Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

The Only Kid in Class Without a Cell Phone

Kaylee and Mike Low have four children. When their oldest son, now aged 14, started asking for a cell phone back in the fourth grade, they both said no.

Mrs. Low said, “He was really noticing his peers getting smartphones. But we weren't naïve to the fact that a cell phone would increase the risk of exposure to pornography, and other risks (such as the effects on mental health and the developing brain). So, we just kind of had this gut feeling that it wasn't the right timing."

It became a hot topic of family conversation. Sixth grade was probably the hardest year for him in this process. There were 34 kids, and he was the only one without a smartphone.

At the times when their son grew frustrated, Mr. and Mrs. Low "got better at teaching him" why they wanted to wait and made space for the teen to express his feelings. Mrs. Low said, "I think we just really tried to listen to him, tried to validate his feelings.” They told him, “We're doing it because we love you, and we want what's best for you,” instead of it coming across as being bossy or being told what to do.

However, in 7th grade, the teen quit asking for a cell phone altogether. He'd noticed that some of his classmates, who were often up gaming all night, were more anxious than they used to be, couldn't regulate their emotions, or seemed disengaged from the world around them. Some of them had lost interest in extracurricular activities and "really seemed unhappy."

When his parents asked him where he felt the benefits were, he said that he “doesn't have to carry the world around in his pocket.” He said that kids at school are stressed out about how many likes they get, or what's going on in some random part of the world. So, he feels a sense of freedom. He finds joy in outdoor activities or extracurriculars. He's driven to succeed in life.

Mindful of his future needs, the Lows now plan to introduce their eldest to a cell phone gradually. They are preparing him for adulthood when he doesn’t live with his family.

Now in 9th grade he is thanking his parents, after five years of freedom from screens and the dangers of untethered access to the internet.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Delay Giving Kids Phones for Happier Lives

How old should a child be before getting their first cell phone? There’s only one correct answer if you want them to lead happier, more successful lives, says Yale University ...

[Read More]

50% of Teens Do Not Enjoy Life

Some experts call it “the new great depression.” Since the rise of social media, depression and feelings of hopelessness have skyrocketed among teens. According to a new ...

[Read More]