Your 7 3/4-year-old: Cell phones

Your 7 3/4-year-old: Cell phones

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Your 7-year-old now

Is your second grader old enough for a cell phone? Even five years ago, that's a question that wasn't asked. But the devices are becoming more and more commonplace — even in elementary schools.

Generally, a child this age has little use for a cell. They tend to be more interested in the games on it than in texting their friends, much less calling anybody. A cell phone is best reserved for young kids who have a need to reach their parents and can't any other way. Otherwise, kids this age are almost always under adult supervision and don't need a phone of their own.

Any child with a cell ought to be mature enough not to misplace or lose it. You also want to be able to control the amount of money spent; if you do choose to buy a cell for any child under 18, look into models with controls built in so you can monitor spending and how the phone is used.

Your life now

Running out of fresh lunch box ideas? Ask your child what his friends eat for lunch — or make a date to join him in the school cafeteria. He'll love the attention and company. And you might pick up some lunch-packing innovations as you check out the array of lunches at the table.

Another possibility is to have your child help you prepare his lunch. Tell him to include a main dish or sandwich, a fruit or veggie, and something crunchy or sweet, like cookies or pretzels. See what his idea of a fabulous lunch is. You might even be able to get him to do most of the work himself.

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