What age is appropriate for cell phone use?

jmex83 jmex83
My step daughter and step son are obsessed with the idea of getting a cell phone. They are 8 and 10. My wife and I think that they should wait until they can buy their own phone & minutes by earning money from chores and jobs etc. What do you think? At what age did your child get their first cell phone and why? Did they pay for it?
02/27/2012
  • Save 60% on Spooktacular Kits  - 3 item set
  • Wicked Treats - Save 60% on 3 Item Set

    • Eden leather blindfold
    • Flaming amour silicone pearl bunny
    • Eden's glass ben wa balls
    Save 60% on 3 Item Set

    Expires on Oct, 31 at 3am ET Terms

  • Ghost Bride - Save 60% on 3 Item Set

    • Casper
    • Leather strap rider
    • Simple Clamps
    Save 60% on 3 Item Set

    Expires on Oct, 31 at 3am ET Terms

  • Black Magic - Save 60% on 3 Item Set

    • Eden Beaded Clamps
    • Heart Silicone Beads
    • Onyx
    Black Magic - Save 60% on 3 Item Set

    Expires on Oct, 31 at 3am ET Terms

  • Better Price Sale - Save 70%
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
All promotions
Nazaress Nazaress
Personally, I think kids are too darn young to be having cell phones. But perhaps I'm bitter because I came from a poor family and I'm poor even still and don't have a cell phone. But anyway, I think kids should pay for their own phones if they want one. Or, if you're the type to pay your kids, they should pay for it themselves through allowances (another thing I hate because I did all the chores at home and was paid nothing - I even had to work just to pay for my own food and school clothes). If a kid is too young to be out on their own (i.e. NOT at a friend's house or the like), they're too young (and have no reason) to have a cell phone.
02/28/2012
Jul!a Jul!a
I also think that a lot of kids are too young for cell phones. I didn't get one until I was 16 because I was getting my drivers license and my mom wanted me to be able to call for help if I broke down anywhere. My brother got one at 13 because he was always off with friends and it was literally the only way my mom could get a hold of him. She once said "getting the 'I hate you' text messages sucks, but at least I know he's alive."

I have friends with kids who are between 10 and 13 and have cell phones. I can understand the 13 year old who does things with her friends, but at the same time I still think it's a bit young.

I would be lying if I said anything other than I was on my mom's family plan until just a few years ago, so as long as the pricing on a family plan is reasonable I don't have a problem paying for my own kids to have a cell phone when the time comes.
02/28/2012
indiglo indiglo
Well, I can see both sides of the issue. I can see that a young one could find a cell phone useful in case of emergency. But I also don't think any teenager should have a phone because they're more likely to misuse it (sexting, using it while driving, staying up all night texting/talking, etc.).

That being said, you can set it up to protect children from themselves with cell phone usage. After all, like most things, they are powerful tools that can occasionally be misused.

There weren't cell phones everywhere when I was a teen, and I got by just fine. It's amazing how things change! (Hell, everyone didn't have laptops and continuous internet access either! LOL)
02/28/2012
Beck Beck
I didn't get one until I was 14, but personally I think that having a cell is great when you are old enough to be away from your parents. I think of a cell as a safety device. Teenagers are irresponsible and ignore their better judgement therefore end up in places they shouldn't be and they might need to call you. Pay phones are pretty much a thing of the past and you can't trust random stranger's, so a cell phone is a good option for them to have. I think that when you allow your child to be anywhere without you then they are old enough to at least have a prepaid phone with a minimal amount of minutes on it.

You can eliminate the chance of sexting by getting a phone with no camera. They still have those.
02/28/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by jmex83
My step daughter and step son are obsessed with the idea of getting a cell phone. They are 8 and 10. My wife and I think that they should wait until they can buy their own phone & minutes by earning money from chores and jobs etc. What do you ... More
Our girls are 13 and 15 and they both have cell phones but recently we had a terrible time and we realized it was necessary for them to have a way to call home where ever they find themselves.
02/28/2012
Beck Beck
Quote:
Originally posted by Beck
I didn't get one until I was 14, but personally I think that having a cell is great when you are old enough to be away from your parents. I think of a cell as a safety device. Teenagers are irresponsible and ignore their better judgement ... More
Oh and I did pay for mine until my dad decided that there was no need for me to. I had to get a job to pay for it. I started babysitting.
02/28/2012
Swish Swish
8 and 10 there is something wrong with the world today! thats way too young! they can use the house phone if they need to call! 15 is the YOUNGEST 16 is more probable. i did not get my phone until i was 16 and i have seen 10 year olds with phones, these are the kids who are disrespectful to parents, do drugs in middle school and sex too! they are way to young for any of that stuff. now not all 10 year olds who want phones are like this, but it is becoming the 'norm'
02/28/2012
- Kira - - Kira -
I would get my son one of those Disney phones at that age. They have four buttons - one for mom, dad, grandparents, and the police. That way they have it for EMERGENCY use only. They can't text and talk a $300 bill up. I plan on doing this as soon as he is old enough to stay overnight somewhere other than with family.

For a real cell phone, I say when they can pay for it themselves. My friend's brother just got his 8 year old a cell. Really? She's 8!
02/28/2012
TitsMcScandal TitsMcScandal
I got my first cell phone when I was 9. I would give it my children around the same age.

My circumstances were very different than most though, my mom's company paid for two cell phones in her benefits package and since my father was out of the picture it just made sense to give it to me.

Nowadays, depending on plans and such you can monitor your children's usage easily. Not to mention it IS a safety factor. I wouldn't give them an iphone or anything, but I would make sure they had the ability to text/call when they were away.
02/28/2012
wrmbreze wrmbreze
Quote:
Originally posted by jmex83
My step daughter and step son are obsessed with the idea of getting a cell phone. They are 8 and 10. My wife and I think that they should wait until they can buy their own phone & minutes by earning money from chores and jobs etc. What do you ... More
I got my daughter her 1st phone at 10 because she was playing sports and I needed a way to keep track of her. I won't give my younger daughter one until she needs one. She comes home right after school and if there's trouble they know how to contact us and our aunt who works nearby.
02/28/2012
quinceykay quinceykay
I got my first phone at 11 when I started middle school. It was like a brick, one of those old Nokias. It was just for emergencies, and staying in contact with my parents to tell them where I was going, when I would need a ride, etc. I didn't start all the texting and whatnot until I was 13 or 14, and I think that's a pretty decent age for the extras.
02/28/2012
Kitka Kitka
My son is 8 and he is definitely not ready for a cell phone. Perhaps in a few years, like maybe 14 at the earliest depending on circumstances of course. I didn't have my first cell phone until I was probably 19 years old myself, so I really don't understand younger children needing cells.
02/28/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
It depends on the child, how mature they are and also the fact that a cell phone can make a child safer. We decided to get our 11 year old a phone when I went back to work, so that she could get in contact with family or we could get in contact with her at any time.

I feel more comfortable knowing if I'm going to be late from work, or if I am On Call and need to leave in a hurry I can text or call her so she will know and make plans. Also, if she were stuck somewhere she wouldn't have to look for, find and use a pay phone (which are impossible to find in this day and age)

It is an electronic leash for pre-teens and teens and I think, especially if both parents work outside the home, it is a safety necessity. We pay for her phone, but she has to stay within her minutes and texting parameters. Also, our youngest daughter has Aspergers and communicates with friends more easily by text than by talking on the phone (she HATES talking on the phone) so it helps her communicate as well.

I'd say most kids over 9 or 10 who have some semblance of responsibility and won't lose the phone and who have parents who need to be reached at any time are good candidates for a cell phone. It makes my husband and I feel safer knowing she is only a phone call away.
02/28/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Swish
8 and 10 there is something wrong with the world today! thats way too young! they can use the house phone if they need to call! 15 is the YOUNGEST 16 is more probable. i did not get my phone until i was 16 and i have seen 10 year olds with phones, ... More
You are somehow equating having a cell phone with doing drugs and having sex???? WTF? I'd like to see some peer reviewed published data on that.

What about parents who both have to work, and children who need to get hold of them? Sixteen? Unless you can afford to stay home with your kids until they are in college and never ever leave the house or don't care if they can reach you if they are in trouble, that might be OK.

One important question; Do YOU have kids? Are they pre-teens or teens? Do you have ANY idea what it is like to not be able to get hold of a child and have NO idea where they are? I do, as our oldest child was unreachable a few times before we got her a phone. It's a parents' nightmare. If you have never lived this particular nightmare, please......
02/28/2012
EnChAnTiNg EnChAnTiNg
I think 12 is a good age for a cell phone. I feel this way because starting at age 12 a lot of kids babysit to make some extra money. I think the kids should be able to have a cell phone with them in case of emergency.

Also, I want to point out that not every kid is going to be ready for a cell phone at age 12. Some children are VERY responsible, and probably deserve a phone a bit earlier... some kids are not as, and should probably wait an extra year or two!
02/28/2012
zwee75 zwee75
My kids are much younger but in 7 or 8 years when they're those ages, yeah, they may each have a cell phone. Most likely a phone with major restrictions but it's hard to avoid things like this as we progress. I didn't have a cell phone growing up (they didn't get "common" until I was out of college), but that doesn't mean that was right.
02/28/2012
sweetiejo sweetiejo
I got my first cell phone when i was 15, I got it because I was in football and speech and we got snowed in. Also because My mother and I got locked out at the same time me from my house her from her work truck and had no contact for several hours, during Wyoming winter. I think giving them to younger children is a cop out personally. The whole gettng a hold of them I had to give my parents specific times of where I was going and when I was going, if I wasn't there at that time my butt got grounded which I agree with fully.
02/28/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by sweetiejo
I got my first cell phone when i was 15, I got it because I was in football and speech and we got snowed in. Also because My mother and I got locked out at the same time me from my house her from her work truck and had no contact for several hours, ... More
You think the reason that some parents need to get hold of your kids younger than YOU were when you got your phone is a cop out? My kids are involved in a lot of activities and often these often run late, the Late Bus may not be running, I work in health care and when I'm On Call I may have to run to see a patient with only a few minutes warning. If you don't yet have kids, you don't get it.

Not being able to get hold of your kids, and likewise their not being able to get hold of you is terrifying. "Getting your butt grounded" doesn't work when the activity runs late, or if there is an emergency Choir practice at the last minute and there are 100 kids waiting to use the phone in the school office. No matter how old you are, things are different now, there weren't even affordable cell phones when I was a kid, but I can SEE the need for them, especially when parents work outside the home.

There is NOTHING more scary than not being able to get hold of a child, or their not being able to get hold of you. It isn't a freaking "cop out" Being responsible for one's children is called parenting.

If technology will help me be a better parent, I'm all for it.

What if you have gotten snowed in at 11 during that Wyoming winter? Would that have made a difference? What if you already had the phone on the day of that blizzard? How terrified do you think your mother was that day of the storm when she couldn't get hold of you? Don't you think she wished you'd already had a phone that day? See how things are different when you look at it from a parents' POV?
02/28/2012
js250 js250
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
It depends on the child, how mature they are and also the fact that a cell phone can make a child safer. We decided to get our 11 year old a phone when I went back to work, so that she could get in contact with family or we could get in contact with ... More
Agree!!! This is why I got my daughter her phone. I bought my business, divorced her dad and need a way to constantly be in contact with her.
02/28/2012
unfulfilled unfulfilled
I persoanlly didn't get one until I was 16 (that was 14 years ago) and the only reason I got it was because i was driving and my mom wanted to make sure I had one in case I had car trouble or was staying late after school and she needed to know. I had to abide by those rules and those were the only instances I could use it.
02/28/2012
js250 js250
WHOA! WHOA! WHOA!---A cell phone is not a necessary item. Clothing, shelter and food are necessary items for raising children. Yes, I raised one and a stepchild also-and I own a couple of businesses, at that time my brick and mortar business was the only one of that type in our town and I had 6 employees to manage as well. I also had a friend and family network that was set up by me to help with my daughter's activities, after school transportation, and emergencies-I was also newly divorced and could not rely on my alcoholic ex-husband for anything. Being a well-rounded parent, taking care of the details of their lives by setting up parameters, a network of back-up support and using technology to help if needed, that is the important areas to focus on.

Last year our tower was out for a week and a half. That meant no internet, phone, or anything also that has to do with cellular reception. For EVERYONE that lives in this area--2 whole large counties in this state. In my area, only 3/4 of the area is cellular available. Not everyone can rely on good service and we should not rely on cell phones to do everything. They are only a tool, we have to still set up back up plans and make sure our children stay within the boundaries we limit them to. I did not allow my daughter to run around, to go to friends, etc. without my express permission prior to that day. I would ground her butt when she tried to pull anything like that. It worked, she is now a mom and has told me I did a great job raising her and she is going to raise her daughter in a similar manner. A baby monitor is not necessary either, but it sure as hell helps keep track of the baby so you can get your tasks done.

No one should be attacking anyone here, it is a personal decision for each and every parent to make..I chose to allow her to use a prepaid phone for MY convenience, not hers. There was still an old fashioned friend and family network as back up. What if you are out of the service area, your tower goes down, or there is a huge storm that does not allow signals to come in????
02/28/2012
Ms. Spice Ms. Spice
Whenever a parent feels it's necessary to give their child a phone. That might be 7, or 17. After all, it the parent(s) (or sometimes the kid) are/is the ones paying for it, not the rest of society. I'm not sure why this is such a heated debate.
02/28/2012
Nazaress Nazaress
Quote:
Originally posted by - Kira -
I would get my son one of those Disney phones at that age. They have four buttons - one for mom, dad, grandparents, and the police. That way they have it for EMERGENCY use only. They can't text and talk a $300 bill up. I plan on doing this as ... More
I've never heard of those! That's a great idea. If I have kids, I'll make sure to get them one of those. THAT is a necessity. A real cell phone where they can talk to friends and text? Not so much. They're children. But a phone where you can call mom, dad, grandparents, and the police? Now THAT is a good thing.
02/28/2012
Nora Nora
For active use, I think they should have to be old enough to pay for them on their own. That being said though...I do have a spare "emergency phone" that we give to our 5+ year old nephews when they are visiting us. The only number it can dial is my boyfriend's number (you can set them to do that) and they have all been taught to use it if they can't wake me up. I am a Diabetic and it is for safety reasons, in case I go low or something when I'm home alone with the kids.
02/28/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Sorry if I freaked out a little. Having two children with neurological conditions puts my husband and I in a position where we have to be very careful with our children. They are well behaved kids (however, they are kids, I would NEVER say my kids are perfect. Same goes for myself.) but the youngest has Aspergers and could easily fall prey to a predator, if she was in an other world while walking home from school alone (which is something she is not allowed to do.)

It may not be "necessary" but it makes parenting, especially parenting a special child more safe and gives both the child and the parents some comfort.

My issue is when people say, "Well, when I have kids..." when I know more than most, most people have NO idea what they're going to do when they have kids. The child's individual personality, strengths and weaknesses play into how you will parent.

There are SO many things I swore I would NEVER do as a parent that I ended up doing and so many things I said I would do, and ended up dismissing as simply not being right for that child or our family once I had kids. My point is: I was a perfect parent once and and had ALL the answers to parenting questions.....Then I had kids....

No one who doesn't yet have their own kids know what they will do. I thought I did and was miserably wrong. Most good parenting is a mix of planning, adapting and on-the-fly decision making. What works for one kid won't work for an other. No one KNOWS what they will do with their kids until they have that kid, get to know that child and adapt to that child's needs and environment.

Having been a child at one point in your life does not prepare you for parenting, but so many think it does. BEING a child only causes you to see things from a child's POV, when you become a parent, you see things VERY differently and understand things you could have never known when you were just looking back at your own childhood.
02/28/2012
PeaceToTheMiddleEast PeaceToTheMiddleEast
My son is 12 and he just got his cell phone on a family plan. I don't trust anyone these days and there have been to many kid napping and men trying to lure boys and girls into cars. My son walks to school and from school so he needs to contact me. He uses it when he is on his way home he calls me and when he makes it to school.

So as for what age is to young I don't think no age is to young. Even if you have to get them a pre pay one then do so. There are to many sick predators out in this damn world today. I rather my kid be safe then sorry.
02/28/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by PeaceToTheMiddleEast
My son is 12 and he just got his cell phone on a family plan. I don't trust anyone these days and there have been to many kid napping and men trying to lure boys and girls into cars. My son walks to school and from school so he needs to contact ... More
I agree 100%. I think those of us who have kids know the fears and how something like a cell phone can help us keep in touch with the little people we loved enough to actually make, carry and were lucky enough to keep and care for!

My youngest daughter also is required to do exactly what you son does on the days I work outside the home, or when she has activities. Even though she takes the bus, she calls me when she gets out of school and when she gets home. I always know where she is, and I can keep track of her with her phone. Anybody who has kids who used the "Uh, there was no pay phone there." as an excuse to be late and not call you (while you were imagining your sweet child dying alone in a ditch somewhere) knows why those of us who do this with phones for our kids feel so strongly about it.

Even my middle daughter, who is in Grad school does this. She still lives with us, so we are still responsible for her.
02/28/2012
Missmarc Missmarc
Honestly, I am pretty tired of carrying a cell phone around. With all the technology packed in a phone nowadays, if I was a kid, I wouldn't want one. Parents can track where you are at all times with satellite, it's not very different from implanting a chip in your arm.
I enjoy the freedom I had when I was little. I skipped classes, went to places I didn't want my parents to know about. It wouldn't be so possible now if I had a phone on me at all times
02/28/2012
El-Jaro El-Jaro
I think that a certain age isn't needed. It'd all depend on activity.

If/when the time comes for me, I'd go with that kids phone with the four buttons (Cricket?) and the progress to a prepaid as needed. If they get their own job or have to study for school, a regular plan wouldn't be unreasonable.

I didn't have my first cell until I was 20!

Something to think about: Cellphones might not last more than a couple more years before smartphones really take over. It's just a mini-computer that just so happens to be able to make phone calls. Maybe even the phrase "phone call" will be phased out as the concept of a telephone fades with the mimeograph and telegraph...
02/28/2012
  • 1
  • 2
Total posts: 41
Unique posters: 28