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This is an issue that all parents today have to face. I would argue that there is no one answer that applies to every family. Different families will need to make their decisions based on their own particular circumstances.
There are two main factors that will affect when a family will need to consider giving their child a mobile phone. The first is the influence of peers and the second is the needs of the family. Whether we like it or not, children are very much influenced by what their peers do. A child whose friends all have mobile phones will surely want to have one as well. This will force the family to make a decision. Secondly, families’ lives today tend to be fairly hectic, with different people needing to be at different places at different times. Communication can often be both vital and difficult. This can lead the family to consider giving their child a mobile phone.
When the issue comes up, the family needs to weigh the positives against the negatives. They need to acknowledge that giving their child a phone may make their lives simpler and that doing so might allow their child to feel like they fit in. However, the family also needs to consider the negatives. There is, of course, the cost. Outside of that, there is also the danger that children will misuse their phones. Their children might, for example, engage in “sexting” or other inappropriate behaviors. It is very difficult to weigh all the factors and make the right decision.
My own view is that a mobile phone becomes necessary when the children are old enough to drive. Until then, they can probably make do without since they will typically be places like school where a phone is always available to them if they need to contact someone. However, the decision needs to be made with the family’s situation and the child’s maturity level in mind.
Before answering this question, it would be good to assemble a list of pros and cons. Hunt down any research work done on the subject. Maybe you can find how access to a phone effects attention span or learning ability.
Once you've compiled the facts, formulate your premise. What opinion do you wish to put forward. Chose two or three facts which support your claim. Tackle an objection someone might pose. And conclude with a well rounded finish, including whatever truth the objection brings out.
Here is a possible outline
- Begin with an example which supports your claim, and then make the claim.
- Follow it up with an objection
- Move forward with the facts taken from your research, include quotations and references
- Demonstrate through another example the truth of your claim
- Conclude by summarizing how you disproved the objection and the consequences of your claim.
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