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What Age is Old Enough for that Gadget?

By admin

How to decide whether or not to give into your Katy teen’s pleaing

Of course, my husband and I had to hear about the cell phone many months before we actually deemed it a need instead of just a want, and gave in and bought it.  My twelve-year-old son, Jovanni, is in a little hurry to grow up.  Are all kids like this now?  They want Facebook profiles (he hasn’t won that argument yet!), laptops, cell phones, ipads… I was happy with a notebook and pen at his age.  That’s all that was readily available when I was his age!  (Oh, did I just date myself?)

What to do?  Well, my advice, even if you don’t want it, is to NOT give in to all the requests, whines, or demands for the newest, most expensive “thing” on the gadget market.  Ask yourself, is this something my child really needs right now?  Is peer pressure a factor in their pressing “need” for this item?  Would this purchase create more problems for society situations (i.e. bullying, sexual predators, etc.)?  If so, then maybe, just maybe, it is not the best purchase idea for your child at this time.

If the purchase is a good idea, then I highly recommend that a purchase for your tween or teen come out of their own pocket, either partially or fully.  They are getting closer every year to springing the nest, and if they get the idea at home that whatever they want, they can get with no investment on their part, the value of that item is immediately diminished.  They are better off if they have to save for part – or all – of it, because they will value it more having waited and planned for it.  They also watch to see if you put it on “the card.”  If your child gets the idea that what you want, you get now, they are not able to realistically deal with the idea of credit later in their lives.  They don’t see that you are paying for that item later, and paying more, a lot of times, than the original price.

In our house, my son has to use his own allowance for his cell phone bill.  We felt that this would create a sense of responsibility in him, and he would treat his “toy” better for it.  Sure enough, he has not lost the phone, it hasn’t been broken, and I love that I can run to the post office and call him to check in on the way home!  The peace of mind that this gadget gives me, and the fun that texting his cousins and friends back home gives him, is worth every dime.

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