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January 17, 2010



Excellent food for thought, I hope parents take it to heart. I feel the only reason a teen might need a cell phone is when they start engaging in regular activities where they are away from their parent(s), so the parents can stay in touch. My oldest is about to be 8, and I am horrified by how many of her peers have their own cell phones. I cannot for the life of me understand why a child needs their own phone-and the countless problems that can (will) arise from such "freedom" at a tender age. I think cell phones, like so many other "things" regarded as necessary in our culture, should also be thought of in the context of age having it's privileges. If younger children are being given cell phones and expensive gadgets at 7, 8, or 9 years old, what then will they be wanting (and receiving) when they're 15, 16, or older? It can seem like a rather benign issue at face value, but the points you brought up regarding your son and his constant "on call" availability to his girlfriend really illustrate the depth of "collateral damage" that can come from such an innocent looking device.


Well said. I hope many parents take these thoughts and work within their families to find balance.

Sandy Gunder

My husband and I joint teach a class at our local church and had attendees who were sitting with heads down, texting frantically - not to someone outside, but to each other! Of course, their participation in the class was nil.

At the end of one lesson, Ian (who's a nurse) asked if any of the students had diabetes, heart disease, were on dialysis, were using a medication pump, or receiving a blood transfusion via their mobile phones. Naturally the asnwer was 'no' so he reminded them of the reason that they were in God's house and there to learn about him. He then requested that, as their phones were not vital to their existence that they turn them off when they attend our class.

There were some very disgruntled expressions and a few left the class, however, participation has improved.


Beware is right! The book Hold on to Your Kids speaks very convincingly about how attachment is erroded through peer orientation and the cell phone is one of the main tools of this phenomenon.

Having been a HS teacher, I have seen far too many children get overly involved in the exciting world of dating and they simply aren't ready for that level of intensity or intimacy. However, the phones, computers and texting heighten their tendency to dive into these intense relationships.

Thanks for all of your interesting and helpful work. Your Chicago seminar looks magnificent, my kids are too young for me to be away from them but it does look wonderful!

Jennifer Thompson

Could not agree more, nor come close to articulating so clearly what should be obvious. I so appreciate your articles and your sane voice reaching across cyberspace to support those of us struggling to offer our children a wholesome environment to unfold and evolve in. Thanks for bucking the system and challenging the lemmings.
Jen Thompson


I share your concerns about cell phone use. I have had to determine for myself what is reasonable in regard to my cell phone. We do not have a land line so we have cell phones. I have had to learn to turn it off or ignore the ring that is interrupting my life so often. At times friends are annoyed that I don't always answer. I miss the days when I did not have to be available at all waking hours because my phone stayed at home. For teens this struggle must be even more difficult.

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