Cell Phones for Kids (i'm talking ages 5-17)

[deleted account] ( 55 moms have responded )

Okay, I just have to get on my soap box for just a second! My apologies if I offend anyone, but this nonsense of giving cell phones to kids is just completely out of control!!!! And I'm talking some kids younger than the age of 5! Unbelievable!!!!



I can't tell you how much grief it has caused just in our school district alone.



Cell phones are a piece of equipment, people ~ not play toys! If you feel like your child needs to have a cell phone, do the right thing and try to find one w/o all the bells and whistels.

Kids are not mature enough to have cell phones b/c they lack the concept of consequences that are related to cell phones, a good example: the issues of 'sexting'. Now students/kids are being prosecuted and charged as sexaul predators b/c they forwarded a nude photo. I would be livid if I knew my son or daughter were doing something like that!



Arguments get started; hatefull comments or pictures of someone that some body does not like get passed around ~ what happened to the good 'ol concept of actually CALLING on the cell phone?????



Please parents, think before you purchase a cell phone for you children. All they need is a way to call, they don't need to text or send hateful pictures or nude photos of each other. That's just sick! Use some good 'ol common sense and discuss what you expect out of your children and the responsibilities of having the cell phone, that is if you MUST purchase a phone for your child!

It cracks me up that we have students in our school that have to 'check in their phones at the office' before going to class! Why? B/c students were texting answers to tests back and forth to each other DURING class! So, doesn't checking the phone in defeat the purpose???? Okay so maybe your son or daughter walks home from school. Then lets go back to what I just said. IF you feel the need to purchase a cell phone, get the standard phone and DISCUSS/ COMMUNICATE the RESPONSIBILITIES of a phone!!!!!



In the end, my children will have to wait until they are adults to have cell phones. By then they will be learning if not already what responsibilities are and will have to understand that having a cell phone is NOT all fun and games. It's a bill that has to be paid in order to enjoy the necessity of it!! What's that word? Oh yeah, it's a responsilibity!!!!! As for now, I don't need the hassle and quite frankly I've seen enough to know that we don't need that kind of drama either!



Okay I'll step down from my soap box now!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Meghan - posted on 12/14/2011

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i got my cell phone at age 10 as a product of a divorce... this way both parents were able to know where i was, they laid down ground rules. when i got home the phone was on the counter, once i was 15 i was allowed to upgrade and start to use it socially, but was given new ground rules, these rules were that if i was to go anywhere other than my usual places i had to call one of them and get the OK... i am now a sophmore in college and just recently got a smartphone so that i can keep up with my school work when i am away from the computer. i think it really has to do with the rules that are laid out, and how they are inforced. because i have a great relationship with my parents and even as a young adult i still ask their permission to go places when im home.

[deleted account]

I have an 11 year old who has a cell phone and I feel it to be very important because he lives with me and visits his father. This is our only line of communication when he is gone. His fathe likes him to have a phone, too so he can call him directly and talk with him.

Cookie - posted on 05/27/2009

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"My 10 year old got her first cell phone when she was 7 years old because it was made clear that it was for emergency purposes only. She had a pre-paid phone & was responsible for it 24-7. Too much going on in this world to be out of contact with your children. I am just grateful that she didn't give out her # and text.

Kaya - posted on 04/30/2014

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People are ridiculous 5 years old really like come on a kindergartener should be playing with toys and learning not using a cell phone.

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Chaya - posted on 08/05/2012

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A 5 year old doesn't need a cell phone, at what point does the child need one? When they are going to the library, riding the city bus, etc, alone. The phone should have a camera, there have been several situations in recent memory in which some skeevy adult was trying to coerse or threaten a grade school or teenager into a car, the victim called the police and took a picture of the creep and/ or his licence plate number, leading to arrests. However, unless you're leaving your five year old alone for an hour or more, they don't need one.

Anna - posted on 12/17/2011

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I agree with you in everything save one - when my kids got their drivers license I needed a way to be able to get in touch with them to bring the car home - so I would lower your expectation of no cell phone to maybe 16 or whenever the kids get their drivers license and go out on their own in even more expensive "equipment" as you so aptly put it.

Jennifer - posted on 04/13/2011

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My son is almost 13 yrs old. He has had a basic cell phone with no internet, or anything else on it when he was around 11yrs. old.
The purpose for him to have a cell phone is: 1) He goes back and forth to my ex-husbands home every other weekend, and also there were reasons for that.
My son is very smart, and very responsible...and I don't have a problem with it. He will be 13 yrs old in November, and he knows his boundaries, and yes he did cross them a time or two before. He learned his lesson really quick. He does have his own money and has purchased his first I phone 3gs, and when it's their money they are spending they have a totally different aspect on things.
**** I do agree when they are 6-10 yrs old, they can hardly keep up with themselves.

Dawn - posted on 04/10/2011

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I agree my oldest was 12 when she got her phone but it was only because she stayed after school for sports but yet the office closed up so no phone for emergencies BUT it was restricted no texting & the only people she could call was the people I put in her phone. (me, dad, grandma's & grandpa) as she got older we added a few people she is now 16 & still has certain restrictions on her phone..

Bobbie - posted on 03/10/2011

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Meggan I love it, make all cellphones used by people under 21 talk only. Or I guess we could say 18. You hit the nail on the head!!

Leslee - posted on 08/28/2009

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I think kids having cell phones needs to be based on each families own situation. I used to be adamantly against kids having cell phones (that coming from working in the school district), but my view changed when my own oldest entered middle school and what our family situation was at the time. We are a military family, my husband was deployed to Iraq at the time, I had a third grader and my oldest was attending basically a charter program through our district that took him off of the main school campus every day to a remote location for school. He was also a 10 year old boy that was a member of the high school marching and field bands (being a "little boy" participating in a program with a group of 16 - 18 year olds) and was going to competitions out of town every weekend. So for my piece of mind, even though I went to every competition, I want him to be able to reach me when ever he needed to. Now 3 years later I just added texting to his phone plan, and he has rules set and knows that if he does not follow those rules, or goes over his texting limit...he loses his phone privileges and I block the texting from his phone. And I just this summer added my 10 year old daughter to my cell plan and got her her first cell phone for the same reasons. Dad is still in the military and is now located in a different state from where we are living (whole other story). She in now in high school field/marching bands as well, as well as was in a summer theater this summer. As far as in school, in our schools they have to keep them in their lockers turned off during the school day.



And mom does need to work full time as well so mom can't be there to keep an eye on them 24/7.



And if you really want to think about another added safety reason....how many missing people have been found by the GPS in their cell phones?

Shawnda - posted on 08/26/2009

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I agree with you. My children(8&10) constantly ask for one and I am against them. They are too young and irresponsible to have a phone.Thank you for agreeing with me. It's nice to see another parent who does'nt just give in to every whim of thier child!

Rachael - posted on 08/26/2009

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My son (almost 11) has had a mobile since he was 10, and may I just add that it WAS against my principles, but it's simply because he started to venture out a little further and go knocking for friends etc - he must have it on him at all times when he's out, and if he moves on from where he says he will be, he has to call/text or he gets punished. I really did deliberate for ages, but came to the conclusion that me allowing him the freedom he needs to grow outweighed my principles on this occasion! X

Kelly - posted on 08/10/2009

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Quoting Tracee:

We have mixed emotions on a cell phone. Our oldest is 11 and is begging for one. I just can't justify it. She is either with the sitter while we are working, or home with us,or at school. I understand it's a matter of individual situations that may or may not call for a child to have one. I respect that. But I feel that she wants one just because everyone else has one.

So am I wrong or 'holding her back' from making friends because we choose for her not to have one right now? Suck it up, buttercup. If someone chooses not to be your friend because you don't have a cell phone, then the heck with them right.

I am so confused on this issue, and torn.



I so agree with you.  My kids (ages 10 & 11) don't go anywhere with out an adult with a phone.  The only exception is our neighborhood, we have a pool, park, nature trail and a dog park.  I bought some 8 mile radius walkie-talkies to use.  They work great and I can keep in touch with them.  In fact, some of the other parents here have done the same thing.

Triwan - posted on 08/08/2009

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Well I have to admit, my son has had a cell phone since he was about 8 (now 12)however he never uses it unless he is calling grandma that lives in another state, when I call him from his friend's house or outside playing to come home, or when he spends the night at his friend's house I call to check up on him. He has never gone over his minutes and as a matter of fact, I have to remind him to take his phone with him in case I need to reach him. I love the fact of being able to reach him if I need to when he is not home. I also think of situations that may occur as far as accidents. With him having a cell phone on him, he can call for help. It's like a security blanket I think. Plus the phone has GPS.

R. S. - posted on 07/14/2009

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My 13 year old got her first phone at 7. She has been involved in theater for years, and rehearsals end when they end, not when they are SCHEDULED to end. Much easier for her to call for a ride than to search out a payphone (now a rare find!) or for me to sit for 40 minutes waiting for her to finish. Now that she is older, it is theater, band, lessons, girl scouts, after school and everything else. This week she is walking to camp by herself. I know I can reach her and she can reach me.



She recently bought her own smart phone using her own money, and she pays any charges incurred over and above our family plan. She has rules on use, violation of wich results in confiscation of the phone (and if used at school, the school takes the phone.) Basically, the cell is for MY comfort and convenience.

Kristen - posted on 07/12/2009

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I just bought my 10 year old son his first cell phone. He will be starting middle school in the fall and we do what we can to make sure our children fit in. He has also started walking to friends houses further away in the neighborhood so I feel safer knowing I can get in touch with him

Angela - posted on 07/11/2009

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My 11 year old does not have a cell phone, and he won't for a long time to come. Fortunately he doesn't want one even though "all" of his friends have them. My son doesn't need one. He isn't in any extracurricular activities, so he is with us, at school, or at friends' houses where we know the families well all the time. My husband takes him to school, and I pick him up. There is no need for him to have a cell phone.





I do understand the benefit of some pre-teens having phones, particularly those with divorced parents or those in many extracurricular activities or who don't get picked up by parents after school. A cell phone does provide a level of safety in those situations, but the parents must enforce strict rules then (and most of the moms here seem to do that). I teach high school, and it's truly horrifying the things they share with me that they do on the weekends and after school. The more involved we can stay in our children's lives the better.

Hava - posted on 07/10/2009

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My 10 year old has had a cell phone for just over two years now. She has broken the rules a couple of times, and the consequences were:

- no phone for one month

- she cannot use alternate transportation since she does not have the phone (like taking the city bus, where the bus stop is a block away from the house, vs the school bus that is a 1/2 mile walk away, very crowded, and very noisy)

- she has to come all the way home to tell me when she's going to another house or location instead of calling me, because the phone got taken away

- a handwritten essay on the differences between RIGHTS and PRIVILEGES including the responsibilities that come with both.

In the end, it was a very good thing that she broke the rules. It gave the two of us a chance to see what this cell phone thing was really about, and how far she could go before I would step in, and how far I was willing to go with enforcing consequences. I am a single mother, and talk to her about the "whole picture" quite a lot of the time. She sees the cell phone bill, and understands how the whole thing works.

If so-and-so is allowed to get on the internet on his/her phone, that's fine, but you are not allowed to, and this is how much money it would cost, and HELLO?! the computer is only about three feet away from you, why don't you use that?

We have unlimited texting for both of us, that eliminates quite a bit of room for mess ups and has created quite a culture in her group of people. Most of the kids have unlimited text as it's cheaper than increasing the minutes on the cell phone plans. We also have a house phone. If someone calls on the cell phone that is not an AT&T person, she let's it go to voicemail, then calls them back on the house phone.

I think the biggest thing I wanted to comment on here though, with this topic,
is that many of the issues stated in the original post are SOCIETAL ISSUES. Where are these kids learning these things from? You cannot simply say it is a matter of

- the family
or
- the school

It is so much bigger than that. If you are a parent that is trying to keep your kid away from all the nasty society habits and cultural norms that are out there (mcdonnalds for breakfast, hanna montana tv in the car, cell phone gossiping before school, labels and brand names marking who and what you are in school, then more hours of internet and unfiltered tv and video games... yada yada) you are in for some turbulent times, and so is your kid.

The amount of ridicule attached to American social norms is devastating. If our kids are NOT up on the up of pop culture, they are sure to be made fun of, harassed, teased, told they are loosers, etc. We can tell them that it'll be over soon, they will be grown ups soon... yes, and what are we teaching them then? That everything we're keeping them from is something worth growing up for!

I think it would be better (Meggan) to talk to the kids when those things happen right away. Talk about the larger impact. Talk about what it means when they do the things that they do. Talk about where the ideas are coming from. Talk about the difference between TV and real life. Talk about sex. Talk about inappropriate behavior. Talk about a justice system that is so skewed that the kids might face sexual predator charges for acting inappropriately. Talk about why "sexual harassment" is a term, and what it means, and why. Talk about women's rights and movements that have happened over the past 300 years. Talk about how not that long ago, women were property.

Think about where many of these behaviors are coming from within these kids - CHILDREN's ACTIONS are a REFLECTION on their SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT.

This is not just the job of the parents, nor is it all the cell phone's fault.

This is a combination of gross gross amounts of social issues piled one on top of the other. Kids with cell phones is not the issue alone. Look deeper than that.

Karen - posted on 07/10/2009

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I agree, but fell into the trap by giving in to my son's pleas when he was 11 not realising at the time what a huge mistake I was making. He is now 14 and totally addicted to mxit. I tear my hair out over it every day. Just don't know what to do as it is starting to affect his social life. He doesn't want to go out with friends, just sits at home on his phone for hours at a time. I will not allow my 2 younger sons to have cell phones until they REALLY need them.

Hayley - posted on 07/10/2009

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well...My children all have cell phones. My oldest is 15 and my youngest 8. They've had them for quite a while now. They text all the time, especially my 8 y.o. I have a problem with a lot of the above statements but that's my opinion. I think that if you educate your children about sex then you dont' have to worry about sexting. We have always been open and honest with our children about sex, they all know where babies come from and how it happened and that it is the probable outcome of sex. They also know that they should respect their bodies and others and that sex is something that occurs between two consenting ADULTS. IT IS THE PARENTS RESPONSIBILITY TO TEACH THEIR CHILDREN RIGHT FROM WRONG. If your kids don't know that then it is your feet where the blame will be laid. I could go on a long rant but will refrain. It is more cost effective for us to have cell phones and no home phone. That is only one reason why my children have phones. The other is that I like to know where they are and where they are going. As for under 10 staying under their parents feet all day. I dont' think so. Take your butt outside and play. My rules are they that they stay on our street. They go from one neighbor to the other but have to tell me when they leave and when they arrive. It's the same in the entire neighborhood. I don't think there is one kind over age 6 that doesn't have a cell around here. Our school has rules and they are that the ringers have to be off and the phone in their back pack or locker during school hours. It' is strictly enforced. As for the bill on texting, solve that problem by having unlimited text. It's not that high compared to what it could be and it works for us since my husband texts everyone, he rarely answers his phone when you call but text him and he will respond lol.

Patricia - posted on 07/07/2009

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My son has a cell phone. We recently moved and everyday we were getting alerts about possible abductions. If you're a stay at home mom and pick your child up then you're absolutely correct a phone is not needed. Unfortunately all of us are not and it provides us acces to our children.



Furthermore children have been cheating since the word existed before writing on your hands,or piece of paper slid somewhere, looking on friends paper so to say that cheating just began is a crop of garbage. Notes have been passed around about kids also the sad thing is the net allows more than the neighborhood children to get the information.



Therefore if you're a parent and one provides their child with such devices ground rules should be given and if violated consequences required. We blame the children and need to accept our role in this also.



Our children do what we allow them to do. Don't get me wrong because sometimes we as parents slip and things go under the radar. My son did a slipper on me and he had serious consequences that he regained his freedom when school let out for the summer. But I guarantee you he won't do anything like that agian.

Tracee - posted on 07/05/2009

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We have mixed emotions on a cell phone. Our oldest is 11 and is begging for one. I just can't justify it. She is either with the sitter while we are working, or home with us,or at school. I understand it's a matter of individual situations that may or may not call for a child to have one. I respect that. But I feel that she wants one just because everyone else has one.



So am I wrong or 'holding her back' from making friends because we choose for her not to have one right now? Suck it up, buttercup. If someone chooses not to be your friend because you don't have a cell phone, then the heck with them right.



I am so confused on this issue, and torn.

Heather - posted on 07/03/2009

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My 2 oldest sons have cell phones...they are 10 and 12. They both have at&t prepaid phones, and in order to use them they have to pay for the minutes with their allowance money. If they dont..they dont have minutes...If they get grounded for any reason the phones go, but i like being able to get a hold of them when I need to.

Amanda - posted on 07/02/2009

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My 11 year old daughter has a cell phone. It is one that you have to buy minutes for. She is responsible for earning the money to buy her own minutes. We feel this will help in teaching her to be responsible about it. If we ever found her abusing it in any way it would be taken away. I like being able to keep in touch with her.

Mary Kay - posted on 07/01/2009

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My 14 year old son got a cell phone for his 8th grade graduation....he's been added to our family plan so we can monitor his minutes. It's only been a few weeks and so far he's been really responsible. We got it because he bikes everywhere or takes the bus, so it's a good way to keep in touch. We had several instances when the bus was late or he was late leaving somewhere and we had no way to contact him.



Any abuse of his phone would make it go away for a period of time.

Laura - posted on 07/01/2009

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I agree with kids getting out of control with cell phones, and that the parents need to step up to the responsibility of teaching them proper useage. I have a cell phone for my 10 yr old girl and she is doing very well with it. We got it because of all the reports I read where children have been saved by haveing them. We have very strickt rules on the usage. She is not allowed to call any friends or even have her friends numbers in the phone, only family. She carries it with her when we go out for walks or shopping. Which came in very handy when she wandered away. We monitor all recieved calls and messages, which was a problem at first with random solisiters. I keep her phone when she doesn't need it and monitor all calls and messages. To keep her on target she gets rewareded for following the "phone rules" by getting to pick a game to purchase or a ring tone every few months. This has worked well for us. That is why I say having a cellphone for your childs safety when they are of age to have some independance from us. But it is up to the parent to teach the child how and when they can use it. It is also the parents responisbility to monitor the phone use to protect them from unwanted outsiders. oh and she doesnt know her phone number so she cannot give it out. luckily she hasnt figured out or tried to figure out how to get the number.

Jenny - posted on 06/30/2009

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I have found a website that has cell phones for kid. There are more older looking then the flyphone that is out ther. The advantage of these phones is that as parents we control when they are used. you set the time that they cna call or text. My son goes to a school where just about everyone has a phone, and most of them are the more expensive and something any child does not need.

Here is the name of the website that I found.



Kajeet®

Angela - posted on 06/29/2009

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My daughter got her first cell just before her 15th birthday. She had to pay for the phone and the time on the phone. She has had one ever since and has been taking care of the minutes. I think she has only asked twice for me to put some time on her phone and I did so, because she has done so well with it. My 14 son wants one now, but I have said he has to wait until he can pay for his phone and time on it. Guess he will have to get a job first. Parents just have to set down rules and they will know when their child is ready for a cell phone. All kids and situations are very different.

Ginny - posted on 06/27/2009

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Hi Meggan,

I agree with you to a point. Technology and the high demand for telephone numbers, and the low usage of pay phone has us all depending too much on cell phones.

And you are right, our young children do not need phone, with cameras, text message features, or access to the internet. They (children of today) are growing up way too fast.

I agree with some of the comments made. I am a proud 'old school mother' of a "latch key kid". Pay phones were everywhere when I was a pre-teen and teenager.

Now a days if you don't have a cell phone, you'll never know where your child is. My child has been over a friends house after school, and at times, said friends would not have a house phone, so the only way this single working mom would know where her child was, was by having a cell phone.

Don't let your family down, you can set the terms of the cell phone with your service provider, a lot of times, if you provider you have won't work for you another one will.

Keep your children save, love them, and talk to them every day, you won't be sorry. And if you are afraid to get them a cell phone, just think of how afraid they may be that they don' t have one and need to get in touch with you, and there are no pay phones around. Not to mention that some police officers, are more wrong than right.

God bless you on your families 'issue to have or not to have a cell phone.'

Alicia - posted on 06/25/2009

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I can understand your concerns. Every parent must hold their child accountable. My son is mildly mentally disable with communication challenges.We started training him on the usage of a cell phone at 12. He is now 15 and doing just fine. For him it was for security and speech theraputic conditioning. Again each parent should appropriately decide to give a child a cell phone according to their level of maturity and responsibility.

Jenna - posted on 06/23/2009

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I got my son his first cell phone this past Christmas mainly because he likes to ride around with his friends in the neighborhood and I want to be able to get in touch with him. He is never away from home more than an hour without checking in. Also, his cell phone has parent tracking on it. I guess as a parent we have to discern what our children are ready for and give them responsabilities that are appropriate for them individually. I do have to add, though, that I think it is ridiculous that kids in elementary school have I-phones and I-touch! All my opinion :)

Rosalind - posted on 06/23/2009

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I agree, I am also a single parent, and she does understand the rules concerning the phone.

[deleted account]

In our schools do not allow cell phone usage on school grounds for kids. If they are using it or someone at school sees the phone they take it away and a parent MUST pick the phone up from the school. My daughter has one at 12 years old, I'm a single parent and I believe that see needs to have a way to reach me anytime. There are things that happen and she needs me. Yes the school has phones but there are times on the bus ride home that she might need me. I check the bill every month and keep tabs on line with the bill. She has NEVER abused the right to have a phone. Therefore I will continue to allow her to have one.

Rosalind - posted on 06/23/2009

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I totally agree with all the negative things kids sometimes use their cell phones for. My daughter is 12 years old. I finally decided to get her a cell phone because when she entered middle school she began riding the school bus home. I am still at work, I also have her a house key at this time. I worry constantly if she is safe between leaving school and getting home because she has to walk a short distance from the bus stop to our home. she calls me as soon as she gets in the house but she knows that this is the only purpose of the phone during school hours. She leaves her phone in her locker turned of until she gets of the school bus, unless there is an emergency before she gets home. For instance she called me one afternoon to let me know the bus broke down and would be home late, i would not have known this if she didn't have a cell phone. She also knows that their are consequences to pay if the phone is used inapropriately. Make it very clear what will not be tolerated and her priviledge of having a cell phone could be taken away.

Melanie - posted on 06/22/2009

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My son is 11yrs. old and he has a cellphone because I am a single parent and he has to walk home sometimes. I like him to have it just in case an emergency situation occurs- never know what might happen!! I have had problems with the texting situation so I made it to where he could not text anymore. He knows if he loses it he won't have a phone till he can come up w the money to get another one!

Joanna - posted on 06/22/2009

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We got our daughter one when she was in the third grade for safety because when she started spending the night places it was an easy way for her to communicate with us if things got out of hand for her.



It also was easier for her to keep in contact with her grandparents and cousins who live out of state. She was never allowed to take it to school with her and it was one of those little cricket phones that she could only call or be called by people that we had preprogrammed in.



Not everyone goes haywire where their kids are concerned.

Morningstar - posted on 06/22/2009

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I don't like the idea of cell phones for kids as well. I kind of understand the emergency purposes only but why are these young kids not around adults that could give them help ?? Nothing worse then having a sleepover with a group of 8 year olds who have cell phones and texting all night long to who knows who... I agree cell phones are good for teens who have school and sports and have that responsibility factor, but nor for young kids.

Heather - posted on 06/20/2009

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My daughter is 13 and has a cell phone. One reason we got it is we don't have a house phone just our cell phones. So this way when she is home alone she has a way to communicate with us. BUT we did give her very strict rules and she has had her phone two years. I have never had to take it away. When she has it at school it is shut off and only turned on when she is done with practice for someone to pick her up because the coaches don't always let them out on time so she calls before she changes out of her practice clothes. I think if your situation needs it there is no problem and as long as you go over the rules and stick with the consequences if the rules are roken. But this is true for any situation.

Jennifer - posted on 06/20/2009

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My 10 soon to be 11 yr old has a cell phone which his nanny has washed in the washing machine so maybe too young, you think. We thought we'd save long distance charges and now we probably didn't need to do it. It was at Christmas time -SILLY. Over all he's pretty good but I see and understand.

Bridgette - posted on 06/19/2009

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My daughter is 10 years old and has a cell phone-since she was 7 actually. Her phone is for emergency purposes only! She has a lot of after school activities and needs one in case practice ends early or gets out late. When she is with me, I have the phone. She doesn't text or surf the net. I feel as long as ground rules are set in place, all things will work out. I am a single parent and can't be with her 24/7. When she is away from me, this provides some security to her to know she can call me if she gets uncomfortable in any situation. I have all contact information for where she will be, but sometimes the child just won't ask to use the phone.

Nikki - posted on 06/19/2009

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i shall quote you here Meggan "Guess she thought she was being sneaky".

In my humble opinion, a child always wants what their peer group also have. If a situation is carefully monitored, then it can be controlled in a satisfactory manner. If the said object is banned, then it encourages the child to be sneaky. Please understand that i am not saying your opinion is wrong, just that kids will be kids. When they turn into "mini" adults (teens/preteens) they will test the boundaries again and again.It is what children of this age do, it is what they have done since the dawn of civilisation (lol)

I did actually speak to a relative who is an educational psychologist and considered all the options very carefully before i bought my son his mobile phone. It is peace of mind for me as well as for him. We live 2 minutes walk from the local park, and this is usually where he is (playing football with friends) but he is out of MY sight, and therefore, i feel more comfortable having some means of communication with him.

I would like to say once again i respect your opinion and in some ways i agree, but with society as it is, i feel there needs to be some leeway on matters like these

[deleted account]

AMEN Becky! I agree with some of you that your sons/daughters have cell phones at the ages of 16-17 and I agree with Becky that at that particular age, they are old enough to have a job and take on the responsibility themselves 100%. It's not a toy! I don't believe anyone younger than that should have one. I really believe it's the texting that has become the biggest issue. Even though you would like to believe that your child is following the ground rules you've set, the younger they are the more impressionable they are, especially with issues that maybe your child isn't fully aware of or understands. No parent should be unaware of the where abouts of their children under the age of 16. Once they are driving, then I see a possible need for a cell phone. Some children are more mature than others too, but let’s get real here people. You should always ask, who what when and where. Cookie, you're right there is too much going on in this world, all the more reason to know where your child is w/o the added nonsense of a cell phone at too young an age.

My daughter snuck around one night, got a hold of my phone and sent a bunch of text messages. The only way I figured this out was b/c her friends responded. When I tried to see what she had sent, there was nothing there. She had erased all of her messages! Guess she thought she was being sneaky! So, just an fyi, you might think you're keeping track, but kids always seem to find a way around the rules! lol! I think it's pretty sad that something like a cell phone which is a great convenience is now being abused.

Thanks for all of your responses. It's nice to see that those of you who have allowed your sons/daughters to use a cell phone have at least set some ground rules. Wish it were that way with SEVERAL of the parents in our school district!

Nikki - posted on 06/17/2009

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i can understand where you are coming from perfectly. However, as my son has started senior school (he is almost 12) he walks or cycles to school and is therefore under no adult supervision. After much consideration, my husband and i bought him a cell/mobile phone on a pre pay basis. The rules are that i check his phone on a daily basis, including how much credit is left, and he leaves it on the kitchen side when he is at home. If it were to come to light that he (or others) were being irresponsible with his phone, it would be confiscated and he would have to earn back the privelige

Ethel - posted on 06/15/2009

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My daughter got a phone for her 13th b-day. I thought I laid out clear ground rules and had the cell co. block texting and internationial calling. About 3 months later I received a $1400.00 phone bill! This was from 6000 texts (or more) After hours on the phone being told I was responsible for the bill and several transfers, a rep. told me the international block wasn't added either and it was up to me to convince the orighnal sales person she made a mistake or I owed the whole amount, After 25 min. of jlust shaking her head she admitted I asked fot the call block. Then I said it was just added

and we were not held responsible. Moral: If you block anything check it before you

leave the store. Or add a $7 plan and save yourself the nightmare. Now she begs for texting b/c her friends are using their min. on her and parents are complaining.

User - posted on 06/12/2009

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I agree I think cell phones should only be given for emergency purposes only, prepaid is a great idea, otherwise it's just another distraction to have in schools. My son has been begging for one as well, but I keep telling him not yet. I was thinking when he's in middle school because it's further away, but really it depends on what my work situation will be like at that time and if I feel if it's really necessairy for him to have one.

Samantha - posted on 06/07/2009

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Im with you. I dont even have a cell phone at this time and my children keep asking for one. I think its rediculous when people give their children cell phones. If you know where your children are at all times which i do then why do they need a cell. everyone's house they go to has a phone and they know the number so if anything happens they know to call us but my thing is.........if you want a cell phone (kids) buy it your darn self lol

Gwen - posted on 06/05/2009

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My son got his cell phone at 9 (he's 11 now), mainly because his school bus ride was so unpredictable (and b/c his father wouldn't let him call home when he was on a visit, but that's a seperate issue!). he does have texting, and is allowed to contact certain friends via cell phone (again b/c at dads, he's cut off from any friends and wants to talk to them)



I don't think the issue is so much kids having cell phones, but of parents not enforcing ground rules! My son knows I can and will check it randomly and can view the activity on the monthly bill, he knows that if he answers an unknown number I will take it away, and if I see any numbers come up that i didn't OK he's gonna either have a real good explanation or again, the phone is gone.



My humble opinion: once a pre-teen starts staying late for sports practice, or walks to a friends house, or whatever they do that takes them out of direct supervision, they should have a cell phone. But by the same token no way in he!! am I gonna give a kid an I-phone, because there is absolutly zero reason kids need internet access on thier phone.

JMHO...

Jennifer - posted on 06/04/2009

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I agree, cell phones have become a toy to kids. I think a pre-paid is good for children for emergency only but shouldn't be for kids under 10. I think the cell phone thing is getting out of control...

[deleted account]

My 12 year old daughter has a cell phone. I am a single parent and she got hers for Christmas this past year as a way of keeping track of her. She knows the rules about texting and making calls. I check her phone daily and will turn it off if I see she is not using it wisely. I have no reason to see why she can't have the phone. She doesn't misuse it.

Becki - posted on 06/02/2009

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part of being a good parent is knowing where your children are and for how long they will be there. at the age of 10 your child should never be away from you for more then a few hours (minus school time). if there is an emergency you should know what friend they are with and that phone number. at the age of 16 or 17 they are old enough for the responsibility but it is something they should be in charge of 100%, that includes having a job to pay the bill. it will actually give them a good lesson in repsonsibility.

Mikesha - posted on 06/01/2009

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My boys are 12 and 10 and they have a cell phone for emergencies purpose only. It's a AT&T Go Phone and doesn't cost a thing to call my husband and I cause we also have AT&T phones. There is no texting aloud and they are not aloud to give the number out. If they want to their friends they have to use the house phone. They have been very responsible with it and follow the rules. I see nothing wrong with staying in contact with your child at all times. At 5 it's not needed but at 10 it's a little different. JMO

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