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

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

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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?

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Becky - posted on 04/23/2010

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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.

Lynne - posted on 04/23/2010

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My oldest is 12, will be 13 in Nov. He had a cell when he was 11, it was pre paid, and it was because we didn't have a home phone. With husband & I having cells we didn't need a home phone.

But now he doesn't have one. He is in middle school. I will probably get him one for the next school yr, but he will have to earn the minutes that are put on it.

Amanda - posted on 04/20/2010

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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.

Chole - posted on 04/19/2010

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I am old fashioned and hate cell phones mostly because of the costs and constant interruptions, but got one mostly for work as I was on the road late at night a lot. I do see the convenience of it, but at the same time I think it makes people irresponsible - people call me all the time to change appointments - tell me they're running late, change meeting locations, etc. and I think that's rude. What's wrong with being where you say you will be when you said you would? It's too easy for people to change plans (i.e. jerk you around). Also, I find many young kids lose their phones too often. Some are more responsible, but we had one 12 year-old on a weekend ski trip with us once who every other hour was looking for her phone she misplaced. It was really annoying. Even just recently, at age 14, she spilled soda on it - took the SIM card out - and then lost that! We found it a day after she left. I mean, we have a land line, and so did the ski cabin and the adults in charge had cell phones. The girl didn't need a phone in either situation. Also, there is a lot more drama because kids can reach each other immediately and react accordingly - without much thinking. They also will use it late at night - especially at sleepovers - to call kids of the opposite sex. The sleepover I just had for my 12 year-old was just that. They stayed up late - not to be silly with each other - but they were all on their cell phones at 2 in the morning. My kids all get their phones in 9th grade. Unless you live in a very remote area (where the cell phone probably won't work anyway) the kids don't need them. And to all you parents who gave your young boys cell phones - thanks for the middle of the night prank calls we couldn't trace because your sons were using the cell phones you gave them. When we called back to talk to a parent - guess what? There was no parent on the other end - just the jerk who called. You have no idea what your kids are doing with the cell behind your back unless you check the call records. A good book to read on this subject is "Queen Bees & Wannabes." Don't be clueless.

Sue - posted on 04/14/2010

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As a mom of a 13 year old who got her cell phone from her dad at age 10 YES she is way too young for a cell phone!!!

Alicia - posted on 04/14/2010

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My 11 year old daughter has a cell phone. I gave it to her for her 10th birthday but that was th only present she got from me and she has to earn allowance to pay for her added line($10.00) a month. The only reason she got one was because she goes to her fathers house every other weekend & he refuses to let her call me if she wants to but it has taught her responsibility also.

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Mine has a cell phone, its my old one so no new one was purchased. He has to maintain at least a B in all classes to keep it. I gets taken away when he goes to bed and he doesnt take it to school. Its mostly for when he is away from the house so I can know where he is and he can check in. It can also be taken away and have to be earned back for other behavior infractions. This has worked better than taking away, TV, computer and visoe games combined. Just make sure to take a weekly review of the texts. I have had to have a talk with a girl's parents who sent an inapproapriate message.

Crissy - posted on 04/14/2010

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MY SON IS 11 AN THINKS HE SHOULD HAVE ONE FOR SAME REASON BUT I TOLD HIM HE DOESNT NEED ONE HIS FRINEDS CAN CALL MINE CUZ I DONT APPROVE OF HIS FRIENDS VERY MUCH AN THE FACT THAT HE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH TO TAKE CAE OF IT! PLUS I DONT THINK HE NEEDS ONE TIL HE HAS A JOB AN CAN HELP PAY FOR ONE!

Amy - posted on 04/14/2010

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My girls are 9,11,12 and 14 and none of them have cell phones...they are all too young. They have no need for a cell phone. I know where my kids are at all times. My 11, 12, and 14 year olds beg for cell phones all the time. Boys try calling for my two younger girls on the house phone and I won't allow it, they are way too young for that, if they had cell phones they'd be calling all the boys. I want to raise my kids right, with self-respect and morales...even though that is hard to do in today's world. Good luck on which ever way you decide.

Maikki - posted on 04/14/2010

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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!

Lydia - posted on 04/13/2010

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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.

Misty - posted on 04/13/2010

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same thing here yrsterdsy my daughter turned 11 an has been saying that for the last year "but everybody has one except me an i look like a fool ." thats what she says to me well i have unlimited text an free wee weekends so i have made a deal with her i let her use my cell on nights an weekends to see how it goes but she cant take it nowhere heheh

Amiee - posted on 04/13/2010

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I agree with you Jessica! My 11 year old son is resposible enough to handle it. It just depends on your situation.

Deirdre - posted on 04/13/2010

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My 12 year old son wants one in the worst way! But I definitely think it's going to be some time before he gets even a Trac phone...only because his best friend has a cell phone and when they went down to a field to play ball near our home, they call girls and meet up with them somewhere else when my child knows he isn't supposed to go somewhere else unless he asks. I have caught them down on one of our busy main streets many times, driving around looking for him, and this used to happen everytime they go to the field together. I don't mind my son hanging out with girls w/a little supervision...but he is sneaking off with his buddy who has the cell phone. ( Also his friend calls the 1-800 Porn phone calls!) So, I am not in favor of our son having a cell or Trac phone for now!

Padmini - posted on 04/12/2010

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a cell phone is actually reqd only for emergencies.Given to someone who just needs to connect tends to create a very tense environment at home.One has to be extremly clear while setting rules of usage. Punishments need to be clearly understood on both sides or be prepared for intense battles.

Kryss - posted on 04/12/2010

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Interesting question, I have a ten yr old he will be 11 in october. When I got my cell phone the "family" plan was a bit cheaper and i figured i would allow my son the privlidges if he could show responsibility. So i only allow when hes away such as spending the nite...or away on church trips...when he becomes at the level where hes mature enough to have it well on his own he can...i hope tht this helps and every child is different, mayb you should give her a chance to prove she is responsible she may suprise you.

Monica - posted on 04/12/2010

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Only if the child is very responsible. My son who just turned 11 got a touch screen phone this past X-Mas. Now my husband & I would have never done it if we knew he wasn't respnosible, good in school & showed us that his grades or home chores weren't going to get in the way! So we talked about the responsibility of having a phone, and we told him the cost of extra stuff on the phone will come out of his pocket. He's one to know about money also he, has his own saving account too! So any extra money he has he purchases his own games on the phone & he only texts his friends, cause if he goes over the minutes he has to pay for it.. It's been working out great !!!!!! : ) Also Too it depends on the child... I have another son 2 yrs. younger & we ask him if wants a phone or a bank account, or other responsiblities. He'll tell us NO He's Not Ready For It !!!!

Stacy - posted on 04/12/2010

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No, 11 yrs old is too young. If she wants a phone just because her friends do then definatly no. If u feel more comfortable giving her one then by all means but I would have it only be able to call u or another emergency number, not her friends because then that leads to texting and u know all the problems w/ that. Kids now a days want to grow up so fast and have all the technoligies that we have, u have to be responsable w/ these things, ur still a kids at 11, maybe 12 or even 13.

Stacy - posted on 04/12/2010

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No, 11 yrs old is too young. If she wants a phone just because her friends do then definatly no. If u feel more comfortable giving her one then by all means but I would have it only be able to call u or another emergency number, not her friends because then that leads to texting and u know all the problems w/ that. Kids now a days want to grow up so fast and have all the technoligies that we have, u have to be responsable w/ these things, ur still a kids at 11, maybe 12 or even 13.

Gina - posted on 04/12/2010

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I don't see any problems with them having a cell phone, especially if they help pay for it. It not only gives some sense of security incase of emergencies, etc, but also teaches them responsibilties. Each child is different though.

Keodiretse - posted on 04/12/2010

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My daughter is 11 & hs 1 & she uses it mostly whn sh is going away 4 hr drummy competitions.She leavs th phne at home whn she goes 2 school & in most instances she even 4gts she hs one & i dnt thnk giving a 11 yr ols a cellphone is a problm at all.

Melodie - posted on 04/12/2010

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I don't think they should have one at that age but my ex bought our 3 youngest children a cell phone when they were [each] 7 yrs old. I argued but wasted my breath. I do like our 12 yr old daughter to have hers when she's away from the house. Our 8 yr old keeps losing hers, way too young to be that responsible. But if he wants to foot the bill, so be it.

A friend of mine bought their daughter one of those that the parent programs 4 numbers in it for their 9 yr old. They work a lot & their daughter is with a sitter a lot. Her sitter doesn't allow her to use the phone to call her mom so this is why she bought her one.

Bobi Jo - posted on 04/11/2010

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My son travels to another state every summer to see his father, so he has had a cell phone since he was 7 years old. Now at age 11; I insist he has it on him and on at all time. When I was young I would take off on my bike and be home at dark and my Mother never knew where I was, Now days that is not possible I will not let him ride bike with his friends if his phone is not charged and on him, for my peace of mind. I know all his passwords to access his phone at any time. His friends can reach him without beeping in when I am on the phone, etc. As long as you set rules and have a good relationship with you child it is a positive thing. If you do not have a good relationship with your child it doesn't matter if they are using a cell phone or a land line they can get in to trouble with either, with the cell phone you can track them if needed. Cell phones are not a luxury item like they were years ago they are a necessity item in today's world.

Tanya - posted on 04/11/2010

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My son is also 11 and has a cell phone under the understanding it is for emergencies only and when it is not needed it sits in my room in a "safe place". If peace of mind is what you want knowing she can go on trips/afterschool care and be able to contact you should something happen or vice versa, then go with your gut instinct. Womens instincts are usually correct :)

Tanya - posted on 04/11/2010

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I think it depends on the child. I let my children (11 yr old twins) have 1 each with the agreement that they could only text and I could and WOULD look at their text conversations any time I wanted and if they EVER had a problem with it they were gone!! The checking their texts is to make sure everything is on the up and up. One of their friends was found sending bad pics he founf on the internet to friends. If my kids ever get something questionable they RUN to me and say mom look I just got it. I praise them. It's actually been a good thing for us. The calls have to be approved first. It's a lot of extra parental responsibility so I'd think about it hard. It does give them a little situation to 'prove' they are responsible. :)

Tanya - posted on 04/11/2010

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I think it depends on the child. I let my children (11 yr old twins) have 1 each with the agreement that they could only text and I could and WOULD look at their text conversations any time I wanted and if they EVER had a problem with it they were gone!! The checking their texts is to make sure everything is on the up and up. One of their friends was found sending bad pics he founf on the internet to friends. If my kids ever get something questionable they RUN to me and say mom look I just got it. I praise them. It's actually been a good thing for us. The calls have to be approved first. It's a lot of extra parental responsibility so I'd think about it hard. It does give them a little situation to 'prove' they are responsible. :)

Crystal - posted on 04/10/2010

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well can you trust her to use the phone responsiblly and not for talking to older boys or surfing the web on it and downloading inapropriate things. or going over in her minutes.

My 11 year old boy has one and he does great with it he actually barely uses it now hes got it. I think he wanted it more for show.

You might try getting a track phone at first and let earn the money herself to the minutes, giveing her time to prove her self and you time to get used to the idea.

Beverly - posted on 04/10/2010

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I gave my son a cell phone last yr on is 10th B-Day it is very convient he calls me when he is walking home from school, after practice. I can call him if he is at a friends house, I like the fact that I can keep in touch with him when I am working or he is not home.

Carlena - posted on 04/10/2010

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Our 12 yr old wants one,and we've told her no. There is NO reason for her to need one. If she goes on trips for Girl Scouts, her leaders have cell phones, and I've given her mine to use other occasions. She has not come up with a good enough reason to need it. She's in middle school, but the office will let them call home if needed. When she starts babysitting next fall, we've talked about getting a prepaid phone, or letting her use one of ours for those times. Otherwise she will not be getting one till highschool. There is no reason for it.

Kirsty - posted on 04/10/2010

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We have just bought our daughter a pay as you go mobile for her 11th birthday, she is going to be starting secondary school in september, and will be travelling by bus so she is to use it for emergencies (if she misses the bus etc) She will have a limit on the credit we put on it for her, but I can still get hold of her if I need to. It is a safety thing for us. We did make sure that it is a basic phone though, she can only call and text. There is no camera, internet or anything else on it.

Bridgett - posted on 04/10/2010

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My 12 and 7 yr old sons have phones. I always know where they are. The 7 yr old of course can only stay on this street but I always know whos house he's at. It's like when our parents didnt think we needed beepers!! LOL We have with roll with the changes.

Cynthia - posted on 04/10/2010

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My kids have a cell phone between the 3 of them, 11, 12, 14. they have only our numbers and grandparents numbers on it. Thats the only people they can call. It is for emergencies when they are doing their neighbor dog jobs because they walk in the woods and if I run to the store they can use that to save minutes blah blah. It is not a chat, call my friends phone. I personally think that there are occasions that someone should have a cell, but for just hanging out on it, You know your child best. Is this really where you wnat your daughters priorities to lie?

JESAL - posted on 04/10/2010

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if the child is travelling for tutions or some classes then it is always better for the child to have a phone . now a days both the parents are working , it helps to keep track of the child's whereabouts. also there is no need to give really fancy phones , basic ones will do for this matter. if the child is going to be home all the time then there is no need for the phone.

Jackie - posted on 04/10/2010

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My daughter got a cell phone for Christmas when she was 9 and the reason behind it is that first of all we don not have a house phone / land line so when my husband or I want to run a quick errand we know that she has some way to contact us. Our plan had unlimited minutes after a certain time of the day so she is learning responsibilty that way and to play attention to what time it is. Also it does give us some peace of mind when she walks the few blocks to grandma's house after school. I have her call me from either grandma's house or her phone when she arrives safely there. I figured it would be a matter of time before she would want one and this way she can be responsible for it. She loses it she buys the next one. Not only that but her phone is identical to mine so I can help her learn @ her phone and navigate it (although she pretty much has that mastered). She has had her phone for @ 4 mos now and only misplaced it 1 time to where someone else could have gotten it if we had not noticed it). Also since her friends are out of school and call me on my phone to reach her they are not bothering me at work.

Laurie - posted on 04/10/2010

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My oldest got a cell phone when he was in 5th grade, and my youngest got one when he was 9. They got them mostly so I could get in touch with them when I needed to. To be honest, my youngest son hardly ever uses it, but it is nice to know he has it. They are on the unlimited text/talk plan, because it's cheapest for me. I did block all downloads and access to the internet. My oldest son went through a phase where he texted constantly, but he's pretty much past that now.

Emma - posted on 04/10/2010

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My 10 and 11 year old both have mobile phones they are both on pay as you go and both have to earn their top ups. my 10 year old uses it to speak to grandparent and a few friends from her old school and to me if she is away from home. My 11 year old uses it to let me know when she finishes school speaks to family and friends and check on any homework with friends(it has also been used in the school toilet in mad panic if she has left homework on her desk at home) I always know where she is as her phone is always with her. It also gives me piece of mind that i can get in touch with them when they are not with me .

Barbara - posted on 04/09/2010

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I think that cwll phones are both bad and good: bad because the lay the way open to cyber-bullying etc and other ways to corrupt young impressionable mins, but then again, you can keep tabs on a chld with a cell: You can call them if you are worried, and they can call you if they wanna stay out longer, and if tthey get into real trouble (which happens sometimes, with or without a cell) they can phone the emergency services. However... do NOT buy her a top-of-the-ranhe band new model; that would be like sticking a massive sign over her head saying "I got lots of money - muggers this way please!". Get her a very basic, simple or even second hand phone to begin with; one that NO-ONE is gonna want to be that interested with. You also then make sure that it remains a tool, not a new toy.

AnnMarie - posted on 04/09/2010

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I just added a phone to my plan for my 11 yr old son......with stipulations on his part. I told him that if I call and he doesnt answer or atleast call me back within 15 minutes that I would have to take the phone from him. It's been working out well so far. It's great because I can now reach him at any given time and his phone it=s equipped with gps tracking. So id I need to locate him I can just go online and track hisexact whereabouts anytime I need to.



As I said....so far so good

ANGELA - posted on 04/09/2010

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MY DAUGHTER IS TURNING TWELVE 4/10 AND SHE'S GETTING A CELL PHONE. IT DEPENDS ON THE CHILD , THE GRADES, AND IF YOU THINK THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE. TO EACH IT'S OWN!!!!

Jamie - posted on 04/09/2010

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I have an 11 year old son and he has one. The main reason I got him one was because he was walking home from school and I wanted him to be able to call me if he felt unsafe or if something happened. His father and I are not together and so when he goes to his dad I like to know I can get a hold of him or he can call me anytime. I cannot rely on his dad being home or even answering the phone sometime and they don't have cell phones so this is a way for me to keep tabs on my son. If there is no reason for them to have it, then no, he would not have even gotten a phone yet but it is more for a security for me then for anyone else.

Tammy - posted on 04/09/2010

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My daughter is almost 15 and she still doesn't have one. Here's my stance... once she gets to the point that she is away from me - more often... not 1 evening a month, etc... then we will talk. She used to stay on us about it, however we are finding now that more parents of her friends feel the very same way. It has made things easier. Good luck on your decision.

Michelle - posted on 04/09/2010

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My 11 year old has a cell phone. She has had one for a year now. I struggled with the decision at first. Ultimately it was a good move. First we do not have a house phone, so now she had a way for her friends to get ahold of her and vice versa. Also, she visits her father every other weekend (in another state), and I was having a hard time getting ahold of her when trying to contact her through her father. I have been very strict with her minute usage and text message usage. She is not allowed to delete texts, I review them, then delete them. I keep track of how many via our on line bill. It is the first thing she loses if she gets in trouble. She has been very responsible with it knowing that is she loses it or breaks it, she is responsible for the deductible ($50). I think it depends on the kid and the circumstances.

Janelle - posted on 04/09/2010

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I think unfortunately this is the sign of the electronic era we are living in. I didn't let my son get one until he was 12, however the reason he got it was because he had to catch a bus to and from school and there was a gap of 20 minutes when he was alone on either end of the day when I left for work and my husband got home. In saying this he got the cheapest most basic phone and the lowest amount of credit available. He has never had a plan credit phone. Now that he is turning 13 - he has to do jobs at home to earn his credit, so he learns the value of it.

Janelle - posted on 04/09/2010

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I think unfortunately this is the sign of the electronic era we are living in. I didn't let my son get one until he was 12, however the reason he got it was because he had to catch a bus to and from school and there was a gap of 20 minutes when he was alone on either end of the day when I left for work and my husband got home. In saying this he got the cheapest most basic phone and the lowest amount of credit available. He has never had a plan credit phone. Now that he is turning 13 - he has to do jobs at home to earn his credit, so he learns the value of it.

Janelle - posted on 04/09/2010

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I think unfortunately this is the sign of the electronic era we are living in. I didn't let my son get one until he was 12, however the reason he got it was because he had to catch a bus to and from school and there was a gap of 20 minutes when he was alone on either end of the day when I left for work and my husband got home. In saying this he got the cheapest most basic phone and the lowest amount of credit available. He has never had a plan credit phone. Now that he is turning 13 - he has to do jobs at home to earn his credit, so he learns the value of it.

Dana - posted on 04/09/2010

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A lot of parents have thier child texting from their phones... I personally hate having my phone beep out of no where with a text for my daughter... I monitor what my kids talk about and try to keep up with who they are talking to at any given moment... but I really don't need to read word for word what some 10 yrs old is trying to text about her stuffed dog she just got and loves so much! Lol!! Thats the stuff my 10 yr old texts about.

Katherine - posted on 04/09/2010

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I really think it depends more on the maturity level than the age. My son is 10 and got a phone from his dad about 4 months ago. It has offered him not only the chance to learn the importance of responsibility, but also allowed him more freedom. I hated the idea of him going out of my sight; with his cell, I have been able to begin working with him on going over to a neighborhood friend's house and learning the importance of checking in. He doesn't use it to just talk to whomever he wants; it's for specific uses like going to a friend's house or calling his dad. So, with limits in place, it has been a great tool to bring him to a higher level of responsibility... and can also be taken away for discipline if needed.

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Paula - kids are allowed too much freedom today? Really? 30, 40, 50 years ago, there wasn't nearly as much hysteria over kidnappings and children had much more freedome to roam the neighborhoods. Nowadays, parents are much more protective than in the past and don't allow freedom until a much older age. But we have to start allowing them freedom someday, that's how they learn responsibility. If you constantly supervise them, they'll never have a chance to mess up and learn how to handle responsibility.

Kimberly - posted on 04/26/2010

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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

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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

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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!

Lydia - posted on 04/13/2010

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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.

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