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Children and Cell Phones
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I'm all in favor of giving children cell phones. We're giving my 7-year-old nephew his own cell phone this year. It has home, my number, and a couple of friends' numbers pre-programmed into it. Those are the only numbers he can call and from which he can receive calls.

It's how we can keep in touch in case of emergency. And how he can learn to use a cell phone responsibly (there are only so many minutes per week).

It's part of his growing up, too, since he's coming to the age where he goes to things on his own and is making decisions for himself. A few weeks ago he was invited to a friend's birthday party and when I said I'd go with him, he said, "Nana, none of the other boys have a grown-up with them. Can you drop me off and then come back and get me?" I realized that it was time to loose the leash--and yet I still wanted to be able to get in touch.

Oh, yes, the family 1-800 number that we're all going to contact in case of major disaster is also programmed into his phone. All he has to do is push two buttons and leave a message. None of this will protect him from harm, but we can communicate when we want/need to.

What do you think? Is he too young for all this? Or should he be trusted with unlimited cell phone usage?

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