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Would you get a cell phone for your child? Why or why not? What's the right age to even consider this?”

14 replies so far...

  • Sure! I have a 14, 11 and 10 year old. They all have cell phones. They just "had" to have them. They said "all" their friends had them. So for their birthday or Christmas I bought them a prepaid phone with an ample amount of minutes. At other times like Valentine's Day, good report cards etc., I buy them more minutes. But if they use them all up in between those times, they have to use their own money to purchase minutes. After a year, one of them realized they didn't even use it that much and decided they didn't want it anymore. That works for me and I'm under no obligation to continue paying on a contract. They learn how to be responsible with the minutes they have and learn how to make a payment on a phone without me getting stuck with the bill. They also realize everyday luxuries don't come cheap.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Naldi on 7th October 2007

  • Right now I'm thinking 16 is a good age....I think when she is on the road then she'll definitely need one. In high school I knew a lot of kids that used their cell phones to lie to their parents about where they were. That turns me off to them a bit... Also I like the idea of kids helping to pay for them...although doing chores for it may be a good solution too.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 26th September 2007

  • I recently got my son one for school this year as he is starting JHS. I made him fully aware of the responsibility he holds with it but it is also for saftey measure when he is with my mother.

    There is no safe place anymore and the better prepared my kids are and the easier for me to contact them makes my mind at ease.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Vicky from West Babylon on 5th September 2007

  • My daughter is fifteen. She's had a cell phone for five years. We live in a huge city (15 million) where public phones are rare. Traffic is horrible, so all the kids have phones to contact their parents from the mini-buses that are used for transportation. Our city is under direct threat of a major earthquake at any time (eight years ago 30,000 people died in an earthquake very near to our city), so cell phones for kids seems like a good idea. Any time there is a tremble, they pour out of their school and everyone immediately calls their parents. My daughter says it's a good time to see what everyone has-- it's a private school so some of the kids are packing 1500 dollar units. That said, my daughter is a very responsible individual (so far!) and never abuses her phone allowance. We do a lot of text messaging to each other when we are apart. It's really fun.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KatieK on 4th September 2007

  • Originally, the plan was to get my kids a cell phone when they got to grade nine. (Which made them 13 or 14.) This is what I did with the first two. When they got part-time jobs, they paid a portion of their monthly fee.

    However, my youngest got hers when she was only 10, because, like Dana B, her dad had no landline in his phone, and would routinely leave her alone (for hours at a stretch) and take his phone with him. He was supposed to have a cell phone that stayed in the house, but he routinely didn't pay the bill, and it kept getting cut off. One day while at her dad's the poor kid choked on a candy - didn't injure herself, but she was alone and scared - AND SHE COULDN'T CALL ME! I still feel anguish at the thought, four years later. The next day, I bought her a cell phone. Safety is safety.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MaryP on 31st August 2007

  • Of course my seven year old would love one, but unless there was some safety reason that made it necessary, I think that's most appropriate for the teen years. Back in the day, my parents got me my own phone number so I could talk with my friends without tying up their phone line. But land lines are so passe!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Amy@UWM on 30th August 2007

  • Yep, already did. He is 13, and his dad and I share custody of him and his brothers, so this makes coordinating things and chatting simple. So far so good!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jen Creer on 29th August 2007

  • My baby is less than a year old so I have no idea! I think that I will likely get her one at a pretty young age though - probably pre-paid. I can definitly imagine it being on the young side of the spectrum. I think it is important for safety reasons and that cell phones will be so ubiquitous by then that most young children will have them. Just my two cents!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by StacyAnne on 29th August 2007

  • My son is 16 and we just got a cell phone for him only because he has just got his first job and he will be able to pay for the bill without our help. We have an 11 year old daughter, no way will we buy her one even if "all her friends have one" What does an 11 year old talk about with her friends after seeing them at school all day? There is my two cents worth:)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by BusyMom on 29th August 2007

  • I think I would definitely allow my child to have a cell phone after the age of 13 but I think I would, at least in the beginning, monitor the usage pretty strongly. I know that when I was younger I had a pager, but the rule was if my mother paged me and I didn't call her back within a certain time frame I lost my rights to have it. As I was constantly babysitting and working she wanted a way to get in touch with me ASAP. This was before cell phones were as popular as they are now.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Heather Dubuque on 29th August 2007

  • Absolutely! Elliott is just 17 months, but DH and I have already talked about this. We don't have a land-based phone in our house, so as Elliott gets older, he's going to need some way to talk to his friends, Grammy, etc. Also, we want to be able to keep in contact with him no matter what.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by elliottsmomma on 29th August 2007

  • Well I would not get a cell phone for my kids until they are atleast the age of 13 and only if they show me that they can take care of one. If they show me that they could not take care of it meaning making calls they should not make and running the bill up or losing it things like that then I don't think I would let them have it. But thats just how I feel about it..

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 29th August 2007