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Monday, June 11, 2007

Cell phones and kids


In my column last week for the Miami Herald, I wrote about my 11-year-old daughter's pleas for a cell phone of her own. I realize some parents -- especially working parents -- rely on cell phones as a way to keep track of their child while they are working. But for now, my daughter isn't really anywhere that I can't reach her by land line. Perhaps in the fall, when she goes to middle school, I'll rethink my position, especially after hearing how useful it is to some working parents.

I was inundated with e-mails from parents, teachers and kids who have opinions on whether or not kids should have cell phones and the appropriate age to get them. As you would imagine, teachers hate them (at any age) . Fathers hate them (one dad said his daughter's cell phone bill exceeds $300 a month). Moms love them because they can track their kids down anywhere. (when they are turned on or answered).

The letters from kids were hilarious. Let's just put it this way: my daughter has plenty of kids in South Florida who think she's ready for a mobile phone and want to persuade me on the subject. So far, she's still on hold. I just don't think she and my wallet are ready.

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