Each time I collect mobile phones from Year 6 (10 and 11 year olds) children as they arrive in class, to send for safe-keeping to the office until the end of the school day, I wonder why so many of them need to have phones. Is it to keep their parents informed of their progress as they walk from the classroom to the car? Perhaps, for the children who are walking home, it’s to let mum know that they are nearly home so that she can pour their glass of milk and put a snack on a plate. Studies have shown that the average age for a child to have its own mobile phone is eight, which I think is far too young. I just don’t really see why they need one.
In addition to having phones, so many children now seem to have their own laptop or iPad, a television in their bedroom and all sorts of other electronic equipment. What happened to the ‘old days’ where a blackberry was a fruit that we picked from the hedgerows, not a communication device? For long car journeys there are portable, individual DVD players so that children can be entertained with their own choice of film, headphones on, and silent. I’m sure that must be a fantastic bonus for a very long journey, but what happened to everyone in the car listening to a story CD, or some music?
I sound like a miserable, grumpy old woman (oh, wait a minute, maybe I am…) but I think it’s a case of too much too soon.
What is your opinion on the subject – do many children have it all much too young?