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5-Year-Old With Cell Phone

By Jodie Lynn

(Editor's note: posting this now since back to school and cell phones for young children often go together!)


My best friend has given a cell phone to her five-year-old. She wants her daughter to be able to call or text her during the day if something goes wrong at daycare. The daycare only allows the kids to use them once a day. My friend is now thinking of suing them. My question is concerning the daycare facility: should they change their rules on usage of the phone or is my friend going overboard with protection?


Kids at daycare should not need a cell phone. All childcare facilities have the parent's emergency contact information as well as a couple of other numbers and names if either one of the parents do not answer straight away. - Jana K. in Rosenberg, OR


Apparently, the childcare facility allows children this age to have cell phones, which is sort of different in the first place. However, only allowing children to contact their parents once a day is a rule that they have established for a reason. Five-year-olds are pretty much like sponges when it comes to learning and playing with new gadgets. There are a ton of apps for kids to utilize on cells for the simple entertainment of music, games, and so much more. Perhaps the childcare staff found that this is what took up most of the time spent on the phone and/or that the kids wanted to contact a parent way too frequently, which interrupted both the child's and the parent's schedules. Or, maybe the child became too emotionally distraught after speaking with a parent. There are many scenarios that could have taken place; either way, more likely than not, the guidelines are there for a reason. If your friend feels the need for her five-year-old to call or text her during the day more than once, maybe she needs to find a new place that she would be more comfortable with for her daughter. On the other hand, maybe not keeping up with the Joneses would work too.

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My eight-year-old daughter wants to go to a day camp with a couple of her friends, but even with friends going, we think she is still too reserved for the leaders/teachers and children at camp, plus an unfamiliar facility. She tried it last year and we couldn't get her to go back after only two days. The money paid was lost and the other parents were upset too, since we had a carpool schedule. She is promising that she will stay this time. Should we try it or make her wait one more year?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact, or go to which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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