Should a 11-Year-Old Have a Cell Phone?

Diana - posted on 11/25/2009 ( 1103 moms have responded )

7

15

0

My step daughter wants to have a cell phone and she is 11 years old....I think 11 is too young to own a cell phone she wants one just to call her friends and most of her friends have cells phones..... Is 11 too young for cell phones?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Lydia - posted on 04/13/2010

22

5

2

My niece wanted a cell phone at 11 years old and my sister made her write a paper on logical reasons why she needed one (no because my friends all have them.) She also has strict rules and sticks by them.



Our oldest just turn 11 years old and we are discussing getting him a cell phone this fall when he goes to middle school but we have told him he has to prove his maturity. Do what he is told, clean up after himself, getting up and ready for school on his own, being responsible for his school work, and the respect. He has clearly shown improvements in all areas, slowly but there. Of course he will also have to continue doing these thing to keep a cell too.

Dannielle - posted on 11/27/2009

18

0

0

too young...I have an 11 year old and a 17 year old...17 year old got one when she was 16...I can tell you from experience that is young enough! of course my 11 year old has been begging for one ever since and I keep telling her when she's 16...there is no need...it only invites trouble...there is only so much you can monitor unless you want to completely stress yourself out and drive yourself nuts! I can't even begin to tell you the hassles it creates...and the disadvantages outweigh the advantages! yes it's nice to be able to reach them at any time you want, but I just reach my 11 year old on her friend's cell phone if I really need to...and that's the answer I give her when she says "but all my freinds have one!" I say "good! then that's how you can reach me or me reach you if need be!"

Melani - posted on 08/21/2011

14

31

0

We had this same issue -- our daughters (11 and 9) both have cell phones and as long as they follow the rules - we have never had an issue. Some of our rules are as follows: * they can not keep the phones in their room (we keep the chargers in the dining room) * no calls or texts made / received after 9 pm * they know and understand the rules of where / what they are allowed to do on the phone * they understand that we can (AND DO) check the phone usage and history on line – they are quite surprised when we can quote a text that was written * can’t be used when during family time (meals!). We have found that having the phones are great for all of us. The girls have “code words” that when they need help getting out of a situation or ready to leave a friend and don’t want to hurt their feelings – they can text us the code and we can then call them and tell them it is time to come home – makes mom the “bad guy”. Anyway - as long as everyone understands the rules – it has been a great tool for our family!

Jessica - posted on 12/05/2009

9

7

0

I would say follow you instinct and lay out the ground rule before you purchase it....like she hands you the phone until homework is finished and before bedtime....who pays for mins...keep grades up..etc. We made it clear that having her phone was a privilge not a right and it helped alot because she hated not having her phone.

[deleted account]

Factor in how much time she is away from a phone. Does she walk home from school, stay home alone or w/ younger siblings when you're at work? How mature is she and how does she handle her belongings? How are her grades? Do you have to remind her of homework or projects? If she is notorious for losing things I would make her keep up with something simple, like a tube of chap stick or a $5 bill for a month and be able to locate it whenever asked. This has value if stolen or lost (just like a cell phone). If you're in doubt, try small responsibility, like money first.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

1103 Comments

View replies by

Della - posted on 09/10/2011

63

13

1

If he needs one? If she can call from home let her do that. Key word NEED?

Dana - posted on 09/03/2011

74

10

5

The high phone bills are due to not signing up for unlimited texting. Its $30 a month for the family through AT&T

Dana - posted on 09/03/2011

74

10

5

We never did the prepaid thing... it's a waste of money! We already have our cell phones. Its an additional $15 AFTER taxes for each additional line. Unlimited texting, unlimited mobile to mobile and then we have tons of roll over minutes even if we ever (have never) ran out of our allotted 700 minutes per month for 4 lines. They get in trouble... they lose their phone. Simple as that. They don't want to lose their phone because thats how they talk to their friends.

Dana - posted on 09/03/2011

74

10

5

My girls were in 2nd grade and 5th grade. They got it for MY convenience. It was to keep up with them and their activities. Now that 2nd grader is in 6th grade and mopst of her friends have cell phones. Its wonderful! No more wanting to use my phone. She can talk/ text her friends whenever...

Dana - posted on 09/03/2011

74

10

5

My girls were in 2nd grade and 5th grade. They got it for MY convenience. It was to keep up with them and their activities. Now that 2nd grader is in 6th grade and mopst of her friends have cell phones. Its wonderful! No more wanting to use my phone. She can talk/ text her friends whenever...

Elizabeth - posted on 08/25/2011

149

27

7

i dont know but my daughter is 13 and we just got her a cell phone but my son is 9 and wants a cell phone i dont why a 9 year old would need a cell phone he said all my friends have one im like already damn thats early he had friends in his class havce cell phones since he was in 1st grade aint that crazy

Sarah - posted on 08/21/2011

2

21

0

My daughter has had a phone since she was, dare I say, 9. However, for us it makes sense since she's got two families. It's an easy way to keep in contact with her when she's away with her other family.

Alicia - posted on 08/21/2011

6

46

0

I think times have changed and the need for phones are different then when I was growing up. Bother of boys who are 10 and 13 both have cell phones. They walk to and from school and Im at work most of the time when they come home from school. So to have a cell is a most for me personally. And I haven't had any problems with them so far. Ground were laid before the cell phones were given.

Karen - posted on 08/21/2011

30

23

2

I'm starting to really have trouble with this one.....my daughter had a cellphone at 10yrs old. She didn't use it, except on rare occassion, for the first two yrs. Now she is 12 yrs old and uses it quite a bit. I don't mind. She cannot access the internet from the phone and I monitor all the texting. She cannot send or recieve photos. My concern is with those parents who allow there kids to have iPhones. Those children send and receive photos, are posting constantly to Facebook (another thing I will not let my daughter have is a Facebook account), all hours of the night. My daughter feels left out of the social network not having Facebook and not having an iPhone but I do not want her to grow up too fast. That of course is a different topic....

as far as cell phones, we live in a semi remote area and she travels with the school so it is more for my comfort of being able to reach her when I want than her actual need of having a cell phone.

Bj - posted on 08/21/2011

12

0

0

I don't think so. It will teach her how to be responsible, but dont add the internet and monitor the phone closely, but follow your gut feeling as well. good luck!

Shanna Lee - posted on 08/20/2011

4

132

0

I have replied before on this subject but it was a long while ago so I cant find it. I've read about 100 of the answers givin to you and your basically darned if you do and darned if you dont. Each situation, each child, each enviroment causes a different chain of reaction. My daughter got one at 11 cause she was a responsible kid. We moved to a new town and she had to walk to and from school and we didnt have a house phone yet. Is texting a pain in the ass, YES. It can get out of hand, they are teenagers. but I truly feel better knowing my daughter has it if anything comes up and that I can reach her too. She is now almost 16. We have replaced the phone 1 times in 5 years for something she did to it. Other than that she has gotten replacements when she was upgraded on our account. I truly dont believe you can base these kinds of choices on what others have done, because your child is not any of our child. You know her and if she is responsible, etc...And if you need too, put limits on things, take it away if you have too, most of the time they learn real fast. I hope you've gotten some solid advice that can help you.

Julie - posted on 08/19/2011

12

0

0

My daughters is just turned 11 and is on her 3rd mobile phone i wouldent have got her a blackberry as single parent and could not afford it but her birthday. Was last week and she got her father gran to half for it and. She knows for it to be hoped up she has to earn her pocket money and use that i dont see a problem with her having it just dont think she takes care of it thats another reason i. wouldent get her one so expensive i wouldent see without one as most kids have one i think it gives them that little bit of privacy to see how far they will push it u will find out wat shes upto without her knowing as they sleep us mums got to admit were nosey lol

Jareen - posted on 08/08/2011

24

22

0

It really depends on the maturity of the 11 year old. I cannot remember the phone, but I think Sprint has the phone it's a Disney phone, that has a tracking device on it, you may want to contact them and see. And in this world today with bad people out there it would be nice for children to have cell phones, but asking them to keep it private. Now if your step-daughter just wants a phone because her friends have one, that's a different question and answer, no she shouldn't have one, she needs to know that money don't grow on trees and you are not Burger King and she cannot have it her own way. Next she would be asking for a car, Children needs to know their place, and not knowing their place they always end up in trouble. The world is not safe, and we need to be honest about what is going on out there to our kids, if it means preaching to them every day until they understand. I was a single Mom and I hid nothing from my son's I told the truth and I was firm. My son's are now 33 and 38 and they will tell you that I am the No Mom, I meant what I said and never changed, and always explain to them why I was coming to the decissions that I had come to concerning them. My eldest is in Iraq and my youngest is a Dad, I am not here to be their friends, and if they don't like what I say then hey take a hike. So many parents try to be their kids friends and all it leads to is disaster. My eldest is understanding why I was strict, my younger is going through alot because he refused to honor and obey me, now hes suffering with two kids and a crazy woman. My eldest is single with no children and he is serving our country.

Terri - posted on 08/07/2011

7

15

0

HA! I just realized your post was created close to 2 years ago! Let us know what you decided

not sure if you'll even see this but, for some reason my first paragraph didn't get in my original post. What I started off with saying is that if you feel that it's simply for fun or just because "everyone else is doing it", then no. (then I went on with the rest of the post.) again, the bottom line is that the decision needs to be made based on what you feel will work best for your family.

Terri - posted on 08/07/2011

7

15

0

IMO, kids having cell phones is a necessity these days. it's very unfortunate that we can't feel as safe in our society as we did when we were little. I didn't think it was necessary to get my 10-year old daughter one until she was 12 or so but there are times when things come up and I need to get in touch with her that would otherwise be difficult to do if she didn't have a phone...such as that she will need to ride or walk home with another friend or that her grandmother is picking her up, or that an activity time has changed, etc ~ or, to flip it around, perhaps she needs to contact me to let me know that someone can't pick her up or that she wants to walk home with a friend, etc. Yes, more times than not there is another phone nearby but it's just nice to be able to grab a phone and make the calls rather than hunting one down or having to wait to use one, etc. and we can get in touch with each other at any time without delay. Convenience, necessity and peace of mind.

My kids turn their phones in to us before dinner and they get them back before they go to school. Not that they give us any reason to but we randomly go through their phone messages just to keep things in check. I think it all depends on your family life, how busy you are and more importantly if you believe your child is mature and responsible enough to have one. if you believe it to be a necessity, then absolutely yes. but the bottom line is, you have to make the decision based on what you feel is right for your family and not worry about others who may pass judgement on you one way or the other.

Emma - posted on 08/03/2011

32

10

0

Defiantly not too young I would rather be able to call my daughter. And check in every now and then that have no way of contacting her till she's home I had my first phone at 11 as I was going to and from school myself it helped me learn to respect my belongings and to let my mum know what I was doing ie if I wanted to go to a friends I didn't have to walk all the way home before I could ask hope this helps xxxx I had to pay for it myself so if it had no credit u had to work/ do chores to get top up xx

Emma - posted on 08/03/2011

32

10

0

Defiantly not too young I would rather be able to call my daughter. And check in every now and then that have no way of contacting her till she's home I had my first phone at 11 as I was going to and from school myself it helped me learn to respect my belongings and to let my mum know what I was doing ie if I wanted to go to a friends I didn't have to walk all the way home before I could ask hope this helps xxxx

[deleted account]

I live in Northern California where we have a cell phone carrier that is only $40. a month for unlimited minutes and texting. This is what my daughter has. The schools do not allow the phones to be seen in school. If they are, the phones are taken. on the second time taken, they are kept for the school year. My daughter knows that if she to use her phone during school and gets in trouble, I will take the phone for good. She has had it for 3 years now and has not gotten it taken away yet. She will now be going into 8th grade and with after school sports and everything else going on, the phone has been a great way of knowing when she needs a ride or when after school programming will let out earlier.

K - posted on 07/30/2011

6

0

0

I say too young I'd like to tell you of a friends phone bill of $1,200.00 due to her and her friends calling and texting! Thats a big one no joke she had to pay it! I say if they don't have a job to pay for their own bill its a no! I also beleive a pay as you go card is less likely to resort to large surprise bills! We didn't need to be on the phone 24/7 we saw are friends at school, sports or made play dates! We had house phones and there are phones at the malls too! I have employees I have to constintly bicker at to quit using the cell phones, texting, I wish they'd ban them at all schools, it must be very frustrating to try to teach these kids while all they do is text. I hate them. I only got one when I was 35 only because in the winter I ditched my truck and had to walk in a storm, to find a house which was miles away. I never needed one before that.

Ann - posted on 07/25/2011

6

0

0

I never thought I'd be getting a cell phone for my daughter. I only have one child and as she became 10 and out more with her friends around the neighborhood during the day, I felt getting her a phone so that she could check in with me helped me feel better. She's 12 now and while she does a great deal of texting more than talking on that phone, it gives me peace of mind when she's away from home. She's a straight A student, athletic, etc. I don't think her having a cell phone is detrimental.

Kristi - posted on 07/21/2011

27

7

1

I personally dont think its unnecessary. IF she has access to the house phone and FB, then no way. If my DD needs the phone then I let her borrow mine. Otherwise, its just a toy for them and one more way to be in touch with their friends. There has to be some down time at some point. Do they really NEED 24hour access to their friends? NO. IF you decide to let her have one, make sure you put all the protection on it you can, limit her minutes and texts, put in place strong punishments for crossing the line/disobeying rules/abusing the privilege. And have her turn in her phone by a certain time each day.

Funke - posted on 07/21/2011

2

6

0

yes she's too young u ve to make her realise dat she's too young to own a phone cause she cannt maintain it and it will serve as a distraction to her studies.

Jane - posted on 07/20/2011

54

0

7

yes, for safety reasons, limit te credit on it and certain numbers eg. 09014 numbers xx

Sue - posted on 07/16/2011

10

3

0

An 11 yr. old does not need a cell phone. They have phones at school they can use. Once she starts dating it will be a good idea in case she needs to call you or has an emergency.

Carla - posted on 07/10/2011

89

29

3

get a safelink phone for her they only give 250 monthly for free you can add more mins if you want

Carla - posted on 07/10/2011

89

29

3

get a safelink phone for her they only give 250 monthly for free you can add more mins if you want

[deleted account]

My daughter is 10 and her friends have them...I told her that it is a privilege to be earned, when she is old enough to have a car and a job and pay for it herself! I think at this young an age, a cell phone, or even a fb page encourages a break down in the family unit, because it allows them to make friends more important than family or responsibility. Plus that is unsupervised conversation with people you or your husband may not approve of. No matter how mature a child may seem, they still need supervision with who is or is not a good influence, or what kind of talk or subject matter is appropriate. I had to explain the whole sex thing to my daughter at 9 years old because of stuff she heard from kids at school. I monitor her friends, and they come here instead of her going to their houses. It may sound strict, but kids need boundaries...they will always go a little bit past whatever line you draw, so don't give them too much line to play with. But I also talk to her about it, and explain my reasons so she knows it's not just "no, because my mom is mean and doesn't want me to have any fun" she knows that our rules are grounded in being safe and respectful.

[deleted account]

No need. Here are statistics on kidnapping- which I guess is the #1 thing parents are fearful of: i. kidnapping makes up less than 2% of all violent crimes against youth.
ii. There are three types of kidnappings against children, family, acquaintance, and stranger.
iii. The Office of Juvenile Justice has found very few (4%) of all kidnappings occur in the vicinity of a school
And here is the reality of cell phone for tweens and young teens- : sexting , inappropriate pictures, being addicted to texting so that when they learn to drive they will be texting while driving. Our daughter got her cell phone when she started driving. Because she was not addicted to texting, she is know as the texting nazi- no -one drives and uses their cell phone sin ANY way if she is in the car. At age 11 your kid should be where she is supposed to be if not- she loses a privilege. Kids 2-14 WAY more likely to die in car accident than get abducted by a stranger.

Cindy - posted on 06/30/2011

13

0

0

Our 11 year old got a cell phone when she was 10 ONLY because it was cheaper to get our two daughters cell phones and cancel our landline. They were both given new chores to "pay" for their service. We got them the free phones and when my daughter turned 11, she used her birthday money to buy a better phone. Part of our decision to get them the phones at ages 10 & 11 was because our oldest wouldn't stay after school for math club because the late bus had a stop farther from home and she was scared to walk. It gives her a little sense of security to know she can call for help if something happens. It has actually become more of a convienience for me as well. Both girls were in school sports and let me tell you that is was nice to be able to have them text me when they left the "away" school, so I could judge what time they needed to be picked up.

Helen - posted on 06/30/2011

2

14

0

My son is 10 and has one for texting me when he gets to school and when he is leaving. so i know he is safe. He wanted the independence of walking to school with his friends and as it's a 5 min journey i know he is safe but he doesn't use it any other time.

Christine - posted on 06/28/2011

13

2

1

My son is 9 and has one. It's only $10/month to add him to our plan and it gives us soo much peace of mind. It's really come in handy when he's playing at a friends house and we need him to come home, and it's nice knowing that it's in his backpack at all times (on silent of course) for emergencies. We do have a data block on his phone to prevent any internet usage, etc.

Christine - posted on 06/28/2011

13

2

1

My son is 9 and has one. It's only $10/month to add him to our plan and it gives us soo much peace of mind. It's really come in handy when he's playing at a friends house and we need him to come home, and it's nice knowing that it's in his backpack at all times (on silent of course) for emergencies. We do have a data block on his phone to prevent any internet usage, etc.

Bec - posted on 06/27/2011

183

0

16

There is more and more people comming foward that are claimming to have ear,testicular and other cancers from mobile phones.The companies even advise that you don;t actually hold the phone to your ear to talk to help prevent it from happening.Oh and men get cancer down there from phones in there pocket all the time they say not to carry them in your clothes best in your bag.

Christina - posted on 06/24/2011

1

5

0

My daughter had her cell phone taken away because for that reason, she was always texting her friends and giving out info. that was not good. She has no respect for us at all. I am worried about my daughter.

Karla - posted on 06/23/2011

1,555

48

87

If she does get a cell phone, I would suggest having rules such as it must be turned off at 8 pm, etc.
I personally don't think an 11 year old needs a cell phone, and should not have one.

Mscorr - posted on 06/07/2011

27

39

1

tip if you do get her one..make sure it is unlimited txt..free eve and weekend. And call the provider and have them block Internet access. That was a hard lesson to learn.$$ so she can not download/brows or any of that..that is what is so $$

Chris - posted on 06/07/2011

96

13

8

Our daughter was 12 when she got hers, but that's because she would go with friends & I wanted to know where she was & with whom. If you should decide to get her one get the kind you pay for minutes in advance & give a time that you would get more minutes. 100 min for 2 month & it is to be used for emergencys only. We have a plan & share the minutes between 4 of us & haven't gone close to maxing out the minutes

Melodie - posted on 06/05/2011

28

0

3

My 12 yo son has a cell phone. We have rules. The phone is off at 9 at night and doesn't come on until 8 in the morning. I check his phone all the time and look online to make sure what I see on the phone matches the amount of texts he has really sent and recieved. He is very responsible with it and never goes over his minutes and really doesn't use it much. I did however have a problem with it at first. I graduated from High School in '96 and we didn't have cell phones. When I went out my parents always made sure I had a quarter. And I would check in with my parents but that didn't mean I told them where I really was. (You can lie with a cell phone too). The bottom line is you have to trust your kids if you they think are responsible enough for one than get them one. My 10 yo won't be getting a cell phone for awhile he isn't ready for one.

Klara - posted on 06/05/2011

136

87

16

My 11 yo has one so I can contact her when she's gone. However, its a prepaid, so she cannot run up the bill, and if she loses it, the world won't come to an end. Its a personal choice, but most of my daughter's classmates have one too.

Tiffany - posted on 05/28/2011

1

10

0

my son is now 11 and he has had a cell phone since he was 9 i think its important for kids to have one something could happen and they will always have a phone with them they just need to learn to use it responsibly his cell phone is a prepaid

Kathleen - posted on 10/06/2010

5

5

0

I THINK KIDS HAVING CELL PHONES ARE A GOOD THING. MY SON WAS 8 WHEN I GAVE HIM ONE I KNEW WHERE HE WAS AND WHO HE WAS WITH AT ALL TIMES, HE CHECKED IN WITH ME EVERY HALF HOUR HE STILL DOES AND HE IS 16. YOU CAN CONTROL WHAT THEY CAN AND CANNOT USE ON THE CELL PHONE. BELIEVE ME I KNOW I WENT THROUGH SO MANY PHONES BUT IT WAS THE PRICED THAT I WOULD PAY KNOWING THAT MY SON CAN CALL ME ANY TIME AND I COULD CALL HIM KNOWING HE WAS ALRIGHTWHEN HE WENT OUT TO PLAY THIS IS JUST MY OPPINION AND IT MADE MY LIFE ALOT EASIER,

Anna - posted on 10/01/2010

3

4

0

i use to think so untill all my children started going to school on the bus and they would need to contact me or their da about going to freinds houses etc but it depens on the kid i have 3 every social daughters that are never of their phones since they got them while my son seldom uses his

Kristina - posted on 04/28/2010

1

12

0

I bought my son a cell phone when he was ten, but their are rules, the cell phone does not goto school, it is shut off at bedtime, which is 8pm on school nights, and I reserve the right to check his text messages incoming and outgoing whenever i feel the need, he is a very responsible person and is always honest, he has a lot of freedom because he earns it, if your daughter is responsible enough and you and your husband agree on it I think it is okay to get it for her, but I would make sure you set ground rules as far as the phone, it is great for him to have especially when he is out with friends riding around on bikes and needs to check in or ask a question. Good luck to you. K

Della D - posted on 04/26/2010

2

13

1

I have 4 children ages 8, 11, 12, and 14. My boyfriend and I work 8-5 mon-fri. So I tried the whole giving my 14 yr old daughter a cell phone. We had no land line so a pre-paid phone was ideal for emergency use only. Boy was I wrong. Within a week the minutes were gone. My daughter thought she owned the world. So I paid my $256.00 phone bill so we could have the land line. No way am I giving my kids a cell phone. If they want one they can buy it and the minutes out of their own pocket.

Chiara - posted on 04/26/2010

39

16

3

my 4 year old has a cell phone so hey why not they are technology babies. my daughter has a g-1 she had side kicks but she wanted touch screen so hey why not?

Alexandria - posted on 04/26/2010

1

13

0

My son has one. I feel more conected that way even if he is just playing outside i his desinated area's. He also walks to and from school with another group of kids in good weather. He has to keep in touch with me during these time as well. If there is a worry about cost or whom they communicate with on their phone's, I would suggest the firefly phone's for children.

Kimberly - posted on 04/26/2010

11

30

1

I think 11 years old is too young to have a cell phone but I'm thinking of having one for when my kids are out biking or Boy Scout camping and times like that.

Becky - posted on 04/23/2010

34

19

0

I am having the same issue with my 11 yr old. She will be in middle school next fall so she will be involved in a lot more activities(sports clubs). I told her i would get her a phone so that i can get in touch with her and that way if there is problem like schedule changes or she needs a ride she can call. Hope this helps.

Kimberly - posted on 04/26/2010

11

30

1

I think 11 years old is too young to have a cell phone but I'm thinking of having one for when my kids are out biking or Boy Scout camping and times like that.

Amanda - posted on 04/20/2010

7

30

0

My daughter is 11 years old and she has a cell phone. I finally allowed her to have one because she walks quite a distance to school and walks to visit friends in our neighbourhood. It was mostly a safety concern on my part. Her dad got her a used phone that didn't cost much and I paid to activate it. Its on a pay as you go plan and she pays for her own time out of the money she earns from her paper route. I don't think putting an 11 year old on a regular cell plan is a wise decision. They need to learn more responsibility first.

Maikki - posted on 04/14/2010

2

18

0

i think we as mothers need to get with the times. My 11 year old has a cell phone. She knows her limits and sticks to them. plus with a lot of plans you can track usage online. why not? why do you think they are too young? Every child is different in maturity level. I believe there is nothing wrong with it!

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. ...
  8. 23

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms