Dear one tough muther,

My ex husband bought my 9 year old daughter a cell phone for her birthday. Not just any phone, an iPhone. I have expressed my strong feelings against young kids having cell phones and this is no different. I am not happy at all. But what should I do. My ex says HE bought it and wants her to use it. He wants to be able to text her or call her. Her father should have discussed this with me before going ahead with it! Do I truely have to just allow it?

Dear Adalyn,

You are 100% right, her father, your ex-husband should have discussed this with you before he bought her an iPhone or any phone..
I am also against young children having cell phones. Children have enough distractions in their lives with video games, tv, computers and more and a phone is just one more. However, I do have to make certain exceptions for a phone.
If the child is in an area where they must walk to and from school, are alone a good part of the day after school and need it for emergencies but still 12 years old should be the youngest those scenarios should come into play.
I understand your husband wants contact with his daughter and admire him for wanting her to be able to reach out to him but there must be supervision.
I would immediately contact the service carrier and find out what parental controls they have and use them. I would disable the internet and ability to download tons of games and apps. I would then allow her to have the phone only when she is home and not allow the phone to be pass-worded so that you don’t have access to it. I would also insist she does not give out the number and only use the phone to call or text her Dad.
The world is a big, scary place due to the internet and opening our children up to that world at a young age is very dangerous.
The key here is paternal control, use it and often. She will probably not like it but she will get use to it and it will be the safest way to deal with unwanted disruptions.

Good Luck & Huge Muther Hugs,

One Tough Muther

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