Getting your child mobile

“Hey there, just calling to say I’m not cooking tonight, running a bit late. So you might want to pick something up on your way home from work. Love you, bye!”
“You forgot to say who it is,” Master Seven piped up from the back seat.
I glanced in the rear view mirror.
It was, of course, a voice message for Learner Dad.
“He knows it’s me,” I answered.
“Well you could have left him your number,” he said.
While he might not sound mobile savvy, Master Seven is actually quite the expert on the iPhone.
I have to be careful about where I leave it – kids these days seem to have a sense of entitlement when it comes to their parents’ phones.
Sometimes I flick through my videos, surprised to find entire documentaries he’s made starring Li’l Fatty.
Wobbly but cute, I don’t have the heart to delete them.
Even when they run for 15 minutes.
He’s quick to check a text too.
“Mum, you’ve got a message from Dad. Why does he want to know what you’re wearing?”
Or: “Mum, Bec G has written you a text. What’s a shag-fest?”
Or even: “Mum, Nanna texted wanting to know if I’m still being a pain in the arse.”
And, though I lay down the law on using phones at the lunch or dinner table, when we’re out for a meal he always manages to swindle one off an uncle, grandparent or friend to bash out a game of Angry Birds.
Luckily he’s yet to realise he could soon have his own mobile phone.
Recent surveys show more than a quarter of Australian kids have them by the time they’re 11.
Talking 13-year-olds and it’s four out of five.
It’s hard to believe Master Seven could be only a few years away from having his own.
I interviewed a dad for a news report on the very subject once.
He had embraced the idea of getting his daughter mobile early.
He said the key was simply having control – starting your child off with a very simple phone and plan, then rewarding their responsible use of it by adding extras as they grew older.
He said being able to reach his daughter any time or, more importantly, her being able to reach him, gave him peace of mind.
Her thoughts on the subject?
I’m not sure, she was too busy texting…

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