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Dear Dish-It: I Want A Cell Phone

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Dear Dish-It,

My parents won’t let me have a cell phone. I am 11 years old and everyone I know has one. They always say "the time will come" but it seems like it never will. Please help me.

girl who wants a cell phone

Dear girl who wants a cell phone,

If your parents are absolutely against you getting a cell phone, chances are you’re not going to be able to convince them otherwise. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try to change their minds – as long as you do it in a very adult, mature way. Here are some things you can try.

Having a cell phone isn’t all about texting your friends constantly and running up high bills. Lots of people carry a phone for safety. Maybe if you talk to your mom and dad about cell phones from that perspective they will change their minds.

Don't burst in to a room and yell, "Mom, I like need a cell phone now! Everyone has one!" Plan out your conversation for a few minutes by yourself before you talk to your parents. Explain to them why you should get a cell phone in a calm and mature way.

Some parents are more likely to spring for cell phone plans that eliminate the risk of running up a high bill. Research some prepaid phone plans like Virgin Mobile, Kajeet or Tracfone. They may not be the coolest or nicest phones, but, hey, isn't it better than not having a phone?

Offer to pay for the phone or part of the bill. This will most likely make them realize that you are mature and responsible and that they made the right choice.

Take very good care of your phone if you get it, even if it isn't the most expensive or cool phone ever. If you aren't careful, you could end back where you started, and your parents will see that you weren't mature enough for the responsibility if you lose your phone or break it.

Respect your parents' decisions and restrictions when it comes to texting, etc.

Offer to do more things for your parents: chores, eating whatever they serve for dinner, practicing an instrument that you don't practice enough – just think of things your parents want from you that you don't give them.

Try asking for one for your birthday or Christmas.

Try getting a friend who has a cell phone to help you explain to your parents why they’re useful or why it’s good for kids to have one.

Stay calm and don't beg, whine, or remind them every day about how BADLY you want one. That will only make your parents think you are not responsible enough to have a cell phone. Instead, gently state your good reasons.

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