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7 year old independence

(175 Posts)
Loric Sat 08-Aug-15 00:41:32

My 7 year turns 8 in September. We're going on holiday to a caravan the week before. I've brought him a £20 mobile phone so when we go he can be free range on the caravan site but I can still get hold of him. I've always been extremely strict with him but I feel like he's old enough and mature enough to have some freedom. I mentioned the phone to a friend and explained why I got and she started a 2 hour tirade about how he's to young to own a phone. It's not a smart phone but 10 years ago it would of been an all singing all dancing phone. Now its laughable it's a samsung clamshell phone that I suppose can access the Internet but it's that old school hyperlinks in blue that takes 10 mins per page to load. She's really knocked my confidence on the whole thing. We're away till the 5th of September he starts the local junior school on the 8th which is a whole new picking up routine where we meet them at the gate rather from individual classes so I feel like he should start having some independence. Aibu to let my son have the phone e both on holiday and on days at school (turned off and hidden till he leaves school grounds) where people other then me are picking him up?

WorraLiberty Sat 08-Aug-15 00:47:53

Meh!

Sorry but that's all I can muster up.

Your friend is a bit strange. It's just a basic phone ffs.

Would she have reacted like that if you'd given him change to use a public phone box, if he needed you?

Because this is just a modern version of that, being as though public phone boxes are like golden unicorns nowadays.

WorraLiberty Sat 08-Aug-15 00:49:18

Oh but regarding the school thing

Just check their policy. My DS's school allows them but kids must hand them into the office when they arrive, and pick them up at home time.

elephantoverthehill Sat 08-Aug-15 00:53:51

Great idea. Give him a bit of freedom and some confidence as he has the phone, but pockets etc can be difficult with clothing that age. Just make sure there are clear boundaries about where he can go around the site.

shizzlesandglitz Sat 08-Aug-15 02:01:03

My 7 year old has literally just turned 8. Sorry, but I really don't see why they need a mobile at that age.
(This coming from someone who is off on a caravan holiday in the next couple of weeks too.)
Why would they be far enough at that age to have to ring you? Is it somehow different on holidays and the rules relax?!

Loric Sat 08-Aug-15 02:52:42

The caravan park were going to faces on to beach (over a railway bridge) at that age I was pretty much living on the beach on a similar holiday (same caravan park) I want him to be able to go to the beach alone after the first day (he knows however he's not allowed to paddle without me there I grew up in austrailia where the risk of undertows are drilled into us from birth or they were when i was growing up,) I want him to be able to reach me easily (I'd never leave the park without him but being able to say go play for an hour while I do tea and and being able to call him in via mobile instead of hunting him down is attractive at his age) his school says they have them so long as they're turned off during school hours (so basically off at the bottom of their bags till home time) is fine. He can't access the Internet. He only has family numbers in it and I have an online account of every one he rings (aka me, his dad, his aunt and my mum.) He going from a very close knit infant school were every one know everyone (except us we've had to move virtually every year due to circumstances this is the first year he'll start a school already knowing other kids). Due my own illnesses so I won't be able to pick him up all the time. Having that as a fail safe means if whoever is picking him up is late he can ring them and ask where they are or ring me and tell me he hasn't been picked up. Obviously a rare occurance but picking them up from the gate rather then the actual classroom I feel I've got that extra reassurance that he's been picked up

Loric Sat 08-Aug-15 03:00:05

I guess what I'm getting at is its a failsafe rather then a normal occurance. Something he may need but I hope he doesn't. But my 'friend' basically attacked me before hearing why I got it and just heard that i'd brought him a mobile. I will also add her kids had iPhones at the age of 10 so I feel like shes being hypocritical (they had them because their friends had them and she didn't want them to fall behind socially!) Sorry about the drip feed but I only just thought about it in that

Stanky Sat 08-Aug-15 07:44:14

I would rather a 7yo didn't go to the beach alone. If he is with a group of friends, or even just one other friend, then that would be different. Just in case he got into difficulties and needed help. I have no problem with the basic phone to stay in contact, but I would feel it safer for him not to be alone. I hope you all enjoy the holiday. It sounds lovely. smile

Blacksquirrel Sat 08-Aug-15 07:56:15

When my 9 year old goes out to play he takes his watch & is given a time to come back. He wouldn't have pockets suitable for carrying a mobile & not losing it.

greenfolder Sat 08-Aug-15 07:57:44

Yes to the holiday. Wouldn't bother with school. He can just as easily go to the office if no one turns up for him, and that is what he should do. If it's going to sit in the bottom of the bag it's likely to get broken, forgotten about, have no charge or get drenched by a water bottle. Great for use as a means of saying come home now when out and about though .

pinktrufflechoc Sat 08-Aug-15 08:02:33

My eight year old has an iPhone.

Just smile sweetly and say 'no, he doesn't need it, but we want him to have it!'

mommy2ash Sat 08-Aug-15 08:13:18

I've no problem with the phone but it sounds like you are planning on going 0 to 100 with his independence. I feel that is something that needs to be built up and going to the beach alone is crazy. He hasn't been brought up in Australia and all it takes is one small error in judgement.

paulapompom Sat 08-Aug-15 08:13:44

I can't see any harm on him having it,and itI might come in handy as you say. Your 'friend' sounds a bit demented tbh. She's entitled to her opinion of course, but two hours of berating someone's decision is unnecessary. Don't lose confidence, you know your own son, and have great holiday x

TendonQueen Sat 08-Aug-15 08:16:23

Agree with Paula. Holiday yes, school no.

AnneTwacky Sat 08-Aug-15 08:18:01

Dd (also 8) has my old phone with a pay as go sim. We gave it to her so she could text us when we were away for our anniversary.
She doesn't take it to school though.
If you want your DS to have a phone, that's fine. Ignore your friend, particularly if she has decided her dc should have phones.

kgov1 Sat 08-Aug-15 08:18:42

I think the phone is a non issue and have let my son go off and play within a caravan site without one. There is no way though that I would let him go off to the beach alone at 7 years old.

MumOfTheMoment Sat 08-Aug-15 08:28:33

I have no opinion on your ds having a phone other than where would be keep it? My ds is 8 and apart from his jeans (which presumably your ds won't be wearing to the beach?) none of his clothes would have suitable pockets.

However I agree with the poster who said it seems like 0-100 in terms of independance. Is your ds happy to go off on his own in an unfamiliar place?

TendonQueen Sat 08-Aug-15 08:29:18

Sorry, I meant greenfolder there. School will be able to help him if anyone doesn't turn up, and it's better that they know who he's going anywhere with, rather than him sorting it out himself. But for the holiday, sure.

Iforgottotellyou Sat 08-Aug-15 08:30:42

Kids are perfectly fine playing round the vans on scooters and such like while you prepare food etc, (and can still see/hear them). I find it a bit sad, (& wierd, & dangerous ) the thought of a 7 year old playing on a beach on their own.

googoodolly Sat 08-Aug-15 08:41:24

I wouldn't let a seven year old who's had limited independence play on the beach alone. Yes, you've told him not to paddle, but the temptation to do so is huge when you're a kid and everyone else is doing it.

You've been strict with him and let's face it, he wasn't brought up in Australia! I would get him a watch and tell him he has to be back at x time. A phone won't be much use if it's turned off or broken or drowned in the sea.

Rowgtfc72 Sat 08-Aug-15 08:44:29

DD did the beach for the first time on her on this holiday, she's just turned eight. We gave her a watch,had a few dummy runs and then let her clear off for an hour. I'd be worried with a phone that some one would try to take it and shed get hurt.
I now pick DD up from the lollipop lady not the school gates. We have a plan b which is to go back to school if I'm more than ten minutes late. We've never needed a phone. DD has had lots of independence though and is used to fending for herself!

insanityscatching Sat 08-Aug-15 08:46:46

I think the phone is fine, I also think scooting round the caravans, playing on the park at the site without you is fine but allowing him to go to the beach alone at 7 is very risky. You say no paddling but there's no way he won't be tempted because otherwise it's just sand and pebbles and what about being cut off by the tide if he plays on a sand bank, falls and injures himself on rocks,it's not the safest of places to be without adult supervision really.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Sat 08-Aug-15 08:56:11

Camping, yes.
School, no.

Junior school kids should not be allowed a phone in school.
If there is an emergency, you would be expected to phone the office so an adult knows.

When he is under your care, it's up to you.
If you think he has enough freedom to play in sight, then he probably won't need it.

And what if he shoves it in his pocket, climbs somewhere, then jumps or falls, landing on the phone and breaking it?

I say keep it for emergencies, but don't rely on it.

My ds was given a phone at 9, when I was pregnant. I fainted while shopping. He had the phone for my safety.

But he still manages to get to and from school alone without it.

If your ds can't get to the school gate without a phone, does he have other issues?

CheekyMaleekey Sat 08-Aug-15 08:59:21

A mobile's an extra bit of security. Good idea.

Bunbaker Sat 08-Aug-15 09:00:17

I don't live too far from where Conley Thompson went missing and died. This would make me very nervous about letting a seven year old roam freely in an unfamiliar place out of my sight. It isn't that the place might have somewhere that is unsafe, but the way a seven year old mind works. They might not recognise something that is potentially dangerous.

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