Second Thoughts About Kids and Cell Phones

It was handy to give our kids phones — until they learned all the ways they could use them

Peter Cade / Getty

How many parents insisted after Columbine and Sept. 11 that their children be reachable at all times? How comforting to give kids cell phones, so that urgent reassurances were never more than 10 digits away. And how handy, as we juggled jobs and meetings and soccer matches, to be able to rearrange deployments on the fly. Their phones served our needs so well; too bad we didn't factor in adolescent ingenuity.

Unfortunately it's too late to legislate that no one should be allowed a cell phone until he or she is at least 18 and fully licensed to use it. Every...

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