Even though Hoe is going to be 13, he does not have a mobile phone yet. I feel that he does not have any urgent need to own one yet. Yet, due to peer pressure (the kid's) as well as relative pressure (Mom's), there is a need to get him this gadget.
Examining whether there is a real need to get him this 'inseparable' asset of most teenage kids this era, it's really no urgency now especially now that I work from home. Here are the possible reasons he may need a mobile phone:
1) He needs to contact me or home while he is out. This is rare as mobile phones are prohibited in schools and he doesn't attend any tuition classes. When he attends music class, Mom waits for him until the class ends, so there is no separation from Mom at all! Once in a blue moon, I do drop him at the centre to run my errands. So far, so good. No need for mobile phone yet!
On days where extra-curricular activities are held, students do bring their mobile phones to school. Those could be the time that he may have to contact me, in case. However, I expect him to return home after the activity. Again, why the need to call home? Afterall, the public telephone is in working condition in school. And, it's not hard to find a friend with a mobile phone either. So, no need for a mobile phone yet!
2) During family shopping trips, the need to contact me may arise. Yes, this is the only inconvenience for Mom. At his age, he may choose to hang around a book store to browse some books while Mom would steal the time to check out the latest bargains in the Ladies Department. Mom will just return to the book store to fetch him. With a mobile phone, we could have just called each other and meet at a designated place. But, Hoe has to be responsible enough to make sure his younger brother does not wander without him. Yes, there is a need for a mobile phone for convenience and practicality in this case!
A mobile phone is also a need in the event we lose each other in a crowded mall. Now, without a mobile phone, he is vigilant and makes sure we don't get out of his sight. Yes for a mobile phone as time is saved hunting for each other. No, as this guy may just 'deliberately' lose his way and may probably be wandering without his parents.
3) With a mobile phone, he could be wasting money and time texting his friends. This is a common scene I find in eating and most public places. Teenagers were seen texting away while their poor parents seemed to be talking away, to the tables or chairs, perhaps. No wonder communication breakdown happens! A big NO to mobile phone.
4) Being a pop music lover, Hoe enjoys listening to pop songs. I can imagine he will be using the mobile phone as an MP4 more than a communication gadget. He will not mind music all day long. But, Mom does. So, another reason for a NO to mobile phone.