I realize that there are many situations where it is best for your child to have a cell phone to communicate with you due to after school programs or parents working hours, as well as many other situations. You can only decide what you believe is best for your child but, I want to share why our kids don’t have cell phones or social media accounts.
Our motto for parenting is not to “raise our kids in a bubble” so that they are shocked when they hit the real world and have no concept, compassion or understanding of how the world truly works and the challenges they will face. Our motto is to “raise brave kids” that are not scared or fearful about the world and that learn to love and impact this world in mighty ways . Not living a perfect life but, a purposeful life for Christ. This cannot be done in a bubble.
Our 2 oldest boys are 8 & 10 and, even though that may seem young to many of you, many of their peers have cell phones and social media accounts. I even get friend requests from them.LOL.
Our goal is to teach them about the bad things that they will encounter in this world and the temptations they will face and, not have social media or the internet teach them those things for us. Whether you are in denial or not, kids are curious and there are the same things that come across our social media accounts as do theirs. The same goes for the internet on their phones. It doesn’t matter how “good or responsible” you feel like your child is. My boys are incredibly responsible but, I’m not naive enough to realize that temptation to make bad choices comes after them daily just as it does me.
We want to teach our children about sex and what God says about it… about media and what you need to watch out for, and what will glorify God… about accountability…
about not having so much emphasis on popularity and how many likes you get but, realizing the importance of character and what’s in your heart.
These ages are when they are the most influenced. These networks teach our children that what you look like is most important, what people say about you and making your life look more perfect than it is, is most important. They can innocently follow their favorite Disney star and still get the same negative messages about what matters in this life. This is molding their brains and how they see the world and, if we aren’t teaching them and letting them mature BEFORE being open to these things, they will become insecure, people pleasing, self absorbed individuals.
I can’t count how many mom’s I’ve talked to that have to put up restrictions for themselves to not obsess over social media, over the internet, or being on there phones and not making real connections. If these are issues for us, why would we put them on our kids. Who do they seriously need to talk to on their phones other than emergencies? Don’t we want them to learn the value of real face-to-face relationships and, of self-confidence as well as learning wisdom in tempting situations?
We can’t “throw them to the wolves” and hope they make great choices, when we are barely mature enough why do we expect them to do?!
Don’t blindly make choices because everyone else seems to be doing it. Ask yourself what messages your sending your children.
The truth is that Satan uses our phones, and social media in SOOOOOOO many ways. Be aware of those in your life as well as your children. Love them more than their approval and really wanting to give them a good base for starting their lives and developing their opinions or others will do it for them.
LET THEM BE KIDS.
Why boggle them down with all the heaviness and stress that comes from these things rather than just let them be kids a little longer. Let their minds stay innocent a little longer. Let them not obsess over being popular and other superficial issues. Let them deal with that stuff at school and let home be a stress free atmosphere.
Life gets harder as we get older, we deal with a variety of issues as adults and, I don’t want my kids to take those on before they have to. 90% of their lives will be dedicated to that, I want to give them the full 10%.
I want to teach and train them in Christ about this world, rather than having other kids, celebrities or a YouTube video teach them how to view people and this life they live.
In our day and age, everything is overally sexual, overally selfish and overally shallow and, I want to teach them the real value of life in these few years where so much of their worldview is being molded. I pray that our choices help lead them in the ways of Christ, teaching them to follow Him and not the fads of this world. Sometimes they won’t be liked, or popular, or fit in but, they have to have confidence in their choices pleasing God above all others, even when no one else is doing the same. I believe that this is a way to do that.
So for now there are no cell phones for children in our house or social media and guess what?! My kids are happy, healthy and have plenty of fun and entertainment in every 24 hour period. They enjoy being kids and keeping life as simple as possible. One day we will have to cross that path but, right now we choose to give them a more peaceful, stress-free home life!
Are there other limitations you implement to keep your children from being taught or trained by “the world” before they are by you??
For more articles on parenting, check out: “4 questions that will get your kids to talk openly about school.”
100% agree with you ALL the way, my dear!!! Let them be KIDS! They will have plenty of time for that stuff when they are older.
Yes! So many people make their kids grow up way too fast and don’t even realize they are forcing it!
Our kids received their first cell phones in high school. Internet was limited and computer was always in a family space. They needed to be kids and get outside.
Those are great tips! I couldn’t agree more!! Highschool is a more logical age to me!
Hi there! You raise some good points in this article, but I find it a bit like a shelter for them..kinda like hiding them from the real world. I know it sucks, but it IS the world we live in. It could be better for them to experience that stuff now while they still hang on your every word and while you have a huge influence on their lives. By not having a cell phone/social media, it could make them feel like outcasts and being ousted from the group at school..which could lead to bullying and all kinds of other things. I totally understand and respect your rules…but there are plus and negatives. I guess it would really just depend on how long you kept them from having phones and stuff…it could backfire and make them rebel or go behind your back to use those things because it will be evident that you don’t trust them that they will make the right decisions.
Just my thoughts!!! Much love <3 -Malissa
Yes, great points. I think that it’s dangerous to do it too young..which is what i see more and more common like preteen ages and, they just aren’t mature enough for that. However, I do hope to train them well and, then expose them to those types of things later on and hope that what I put in them helps them make good choices with it! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!
Very much agree with this post! They need a strong foundation before you can expect them to be able to handle all the world throws at them way too early these day!
Yes exactly! It’s scary to just throw them out there and hope for the best..lol
Marlynn @ UrbanBlissLife
My kids are 9 and 12 and don’t have social media accounts. My 7th grader has a phone for safety reasons and after school communication with me (and I see everything that he does on his phone through the way we’ve set it all up) but wants nothing to do with social media, thank goodness! 🙂 I think having a mom that works in social media and can actually have calm, truly informed conversations with them about how it really works and how to use it helps… but again, they don’t have their own accounts and won’t for a while. Like most things in parenting, I think as long as we keep honest lines of communication open and keep them informed and not in the dark, and *show* them by leading as strong examples, they’ll grow up to be responsible, independent adults who are more capable of navigating the real world on their own by making smart decisions 🙂
Yes, I couldn’t agree more and thanks for sharing! I’m sure your kids deal with their peers having many of these things as well but, my boys aren’t as interested either so it makes things a little easier!
Amen! We are not giving our kidos cell phones or having them on social media any time soon.
Loved this post. Super thoughtful and interesting, I felt like I agreed with so much that you said! This was my favorite part:
These ages are when they are the most influenced. These networks teach our children that what you look like is most important, what people say about you and making your life look more perfect than it is, is most important.
That is so so true! keep it up – I am sure your kids are amazing!
Thanks so much! I hope the things we do help them turn out great as well but, that’s all in God’s hands!
Bre @ Maintaining Me
This is a great idea. We will probably do the same in our house when the kids are older.
tineke - workingmommyabroad
Great post! This is such a difficult point… When I was young this was not even a topic but nowadays… I am already dreading the day I need to make this decision for ours (he is way too young now but i guess the time will be here before i know it)
Thanks! Yes, it is so hard how different things are and there is more to watch out for with our kiddos!
Our children are still young but they won’t have cell phones either. I want them to be aware of the world outside of technology.
I have a landline that friends can call… I have a check in time when my two have to dock their phones – chargers stay in my room… We have a shared family computer in the living room… All computer time is earned & timed… Works well for us..
Wow that is great!! Sounds like you guys are really on top of it! Great tips that others can learn from!
“Let them deal with that stuff at school and let home be a stress free atmosphere.” Well said! My daughter didnt get a cell phone until she was 12 and will do the same with our boys. I agree — let them be kids as long as possible! You have beautiful family, btw!
Yes! There is enough time where they have to grow up and deal with all the crap along with that LOL Thanks so much!!
I am with you 100%! I don’t want mine knowing about this stuff for a long time!
I know.. at least push it off a few years lol
This is great. I haven’t thought about cell phones for my kids yet, the oldest is 5. But I know the time is approaching soon, but I probably won’t let them have one that early either.
Yes, it comes up quickly especially now that the kids are super young when they start getting them.
Interesting perspective on cell phones and kids. My children are grown but had cell phones early because I worked at a cell phone company. One thing I have noticed is that they think it’s okay to facebook me insread of just talking to me. I feel like technology has taken away personal interactions.
Yes, I know it really has and that’s the same for adults I have to be intentional to reach out to people personally! Thanks for sharing!
Good for you! It’s great that you are taking a stand to raise your family your way! … and that includes exposing them to things you want them to… and not want them to!
Thanks so much!
I totally plan on implementing the same rules for my 2 year old. Kids are growing up way too fast these days.
Yes, they do!
You make a lot of really great points here. I see both the good and bad in having phones and social media. They’re definitely impressionable at those ages!
Yes, there are definitely pros and cons. I don’t think they should be eliminated fully though, just at these young ages. Thanks for commenting!
Christine - The Choosy Mommy
I think it is crazy the ages of children getting their first cell phones. 1st grade…2nd grade…etc. I was in my freshman year of COLLEGE before I had my own phone. Before that, we used my moms trackphone to call her when we would be done with practices/games in high school and before that…well a cell phone didn’t exist! And I personally want my children to experience social media but I will be monitoring it closely.
Yes! Me too! It was college too which made more sense…little ones just aren’t mature enough for all of that. I was still barely ready in college! lol
YES!!! You are doing the right thing. I am a school counselor, so I see all of the horrible things that social media can do. I work in a great neighborhood with very engaged parents, but social media and cell phones are a huge issue. Way to be above “what everyone else is doing” and do something that is best for your babies. Way to go, mama!
That’s awesome to hear from your point of view! Thanks for sharing and the encouragement!
My son is 11 and got a phone last year. I was totally against it initially but it was eventually born out of necessity. We work very hard to monitor his use and use teaching moments with it. He dose not however have social media. He is going into middle school and there is enough social pressure, there is no need to add social media to it. This is a great post, food for thought for any parent.
That’s great.. yea social media opens them to a whole other world. Thanks for sharing!
Aileen (Aileen Cooks Blog)
Good for you! There is way too much inappropriate content on the internet that can easily be accessed by children. Even YouTubeKids – an app that is supposed to be safe is known to have some upsetting and questionable content.
Yes, i couldn’t agree more!
This is so refreshing mama! I am so glad I am not the only one who feels like you do. My girls are only 6 and 4, but already I feel like they are addicted to games and such on the ipad! Such a good message and reminder to keep our eyes and focus on Jesus.
Thanks so much for the encouragement! It sounds like your doing an awesome job with your little ones too!
I definitely agree that 8 and 10 is way too young for cell phones and social media. I don’t think I ever had a reason to call my parents at that age because I was always either with them, at school, or with a friend’s house that they dropped me off at. They always knew where I was and that’s how it should be.
Yes! I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for sharing!
I had my first cell phone at 15. The one before that was shared between my sister and I and was for calls to parents or 911. I definitely plan on doing the same with my kids. They should get to be kids. I spent SO much more time outside with friends as a kid with no SM or cell than I do know with a cell, laptop, and every social account ever.
Yes! That’s great! It robs them of so many other “kid” experiences when they are just scrolling on their phones.
This matches my parenting philosophy. Kids should look up and around at the world exploring it, rather than hunched over through a narrow porthole.
LOL Yes i definitely agree!
This so deep and beautifully written.My son dont have a phone for now, he is only 8 but he asked it for his birthday coz our neighbors kids has it.We explained to him that he cant for now and we are so glad that he is okay with it and he never bugged us about it.You are right in this day of age we have to raise our kids to be brave.
Yes, exactly my kids are too bummed either. They just move on and look for better ways to have fun! Thanks for sharing!
Vivianna @ Mums Orchard House
I totally agree with letting them remain kids as they grow up so fast once exposed to so much of the world trough those channels. Even with a toddler at home, I am not ready for tablets or those type of games even though his peers do. Thanks for sharing your perspective!
YEs! It definitely can be alot!
That sounds like a good philosophy!
We only have a 20 month old but we are already talking about this!! I love your perspective on it!!
Yes, it comes up soon!Thanks!
Merichelle Jones | We're the Joneses blog
I completely agree with all of this!! I only have a 4 year old and infant twins, but I still think about this all the time! And to think, if it’s this bad now, what is social media going to be like once they are old enough to have it??
I know! I also have a 2 year old so it’s scary to think what will be available and popular then at such young ages!
Ashley @ simmerandsprout
I haven’t gotten to the stage yet, I know it’s coming. For me, I guess I hadn’t given much thought to all of the nitty gritty, but I especially loved this…”Our motto is to “raise brave kids” that are not scared or fearful about the world”. It’s a hard job, but we’re parents, no friends, first.
Yes, exactly! It comes up quickly but, I’m sure you will make great choices for your little one!
This is a great perspective. Thank you for sharing! I know that I have always felt uncomfortable with the thought of phones for kids but couldn’t quite pinpoint why. This puts it perfectly into words. Thanks for sharing!
Aww I’m so glad! Thanks for sharing!
I’m so glad I came across your blog today! I LOVE the part about its OUR job to teach our kids about these things and not the world. When social media is in their face 24/7 (because that’s how it is when you have a cell phone…) then the world naturally teaches them things. Our daughter may only be five, but we are youth director’s and the 30 teenagers we are around all the time, this is so true! Anyways, glad I found your blog – excited to be following along now!
Thanks so much! I really appreciate your encouraging words and couldn’t agree more!!