This morning my sweet, loving son branded me an “old school mum.” Considering I’m slightly over 20 years older than him, that made me laugh hilariously. My offence? I refused to give him a smartphone. I mean, he’s only 10! Given that he has been requesting for an internet-enabled smartphone since he was nine, he finally got full of it and branded me an old school mother. I guess I am one of those mothers who find it unsettling to thrust their kids into the wild. Am I being overly protective? Maybe. But at 10, I don’t see a reason why my kid should have a smartphone, let alone use one.
We got talking a little while after he’d calmed down and I asked him what his obsession with a smartphone was. He explained to me that his friends have them. One boy in his class has an iPad and a Facebook account. He explains that it’s a little weird that he doesn’t have one. While I was trying to come up with a good response to this, he asked if there was a way I could install a parental control app on the phone and give it to him.
Since I am not techy, I answered honestly. I don’t know. And I proceeded to say even if there were anything like that, I still wouldn’t give him a smartphone.
Do I trust my kid to do the right thing on the Internet space? Absolutely. It’s the other guys on the other end that I don’t trust. Plus, for a very curious kid as he is, and very open minded, well… Plus, these things are addictive. As a parent, I try to exercise a great deal of control to stay off the internet when I’m home. Imagine a younger person having to carry that burden. I have seen how deep he is into his games (which I worry may soon become addictive so I am devising a way to curbing that). I am not about to add a smartphone issues to that.
Do you agree with my kid that I am an old school mum? I’d sure like to hear from you.