Culture & Entertainment

Does your kid need a cellphone in grade 4?

By: Jennifer Gruden
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Does your kid need a cellphone in grade 4?

By: Jennifer Gruden

A study released by MediaSmarts, Canada's Centre for Digital and Media Literacy, has found that 24% of students in grade 4 have their own cellphone. In grade 11, that number rises to 85%. It does appeal to me to be able to get in touch with my child during the day, but I'm not sure what I think of the idea of giving my 8 year old a cellphone next year. I have been thinking of getting him a walkie-talkie set so that we can reach him while he explores our neighbourhood, but for a kid who loses his mittens regularly, a cellphone seems a bit over the top...not to mention distracting. Do kids in grade 4 need cellphones? I am feeling nostalgic for the days that I had snake the phone cord under my bedroom door to take a phone call in privacy, and the hours I spent exploring Toronto completely out of touch with my family. Of course that's not the world we live in any more, and I'm glad my kids are growing up with so much information and connectivity available. But I do wonder, just a little bit, what it means if my son goes from being at daycare to being able to consult with me or his friends 24/7. When does he learn to figure situations out on his own? Does he need to? Even if his mother might like to be able to call him at any moment? How does your family handle the cellphone question?  (Photo: iStock)
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Culture & Entertainment

Does your kid need a cellphone in grade 4?

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