Our Nine Year Old Has a Phone, and we love it.

9 reasons we love our
9 year old having a phone

It might sound a bit extra but our daughter got her first phone as a Christmas gift when she was seven.

We made this big decision for various reasons. At the time, the main reason was that she was racing cars and at those tracks she would run wild [within reason] with her friends + we wanted a way for her to be able to reach us quickly as well as us being able to locate her promptly before her race would start.

We considered getting her one of these phone watches, where you can dial a couple different people, but we figured since she would be getting a phone in the next couple of years, it would be wise for us to just invest in a phone instead of the watch.
[I do think that the watch is an absolutely great idea. Perfect if you aren’t comfortable with the responsibility of a phone just yet, but you want to be able to reach your kiddo quickly.]

Two years later and we haven’t once regretted getting her a phone. In fact, we love that she has one.

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I love that our nine year old has her own phone because she has the capability to look up educational things on her own, email her teacher or even decompress looking at silly things.
Sometimes I worry she might be “wasting her time” + potentially her mind…
…only to find her looking at “how to” videos.

Here are the 9 reasons why we love our 9 year old having a phone.

1. Opportunities for Responsibility

With owning a phone comes the obvious responsibility of keeping track of it. Giving her the opportunity to practice this daily teaches her natural consequences such as, if she can’t find it, she can’t be on it. As well as remembering to plug it in after use so she can use it the next time.
Another thing that I like is that it creates moments that can help lead to bigger responsibilities. As we see her practice more + more of these small examples, she can eventually work her way up to staying home alone, then onto babysitting & at that point earning some extra spending money of her own.

2. Educational Independence

I think the biggest goal as a parent is to prepare our children for that next chapter in life. Where she can go out on her own and do life without us holding her hand. I want her to know how to look something up, to be able to find a solution on her own, |and| to be able to have an open line of communication with those who instruct her or her boss.
Having her own phone, she is learning how to do those things. She is already utilizing the capability of emailing her teacher when she is confused, has a random question or even a suggestion for the classroom. Knowing that she can do that is such a valuable skill to have.
I also think looking things up on the internet like how many ounces are in a cup or how far away Ohio is via a phone, is a new way of acquiring information. And I’m pretty sure that method isn’t going anywhere any time soon. To me, that is another valuable life skill to have.

3. Communication

Because let’s be honest. No one has a landline anymore…
I love that if she is over at a friends, she can reach me at any moment. Yes, I know she can just ask the parent of the friend, but we all know that asking to use someone else’s phone can sometimes be intimidating. [After all , our phones are basically our one & only lifeline these days.]
If I need to run into the gas station real quick and the boys are sleeping, it’s nice that she can stay in the car with them and give me a quick buzz if one of them starts getting crazy upset.
OR |Ifff| someone happens to hit every.single.freakin. light on the way home and all of the traffic in the world after making THE “quickest” Target run ever and maaaybe just maybe doesn’t get home before the bus does… Then she has her phone to call me and let me know that she safe and I can let her know when I will be home.

4. Internet Safety taken Seriously

I think one of the most important things about her having a phone at this age is that she is truly able to learn and soak in the lessons we are teaching her about internet safety. At this point she is old enough to understand what we are saying and it’s importance, but she isn’t too old that she shrugs it off and ignores what we are saying because we are just “old + lame”.
Just like you hear to teach kids about the birds + bees before they find out from friends, I would much rather her learn from us about the internet and it’s vastness, than from a misinformed friend. That way when she is presented with something when we aren’t around, she knows the truth and not what has been fabricated.

5. Socializing

I also love that she can text her friends and have that venting outlet as well as staying connected with distant family members. I remember as a kid talking on the phone to other friends and it really filling my emotional cup. Being able to have someone that you can relate to and have just listen is so crucial. Even for young kids. Another side of that is, I found that grandparents have the flexibility of just calling her right up and saying hi! No more trying to find that right moment between school, activities, siblings, and your own schedule to have that special chit chat time.

6. Creative outlet

Our daughter is very creative and like many, an outlet is needed for that creativity, no matter what it is. With her phone she can take pictures, color images or even “put on make” with an app. I think having this in addition to reading or pen to paper drawing is great for her creative mind.

7. To Decompress

Just like adults, kids need veg-out time too. Our daughter gets good grades, READS [like it’s her job], colors with real pens + paper, even writes song + stories, and honestly she is just an outstanding little human. So when she wants to decompress by playing a game on her phone I really don’t have a problem with that. Lately her favorite thing to do is play a game that her and my husband have both downloaded to their phones. They have created some awesome bonding moments doing this in the evening. And I love that.

8. Expectations Set Early

Another reason I love her having a phone at this age is that is sets the tone of how we will be supervising her phone usage. She knows and expects that we WILL be monitoring her phone any and ALL the time. We have installed an app that allows us to see where she is and how long she has been on her phone. She has to ask to download anything and we can filter her internet usage A LOT or just a little. We can instantly turn off her ability to use the phone or just limit it to a few hours. [Of course the emergency call is always on.] She also knows that we will read and have access to the phone whenever we ask for it because it is in reality OUR phone.

I think that by setting these expectations now it allows for her to see and accept that this is what we will be doing now and until she is legally an adult. To keep HER safe.

9. Builds trust

As a kid, when my diary got read for my “safety” I felt a huge sense of distrust because I thought that was my secret space [trust me, as a mom of three, I get it now]. For us, I think if we let her know that it will be monitored from the beginning then she can know and again, accept that it is us keeping her safe and not about us not trusting her.
It also gets to create more opportunities for us to build up our trust bank with her. Which will become super important over the next several years!

So, there you have it. Nine reasons why we love our nine year old having a phone!

A little note; This is just our personal experience. No kid is the same and not every action is right for all families. I am by no means telling you to go out and buy your kid a phone. I am just simply sharing that if you are on the fence about it, here are some of the reasons why we love our {almost} 10 year old having one.
It has definitely been the right decision for us but it’s okay if it isn’t the right one for you.

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