Is a 7year old too young for a cell phone?

Lindsay - posted on 09/03/2009 ( 26 moms have responded )

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I just read a post asking if she should get her 7 year old a cell phone.

Do you think a 7 year old needs a cell phone?

Why or why not?

At what age do you consider it appropriate for your child to have one?

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26 Comments

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Sharon - posted on 09/07/2009

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I think if you're biking on the city streets you have to wear a helmet, in your front yard or out here in the country i don't think they care. I know at the bike park you have to wear a helmet. If you don't the bike cops will kick you out.

Jodi - posted on 09/07/2009

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I know all this is so off topic (sorry Lindsay!!) but are bike helmets not compulsory there? They are here, I'm just curious. Unfortunately it is also law you are not allowed to ride bikes on the footpaths, but I told my son that if any policeman tells him off for riding on the footpath, invite him home to talk to me about that one :) He is not riding on the road, period!

Sharon - posted on 09/07/2009

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"People drive like maniacs these days."



Thats the truth! We live in the middle of nowhere and morons come out and haul ass up & down the roads, practice doing donuts, etc. More than once we've heard the cars roaring up and down the road and a neighbor who likes "moveable speedbumps" (read that as THROWN giant rocks) will come out. Usually the paramedics get called out. Most of the time its the racers own fault though. They're just going to fast and lose control.



Henny hoo.... Its scary to have our kids out on their bikes on the through roads. We choose times that are safe for them to bike their friends houses. They carry their cellphones, and call when they get there. Helmets are a must. And my kids weren't allowed to bike anywhere until they were 9 yrs old too. Well the 7 yr old gets to tag along with her brothers but its not often.



My mom has signed Bobby Darin and Beetles (sp?) albums. I have el debarge and journey, lol.

Jodi - posted on 09/07/2009

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Sharon, my hubby has a huge collection of records........and I'm only 4 years younger than him :) He rarely plays them, but we have a player! He values his old KISS records - he is probably their number 1 fan. Oh boy, I'm feeling old.......



We weren't allowed to ride our bikes on our own off our property until we were 8, purely because any younger than that and the road rules meant pretty much nothing, and we lived in the country. I suppose that was my concern :) But it differs for everyone. I didn't let my son go off on a bike on his own until he was 9, and even then, I was very specific about where he should ride, staying away from the main roads. People drive like maniacs these days.

Sharon - posted on 09/07/2009

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LMAO @ Jodi & Lindsay... my mom has this huge collection of records, the kids wanted to know what they were, after a bit of trying to explain, I said "Its a giant CD" ugh.



And the riding bikes thing... man - when I was 5 I was allowed to ride any where that was within yelling distance. But we lived on AirForceBases where your world is secure.

Lindsay - posted on 09/07/2009

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That's funny, Jodi, about the phone. My kids had to get eye exams for preschool this summer and they went at different times. One of the pictures was a rotary phone and Madeline had no idea what it was. When they told her, every time it would come up, she'd say "phone" but was hesitant and confused. When Cooper went, every time it would come up, the doctor would say, "Now what do you see?" and his reply, "That's NOT a phone!"

Jodi - posted on 09/06/2009

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LOL, Krista, they didn't even exist when I was a teenager!!! I got my first one when I was about 25, and it was really expensive and really big. Texting wasn't an option, it was just a phone.



Funny story, my daughter saw a toy at the doctor the other week which had a dial telephone on it. She thought it was a steering wheel for a car......she has no idea that phones used to actually look like that. I was in heaven when we had push button phones - it saved so much time on the dialing!



But then, I remember remote controls that were attached to the TV with a cord........and I remember B&W TV...and I remember before we even had videos, let alone this blu-ray stuff or whatever......oh and wasn't life simpler and more productive without computers (getting back to work now, LOL).

Jodi - posted on 09/06/2009

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Did anyone else see this comment on the thread on COM?

"My 5 and 7 year olds have one. They only get them when they are at a friends house or riding their bikes, so i have a way to get a hold of them. They have to ask before they are allowed to use them."



Focus on the "or riding their bikes" and the ages of the children. That freaked me out. There is no way on this earth I'd let my kids out and about riding their bikes (or even walking the streets) on their own without a responsible adult at that age....... Thoughts on that one???

Krista - posted on 09/06/2009

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What is a seven year old going to do? Call you from the yard to ask you to come pick them up? Seriously, what does a seven year old need a cell phone for? It's not like he or she is going to be going out until all hours of the night and needs to call you to come pick them up. I wouldn't even get my 12 year old step-daughter a cell phone. I had a cell phone when I was 16 because that was the age in which I could go out at night by myself. I also had to pay for it myself. I think a good age is when they become independent and ONLY if they can pay for it themselves. I am NOT going to support a 16 year old's texting habits. Or encourage "sexting" as is the new fad with them these days. I'd also have the right to randomly look through the phone so I would KNOW if that was going on.

Nichole - posted on 09/06/2009

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I do not think a child the age of 7 should have a cell phone. The say that children who use cell phones can get brain cancer. But everything causes cancer nowadays anyway. I don't think I will get my son a cell phone till he is at least 12.

Jodi - posted on 09/06/2009

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I'd say the average 7 year old has absolutely no need for a cell phone, but as in Sharon's case, it does depend on the situation. It shouldn't even be considered if it is not needed.



I am about to buy one for my 12 year old son, but he will have to maintain the credit himself with his pocket money (he helps around the house a lot). The reason is that he starts high school next year, and I also let him hang out with his friends on his own during the school holidays. These days, public phone boxes are disappearing - there are certainly not as many around as before mobile phones existed. When I was a kid, mum used to just make sure we had 20c for the public phone. It isn't as easy to find one now.



I do also think there is a difference between giving a 7 year old a mobile phone, and having one available for them should they need it :) I've never had a need before for my kids to have a mobile phone, but if they were that young, I wouldn't give them one, I would have a spare they could use on an as needed basis.

Evelyn - posted on 09/04/2009

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My 7 year old daughter *thinks* she has a cell phone lol. I have an extra phone that I keep for emergencies that is pre-paid unlike my regular cell. She has basically taken it over and walks around w/it in her pocket and in her purse. I allow her to make calls on it from time to time. She can take it with her when she goes on sleepovers and whatnot so she can always get in touch with me. I think it's harmless fun. There's no features, it's very basic. I only put about 100 minutes on it per month. Seriously, what's the harm? It's just a phone.

ME - posted on 09/04/2009

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I would never buy a 7 year old a cell phone. I survived until I was 23 with no cell phone. That was the first time I could afford to buy one for myself. Whenever my children can afford to pay for a phone, they are more than welcome to get one.

Sara - posted on 09/04/2009

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Quoting Jenifer:

The only circumstance where I might think that appropriate would be if the 7 year old walked or rode a bus home from school. And also if the phone was programmed to only dial parents or emergency contacts. No other features. Otherwise, I don't think kids should have phones until they have jobs and can pay for them.



I completely and totally agree with Jenifer's statement....

[deleted account]

Quoting Sharon:

Yes Yes Yes Yes YES sometimes a 7 yr old NEEDs a cell phone.

Our rural and active lifestyle dictates that a cellphone was needed for my younger kids. There is a way and a how that says my child needed a cell phone.



I agree here with Sharon.



I was approached when I was a kid in a local sports park by a really disturbed man. I had previously been at a friends house (it was a 30-40min walk to her house) and didn't bring my cell phone with me. I could have had the pervert arrested if I had my cellphone with me, but because I didn't, I was afraid for my safety and ran home.



So for safety, I do believe they should.



And also when you are in a situation where you have a child in your family that is from a different parent (different Mum/Dad) and the childs parents are not on talking terms then I believe in cellphones as a form of communication when the child cannot  ring that parent.

Johnny - posted on 09/03/2009

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What did kids do before cell phones? (Of course, this question could easily be asked of all of us)

Sharon - posted on 09/03/2009

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Yes Yes Yes Yes YES sometimes a 7 yr old NEEDs a cell phone.



Our rural and active lifestyle dictates that a cellphone was needed for my younger kids. There is a way and a how that says my child needed a cell phone.

Erin - posted on 09/03/2009

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No No No No NO

No way. No how. No 7 year old needs a cell phone. And if my daughter gets the idea in her head that she does, she will be sorely disappointed. She won't be away from me, or another family member, long enough to EVER need one at that age.

?? - posted on 09/03/2009

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My cell phone is my only phone. I don't have a home phone, so it's with me everywhere I go. Will my son get a cell phone... eventually... if he earns it. Maybe if we move to a big city and there's some transportation between home and school where I'm not with him, we will get him a preprogrammed phone. But I don't want to live in a big city so that's not very likely.



I didn't get my first cell phone until I was 16 and then it was my only phone since I was living away from home and I shared it with my brother. I got another cell when I was 19 and living in Montreal and had a business starting up that was very, mobile - so I needed a cell. And then I had a cell in Australia when I lived there so my parents could get ahold of me where ever I was. Annnnd then when I moved where I am now when I was 23, I moved to 4 different apartments in a year so I just got a cell phone and it's been my phone since (I've moved 3 more times in the same town - 7 places all together) and I plan on getting a home phone and melting my cell phone down to the basics when we buy our home. Devon got his first cell for xmas when he was 19... and he didn't even want it - the only reason he used it is cause it was a mp3 player too lol



Does a 7 year old NEED a cell phone... I guess it depends on the usage, the child, the family, situation, circumstances... although I am sure there are many alternatives that a family could partake in to avoid the need for a cell phone for a child so young.



On a sadder side of this discussion - if a child is living in a bigger city (even some smaller towns!) and has a cell phone - I think it might end up opening them up to an opportunity to be a victim of bullying or worse. Some bigger kid finds out the lil "7 year old dweeb has a cell phone to call his mommy if something happens".......... that can go bad really fast.

Sharon - posted on 09/03/2009

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I do not live in the same situation as most of you I think. We live really rurally. We got my 8 or 9 yr old son a cell phone to get him ready for the responsibility of being the one with the communication when his older brother went to a different school the following year.



We need our cell phones. If a bus breaks down, if there is a pack of dogs at the bus stop, or if a stranger is seen cruising back and forth past the bus stop, they need to be able to call me.



Last year with all 3 kids in soccer and every one of them in a different bracket, playing on different fields, I needed to stay in touch with the boys. I would not leave my youngest alone ever. Myself, my mother, and my husband were all there most of the time, but what about those times only I could make it? Or the others were late? What about the times a practice let out early because someone didn't program the field lights properly and it was to dark to practice and I had run to the store to get some stuff for dinner? or tampons, whatever?



Ours were needed. I don't think your average 7 yr old needs a cell phone though.



Oh and his was a prepaid. no texting. My 14 yr old though. UGH, another story, lol.

Amie - posted on 09/03/2009

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Well it depends on the situation at hand.



In our city last year there was a bus driver who went a little nuts on her route. She went off the route after picking up the kids after school, went on a joy ride of sorts with the kids in the bus and refused to let any of them off. Parents started to get worried when there kids weren't showing up at the bus stops so they called the local school bus station to find out what was going on. Did the bus break down? Was there an accident on the route that was holding it up? God forbid did they get in an accident?

No, bus driver just went a little crazy. When she wouldn't respond on the radio they got really nervous. They got a hold of a student on the bus who did have a cell phone. They eventually (police were involved) got her to pull the bus over and let the kids off. She lost her job, is getting treatment and is facing charges I think. Can't remember for sure. It was pretty messed up stuff. Apparently she had a pre-existing condition that she stopped taking her meds for. Nice eh?



So if my kids had to take the bus to school... umm ya they'd be having a cell phone with them. You never know.



For day to day things no she absolutely does not need one. Just like anything else in her life that she gets she needs to earn one when she's old enough.

Lindsay - posted on 09/03/2009

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I agree. I didn't post my opinion because I just wanted to see what you all had to say first. But come on, I mean honestly? Most of the replies said that kids needed them at that age and I was shocked. My kids aren't 7 yet, but I really can't imagine then not being with an adult at that age where they couldn't get ahold of me if they needed to. I personally think it's rediculous!

Krista - posted on 09/03/2009

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I completely agree with Jenifer. I know I'm going to hear over and over in the years to come, "But EVERYONE else has one, Mom!"



I think it's really horrible how addicted adults get to their cell phones...as if they're such important people that they couldn't possibly be unreachable for even a moment. I have friends who sit and text their boyfriends the entire time we're out for drinks on a girls' night...it pisses me off! Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked, but I really don't want to encourage this kind of behaviour to begin any younger than it has to, so my kids can have phones when they buy them themselves, as Jenifer said.

Johnny - posted on 09/03/2009

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I think the very idea is crazy. Who exactly does she need to call? Are they referring to one of those cellphones that have 4 pre-programmed numbers which are the only ones that can be called by that phone? Even so, where is a 7 year old going that they need to be making cellphone calls? So, no, I think it is completely inappropriate. I'm sure my daughter will start asking for one as soon as she can talk, but the answer is going to be no and that won't change until sometime in her teens.



I think the mid-teens are the earliest it might be appropriate. And for my daughter to get one, she'll have to earn it. If she's doing well in school, partaking in extra-curricular activities, sports, volunteering, etc. I will consider it. And only if she is not always spending her time on the phone at home. And she will have to pay her own bill. And I probably have other rules that I haven't even thought of yet, LOL.

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The only circumstance where I might think that appropriate would be if the 7 year old walked or rode a bus home from school. And also if the phone was programmed to only dial parents or emergency contacts. No other features. Otherwise, I don't think kids should have phones until they have jobs and can pay for them.

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