The parent shared his predicament with Reddit’s “Am I the A*******” forum, to get the ultimate judgement call from the Internet.
The poster and his fiancée have a 3-year-old daughter. According to the poster, his fiancée often gives her cell phone to the child to play with. But the poster’s future spouse was no longer interested in that arrangement.
“My fiancée told me that she hates having to keep giving up her phone to our daughter and that we should give her a phone,” said the poster. To which he replied, “Absolutely not, she’s just turning 3.” Instead, the dad suggested buying the child an educational learning tablet.
The poster’s fiancée didn’t respond well, saying that he needed to “loosen up” and was acting like “one of those helicopter parents.” The fiancée suggested giving their daughter her old phone, instead of buying a new one.
But the poster doubled down. “Maybe when she’s 12 or 13,” said the dad. “But for now let’s maybe get her that educational tablet.” According to the author, the conversation stopped there, and the poster’s fiancée, clearly upset, is consequently giving him the silent treatment.
The poster had one simple question. Was he in the wrong for not wanting his 3-year-old to have a fully-functioning cell phone?
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Reddit almost completely sided with the dad
Most Redditors who responded agreed with the dad, claiming that 3 years old is too young to have a cell phone.
“NTA. I think that having young children engaged in phones to keep them calm affects their ability to be engaged in social interactions,” said the top comment. “There’s time and place for kids to interact and play on the phone but it should not replace teaching the kid more appropriate interactions and self soothing when they are experiencing anxious behaviors or feeling upset.”
This Redditor is definitely onto something. According to studies, routine and frequent use of mobile devices are associated with behavioral problems for early elementary school-aged children.
Other Reddit users expressed their thoughts a bit more bluntly.
“NTA. A 3-year-old should not have a cell phone, they aren’t old enough to have that kind of responsibility. They break things,” said a matter-of-fact comment.
“NTA at all! A 3-year-old?!? Seriously. My 13-year-old doesn’t even have one,” said a shocked parent.
According to the Child Mind Institute, a child’s maturity level is more important than age when it comes to the right time to get a cell phone. But most kids don’t even start asking until they are at least 10.
Hopefully, the poster and his fiancée can find a way to put this cell phone argument on hold!
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