to do with the fact that cellular phones can be used as a safety device for small children. Some child phones are made with just a few buttons, for easy access to the police & their parents. Using these phones is simple enough that even small children can do it. These easy-to-use phones are made to help children call their parents without misdialing and are so easy that even in an emergency children will not get confused or forget how the device works. These phones also typically have a GPS tracker embedded so that parents can also use the phone to locate their children with the same device. Parents can use text GPS identification or map their child’s location on the internet without difficulty. Although some people are still unfamiliar with GPS technology, it is becoming a more reliable and affordable way to keep kids safe.
    Cell phones are a great tool for kids because they can help them when they are in danger. When kids are in danger these devices are made to easily send messages to their parents or police containing their location. Considering that these devices and phones are so technologically advanced people may think that they are unaffordable, but phones are not very expensive; in fact, they could even be free with the purchase of a cheap phone service plan. Phone lines can be added for as low as five dollars a month with GPS services being added for just another ten dollars. The phone companies have made it affordable for parents to keep children safe, so there is no reason for parents not to get their children an accessible and easy to use cell phone.
    While cellular phones are the easier to use and most popular tracking device, tracking chips are becoming more popular. Implanted Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) transponders have been used on animals for a while and using these chips on children is becoming more feasible. There may be some health risk to the chips though and they can be manipulated for identity theft. Also, some people think that the chips are the mark of the beast and have religious reasons for not wanting to use the chip. Other people are concerned about the fact that they chip infringes on their civil liberties and that by having a chip that they will start a trend that will lead to government intervention concerning their activities (RF Pathways 2008). Therefore, while the implanted RFID tag may have an application for some parents, because of the many moral issues involved with this the use of this technology it is still is not the most commonly used means for locating small children.
    Wrist monitors are another option for parents to keep their children safe. Wrist monitors provide many of the same features of an RFID tag but they can be removed by the parents. The monitors usually look like watches and have a tamper resistant latch. They do not have the same ease of use as a cell phone and they have many of the same problems as an embedded chip because they may be hard to remove for the people who should be taking them off and they can be seen very easily by kidnappers or other people who might want to take or hurt a child.
    Teddy bear transmitters or personal pagers may be a really good way for small children to be monitored without having devices attached to their body. The teddy bear can have an audio or a video component and a personal pager might have a programmed SOS button (Gemini 2008). The pager may be small and hidden with the child, and the teddy bear may be a good choice because it seems innocent. These are really helpful tools for keeping small children safe.
    When kids get older tracking can be done by adding trackers to electronic equipment, like PCs or iPods. Parents can place tracking devices on or in something their teenager keeps with them most often. Then, when kids start to drive, parents can add a tracker chip to an ignition key or conceal it is part of a car. Of course, by the time kids are teenagers they may be just as happy to carry a phone that has a lot of features, including a GPS locator system.
    Using technology to prevent bad things from happening to kids is something practical. These technologies are already being used to keep our cars, pets, and valuable property safe so it only makes sense to use technology to keep America’s children safe. In the modern world there are many dangers for children, but when there are so many options available to help parents keep an eye on their children, losing a child should never be a possibility. Parents need to take the appropriate action and obtain a technological device they feel comfortable with, morally and financially, that will give them peace of mind concerning their child’s location. Parents need to get a grip and do what is needed to keep track of their children.

  • Holy BPE! Paranoid much?

  • Ah yes. Good thing the BPE’s child is forbidden from ever using their cellphone. One shudders to think of what unsavory characters they could dial up, more importantly, how much of a phone bill they would run up.
    But nevertheless, it is VITAL for these children to have their cell phones at the earliest age possible in order to develop the advanced hand-eye skills that will allow them to text anyone and everyone they ever meet for the rest of their adult lives.