Stop Judging Parents Who Buy Smartphones For Their Kids

It's not uncommon for single parents to give phones to their kids.

My eleven year old has an iPhone, and I am tired of the judgment I get for it. Everywhere we go, my daughter has her phone with her. I always see other single parents glaring at me, or rolling their eyes. They automatically dismiss me as a bad parent and judge me for letting my child bring her phone wherever she goes. She takes it to school too, where teachers cluck cluck in disapproval. Other parents whisper about what a terrible parent she has to give her an iPhone at her age. I hear your whispers. I see your stares and eye rolls. And yet I don’t care in the least.

Here’s Why My Child Has A Smartphone

Your judgment and disapproval is not nearly as important as the reason why my daughter has an iPhone. What you don’t see when she’s texting away while we’re in a restaurant, or video chatting while she waits at the bus stop, is who she’s talking to.

Her father is a soldier. And he’s currently on a deployment in a place I can’t talk about. It’s his fourth deployment, and he’s going to be gone for 9 months. His longest one was 13 months. When he’s deployed for 9 months, he doesn’t have a break to come home and see us. Phone calls, Facebook messages and video chats are the only communication he has with us. And there’s no guarantee we’ll even get those on a regular basis. When he was deployed for over a year, he was only able to come home once. For a week. How would you feel if your child’s father was only home for one week out of an entire year? It’s why I’m friends with so many single parents.

Why She Brings Her Phone With Her Everywhere

She can talk with her dad while she's outside playing.
Now my daughter can talk with her dad, no matter where she is.

So yes, my eleven year old has an iPhone. It’s an older model, not a brand new iPhone 8 or X. Actually, it’s the old phone I had for years before I upgraded. But it’s my daughter’s security blanket and her only way to communicate with her father. Before I gave her the phone she used to try and not sleep, for days, just so she wouldn’t miss his calls. She started having behavioral problems because she couldn’t process why Daddy wasn’t there. Every day, she would race home from school and sit on the computer, in case Daddy called her over Skype.

Now that she has her own phone, she can be sure that she won’t miss any of his calls. She still goes out, plays, and does normal kid things, although she always has her phone. And now when her dad calls, even when it’s the middle of the day and she’s at school, she can chat with him. So stop judging parents, especially single parents, who give phones to their kids. There could be a very good reason why.