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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Karen - posted on 02/01/2010

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@ months later so I don't know if you'll read this but...I believe it depends on the individual child.Are they responsible?Are the active in things away from you for an extended period of time?Do they constantly lose or break their belongings?

My daughters are 10 and 11 and both have phones,but....they are both away from me sometimes for hours.They do sports,acting,singing.Sometimes one will be on a trip to the city for 1/2 the day.Even around the corner I want to be in touch with them instantaneously.Several times I'll call a home and no one answers.

There are consequences if they forget their phone or don't call me when they get somewhere,grounding.They are not allowed on the phone after a certain time of night.on my plan I got the phones for about $10 each and costs about the same per month for the extra phones.

We tried walkie talkies,didn't work.Many others can pickup the frequency(which happened) and bad things can happen.

I find I can't rely on others to answer their phones,but I can rely on my girls to.When they don't,they come home and it's taken away.

Good luck with your choice

Wendy - posted on 02/01/2010

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My 11 year old has had a cell phone for over a year now for emergencies; she takes it to school and keeps it off and if she needs me she can turn it on and call me. At home she can use the house phone. If she wants to use her cell phone she can but she has had it for so long the novelty has worn off. If she goes on her bike to her girlfriend's house she takes her phone so we can call her if she needs to come home.

Jamey - posted on 01/31/2010

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I started my 11 year old out with a prepaid at age 9 so she and her sister had a way to call me when they went with thier dad since he does not allow them phone access. I found it a great thing to have if I was running late and needed to let them know..or parked somewhere i didn't usually when picking them up. She was very responsible with the phone so I added her to my plan. It cost me 10.00 a month for her phone service since we share minutes...and I don't have my phone constantly ringing with children wanting to talk. I monitor the content on her phone..and with online parental control I can set who she speaks to, recieves messages from, and what times of the day she can recieve them. I find it convenient for me..and for them. I would definately call the child's mom and discuss it with her tho.

Jessica - posted on 01/31/2010

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My 12 year old son has had his own cell phone for two years already and we have no problems. At first he only used it to call us and his grandparents, but he now also calls his friends. He does have unlimited texts, but he's very responsible. I think how he was slowly given more responsiblity with it helped. Not all kids can handle having a cell phone, but many can, you just have to consider what your child can handle and your particular situation.

Kelly - posted on 01/30/2010

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My son has a mobile and he is 11 yrs but he only uses it going and coming back from seniors school as its not the local one and i can call him when i'm going shopping and need him to meet me. He doesn't use it when we going out but if he goes around a friends house who i don't have the number for he takes it so i can connect him if need be.
I agreed until he went seniors about it being too young but it makes me and him feel tat i'm with him if something happens which has done when someone punched him outside school the other day and he called me straight away and i came and picked him up.

Kelly - posted on 01/29/2010

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Try the pay as you go phones. That's what we did for my 11yr old last year and he was so responsible with it that we decided to add him to our plan. Any mistakes he made (texting too much, giving his number to someone who calls too much or too late) he made with the pay as you go phone and had learned his lesson before it cost us too much on our plan. Really helps mom have peace of mind too!

Anita - posted on 01/29/2010

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I don't think they need a cell phone until they are actually going places without you. Now that my daughter is 14 and in middle school I have given her one for emergencies, or when she and her friends (the buddy system..lol) go to our hometown park across the street from our home because I like to know where she is and what she is doing at all times.

Kim - posted on 01/28/2010

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NO WAY, my daughter age 10 wants one also but since she is taken to and from school in a special needs bus and is picked up and dropped off at my door and all other times she is with me. she doesn't need one. However if your step daughter walks to and from school by herself then It might be considered. But just because her friends have one doesn't mean she needs one. good luck

Elvia - posted on 01/28/2010

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This past Holloween, my 11 year old wanted to go trick or treating with his friends, This time without a parent. I allowed him to go but I wanted him to take my cell for my own peace of mind. My husband decided to get him a $20.00 tracfone instead. This has been the best thing ever. This little phone takes pictures, has texting capability and best of all there is no contract. He still has that phone and we have not had to replenish his minutes, which by the way, would be purchased by him with own allowance. He takes his phone with him when he goes outside to play and I can reach him at any time. And if were to loose it, we would only be $20.00 off. I will never forget his little face when his Dad gave him the phone, He felt so special!

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My sons are 11 and 9 and they have had phones for over a year. They have £5 a month put on their phones but most months i dont have to because they still have money left on there anyway. They only use them when they are going out alone so that i can call to see they are fine or for them to call me to say where they are going if it somewhere different to where thay said they were going. It gives me peace of mind to know that i can phone them and know they are ok. They dont give their numbers out to anyone except family. I really dont understand what the problem is.

Jossie - posted on 01/28/2010

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the pressure is the environment she is in but my opinion is its to early for her to have one its only peer pressure but she will get used to not having one.just talk to her about the risks eg ahe will think she is very mature to make decisions and to me she is still a kid who needs your guidenes

Heather - posted on 01/27/2010

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i think you should do what you think is right, it appears that kids are getting things because their friends have them, it's called keeping up with the jonses syndrome, if you think she needs one, get one, if you don't, then don't parents all over the world are losing their respect to children that say "i want" so the parents hand it over.

Maria - posted on 01/27/2010

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As far as loosing it, we make our kids take it out of their allowance for the new sim card; then they have to use "the old" phone. (we have 5 lines and always keep the old phones) The "old phone" we make them use is VERY OLD.

Maria - posted on 01/27/2010

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Our son has had a cell phone since he was 9, but he leaves it behind almost always unless I "make" him take it with him. Yet I think it is good for kids to have conversations with peers. Most providers have a way to put time limits, text limits, all that stuff for a nominal fee. You can also monitor the usage and phone numbers with your provider by checking online. Talk to your provider, they have lots of ways to track what your kids do, shoot they can even track where the phone is (it may be a good way to always know where she is?) There are lots of positive reason for kids this age to have cell phones, especially in todays world. What if she is in a situation away from you and needs you? But trust your hear, if you are married come into agreement, also be sure to include her "mom".

Vera - posted on 01/27/2010

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Well my son has been asking for one since he was eight yrs old. So when he turned 10 i got one for him. But the phone is prepaid, and all the numbers in his phone were programmed by me. And he dosen't even know his own number so he can't give it out to his friends . And he has used it only to call me or his dad or other family members and it has worked out great for us. And the best thing he never uses up his minutes.

Renee - posted on 01/27/2010

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My children have had cell phones since they were 10... This way I can always keep up with them and know they are safe.

April - posted on 01/25/2010

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i have a 13 year old that has had a cell phone since she was about 10. my reasoning was she was playing sports and having practice and i needed a way to communicate with her directly. that was the only reason she got one so early. i dont think they need one at such an early age but it does keep them off of ur phone.

Ann - posted on 01/25/2010

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i think a 11 yrs old is to young for a her. i have a 11 yrs old daughter & she want a cell phone & i waon't get her one cuz i think to young for one. but i let her a facebook & i limit her 2 hours every once in awhile & she happy for that, so try that instead ok...
talk to later., Ann

Stacy Jo - posted on 01/25/2010

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my neighbor gave her daughter a cell phone at age 10. She proved she wasn't mature enough and was constantly losing it, dropping it and it won't charge anymore. She has gotten it taken away more times than I can remember because of her carelessness. So, personally, I say not only no, but heck no. Cell phones should only be given to teens when you need a means to check up on them.

Sarah - posted on 01/24/2010

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I disagree I think that u could get a prepaid cell phone. That's what my daughter has and that way I don't have to worry about an out ragous cell bill. She has one for the fact that she is in the middle school and if she needs me i am easily accessable to her.
I believe its a family to family decision. Good luck with what u decide to do.

Monica - posted on 01/24/2010

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No I think they are not mature enough at 11 I just took my daughters' cell lastnite and broke it in half,you would be suprised what these kids talk and text about these days and I will tell you it damn sure anit about bratz barbies,or highschool musical! so to answere your question.hell no don't do it

Anita - posted on 01/24/2010

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My daughter is 12 now, but she's had a cell phone since she was 11. She has to wait on school buses twice a week with only two other girls on a corner that has a bit of traffic on it and not a lot of people around that time of the morning. The other three days of her week, she has to go to school much earlier on a different bus to go to her music class. When she has to wait for that bus, it's still dark outside. And there is not always someone to wait with her.

They are fine if it's used in the way I have my daughter use hers; only in an emergency or if she's out with friends on the weekend and we need to contact her or she us and they are not where there is a phone. There are too many people out there that can and will try to hurt our kids if we don't arm them with some way to better protect themselves.

Just get the "cheapest of the cheap" phone on the cheapest per month rate. Or, if you have a cell phone, put them on your plan. I have a cell package with T-Mobile and me and my daughter share 700 minutes a month for $50. We never use up all of our minutes, either.

Carole - posted on 01/24/2010

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Yes, a child at eleven should have a cell phone if they are traveling back and forth to school without you driving them there or attending any after school activities . If the child is responsible and you can monitor his usage why not? speak to your child and advise him of the consequences that come with abusing his cell phone and also let him know that you trust him to be responsible with his usage. I know some companies have it where you can create a circle for those people you choose for your child to speak with , so maybe look into that. In the end the only thing we can do is trust that your children will make good choices but we as mothers must keep a close eye on them from a distance if that makes any sense so that we don't lose them to technology or any other outside influences. God bless.

Kameisha - posted on 01/23/2010

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I definitely agree with Simone. I monitor my sons phone usage too. Down to the picture messages. He knows there should be no sexting or profanity of any kind in his messages. My son doesnt use profanity but his friends sure do and he knows if I see it Im calling whoever sent the message and he doesnt want that to happen.

Kameisha - posted on 01/23/2010

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I think at 11yr old you should have a cell phone but only if she is responsible enough. My son has had a cell since he was 7yrs old, mainly because I am a single mother. He didnt use it unless it was an emergency to call either myself or my mother and he knows not to answer any numbers he does not already have programmed in his phone. Now, at 12yrs old, he only texts. Which, of course, now has to be unlimited because his friends only text.

Lisa - posted on 01/22/2010

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such peer pressure...my daughter is 11 and is teased because she dont have one UGH!!! Maybe when she is not home more often we will get her one but for now i see no need for it because she is always home..and if she does go somewhere i give her mine to use...kids are so spoiled now just cause i survived not having one and so will she in an emergency she can use a friends...

Amy - posted on 01/22/2010

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I got one for my son when he started high school and was involved in sports that traveled. We needed to know when practices were going to start, if games got moved, etc. Before that he never talked on any phone as he never wanted too. Now he is always texting (thank god for unlimited text) but I find they start talking to kids from other states (get their numbers from facebook, etc), taking comprosing pictures that could ruin their lives if they got out and sending them back and forth to opposite sex (old days was Playboy, electronic age is phones with cameras and so many have phones) and voting for things that costs. You need to be very open with child and monitor closely. My son is not a bad child but teens are curious and times have changed. If there is no specific need for a child to have a cell phone then I don't believe it is necessary.

Sandy - posted on 01/21/2010

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My 11 year old (12 in April) has a cell phone and has had one for the past 2? years. She's very responsible with it (and always has been). She keeps it on, I can reach her anytime and vice versa. I don't allow texting for the mere reason that I can't STAND to see tweens/teenagers texting constantly - it drives me crazy and my kids will NOT do that! You can actually block texting on a Verizon plan, but I haven't had to do that. My daughter has receive a few texts and she sends them a STRONGLY worded text back to never do it again! Her friends know not to text her. I like the fact that she had to make that clear to her friends as opposed to "Oh, my mom has it blocked." She knows that she'll get in trouble if I start seeing a ton of texts on the bill. We have a very minimum plan with shared minutes and we haven't ever gone over. I think it's great!

Val - posted on 01/20/2010

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my grandchildren got their phones at 10 and 11. they play basketball and often go with friends accompainied by other parents. we need to be able to be intouch with them when they are away. yes they use them to speak to their friends and almost all of their friends have phones too.

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My response to my boys is always, "it's not about a number." I don't promise anything or any privelege based on their age, but everything is based on their level of responsiblity, and my & my husband's discernment. We did get our boys a cell phone at 12 years old each, but both boys are made to pay for their service while still understanding it's a privilege that can be taken away.

Christina - posted on 01/11/2010

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Did you have one when you were 11?
No? Me either.We survived didn't we.How?Use a pay phone.Now she can always use a friends phone since so many of them have one.
No they don't need one.What situation is she going to be in that would require her to need one anyway?She's too young to go too many places without an adult.
My 13 yr wants one and I have said no.Its an unnecessary cost.

Sabrina - posted on 01/10/2010

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I gave my son a prepaid one with no texting allowed to use because he is in so many before and after school activities and wants to visit his friends. It is a good way to keep tabs on him and he knows i am always a phone call away

Karen - posted on 01/09/2010

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All mine, except the toddler of course, have mobile phones, they pay for them out of either their part time job (oldest 2) or pocket money (middle 2). They all walk to school and it gives me great peace of mind knowing I can reach them if I need to.

Of course it doesn't have to be the most expensive, fanciest thing on the market, just something simple and cheap is fine cause kids are kids and there is a good chance it will get lost.

Sue - posted on 01/08/2010

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My 11 year old son has one because he goes out with friends to play. Although we live in a safe area I like to know where he is and what he's doing so I know he's ok.

Jayme - posted on 01/06/2010

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I think the cell phone thing for children is out of hand. What Child at 11 takes care of there things? I allow my daughter to use mine when she goes somewhere to reach me but most of us can just look in there bedrooms and know they are not responsible enough to keep track of them. I think we didnt have them when we were there age why are we allowing all of this change. We feel pressured to do it because other parent feel like they need to keep up with the Jones. I agree when they are old enough to take care of the expensise they will take better care of it. We have the peerpressure because of other parents giving in. I also have seen first hand what Children are doing with some of these phones and they are children that nobody whould think are sending sex texing and naked photos. Let kids be kids stop trying to mature them buy giving them everything they want.

Cidalia - posted on 01/06/2010

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My ex MIL gave my son a cell phone when he was 11 (without consulting with me), and I took it away. It's too young and for many reasons:

They don't understand the value of a dollar and can't appreciate the costs associated with having and using a cell phone. A lot of people are raising a generation of "I want it now." Today's kids have no appreciation for delayed gratification and how hard it is to earn a dollar because parents give them everything so they're not disappointed. That's part of the reason why we're seeing so many young people in debt. They want everything NOW.

Disappointment is a valuable lesson in and of itself. So many parents can't bear to see their child disappointed.... Those children will not be prepared for real life. Real life guarantees disappointment. Those kids will be the future 30-year-olds who still live with their parents, unemployed.

Another reason: An 11-year-old is usually at school or at home. They simply don't need a cell phone. They want to call their friends? They can use the home phone.

And as another poster mentioned: It only invites trouble. You can't monitor everything going on with that cell phone. And even if, as another poster said, you trust your SD and she is open with everything, she just doesn't need it. There is value in hearing NO once in a while.

Kymberley - posted on 01/05/2010

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11 is far too young. My daughter is 13 and she is now saving to get one for high school. I would prefer with her riding a city bus to school and back that she have one for emergency or to contact me if she wants to go elesewhere after school etc.
Too many young kids have them and are going nuts with texting and chatting and it is insane.

Miriam - posted on 01/05/2010

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My son Gaven, 12, just received a cell phone for Christmas with the conditions that it is a prepaid phone until he is done with college (if I am to be paying for it in any way), he must help pay for minues through chores getting done at home or finding small jobs around the neighborhood, must stay in extra-curricular activities which forces him to keep his grades up, and that the phone does not go to school with him! I even made a written contract for him to sign that is posted on the refrigerator for his constant reminder and that breaking any conditions of this agreement results in losing the cell phone until he is able to pay for it on his own. I have not had too much problems with it so far. I am just grateful that he doesn't like to type too much so I don't have to worry about him texting too much.

Dianna - posted on 01/03/2010

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My 10 year old has a cell phone. it is a prepaid one that he can use his allowance to purchase minutes for. it sure keeps him off the phone and it does come in handy to know he is safe and be able to reach him when needed.

Hannah - posted on 01/02/2010

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yeah i agree i think 11 is too young also. I think sometimes it depends on the situation. I think if my 10 year old walked to and from school maybe i would allow them to have a go-phone..BUT my daughter rides the bus. And though some of her friends have one..i think at this age there really isnt a point to it. My daughter isnt allowed to go to a store/mall without an adult yet so there isnt a need to give her one for that reason. Personally i think its a waste of money at this age. But every familly has different dynamics.

I think if your stepdaughter's only reason to having one so that she can keep in touch with friends..then its not worth it. She can use the home phone.

My daughter asked me for one once and i told her the reasons why and she hasnt asked..i told her at 14 we would talk about it and only then if she is going out with her friends by herself to the mall or movies or if she gets involved with after school activities where she would need a ride home.

Glory - posted on 01/01/2010

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Yes. I am very old fashion, My oldest daughter did not get a phone until she was 16. You hardly see pay phones any more..first I got my youngest daughter (10 years old)a prepaid phone, with conditons. ...she was set guidelines to follow...she proved to respect her prepaid phone...now 11 she got a sidekick for Christmas...sidekick is a phone, also texting, and she can go on line....she likes to aim her friends..she hardly uses the phone but I feel secure that although the school does not allow cell phones, that she knows she can call me anytime in case of an emergency and I can call her..I would first get your stepdaughter a prepaid phone with limited minutes of airtime and see if she limits herselve...and respect that previlege...

Debi - posted on 01/01/2010

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Depends on how active she is like after school activities and things, how responsible is she. Make her earn it if you decide to get one she will take better care of it. I have two daughters one 14 and the other almost 11 my youngest is more responsible then the oldest but she never goes anywhere without me so she does not need one maybe when she starts going places but I do allow her to text her friends from mine about 20 minutes a day but not all at once. My oldest bought her own with Birthday money and does things to earn money for more minutes. Good luck

Dawn - posted on 01/01/2010

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What I did with my son was a pre-paid phone. That way I can manage how much time he spends on the phone. When he runs out of mins. No more until next month, and he has a rule that he has to keep at least 5 mins. emergency time for me. We don't have a home phone, so this was best in our case. Just to call friends...at 11....I kind of agree with you.

Darla - posted on 12/31/2009

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I wanted to reply to the cell phone question. I have a 11 yr old daughter that wants a cell phone also. I believe that the only reason she would need one is if she was going places without me. She don't unless she is with family which have cells. So I have not gotten her one. I told her when she is old enough to work and pay her own cell bill, she can get one.

Beth - posted on 12/31/2009

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I agree, 11 is to young. But my step-daughter is 11 also & her mom got her 1 this past summer when we went on vacation. She lost a brand new phone on the bumper cars at an amusement park. Her mom had another one waiting for her when we got back home a week & a half later. Her dad & I do limit her use when she's here though. Other wise she'd be texting her friends till the wee hours of the morning. Other than that, what can we do. She lives with her mom full time & only visit us on weekends, holidays & summer vacation.

Ingrid - posted on 12/31/2009

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I see this way if she goes to school by herself and walks home by herself or a younger sibling then yes its a saftey procaution. I tell my kids you want to talk to you friend then heres 50 cents and then call. or use the house phone. I know all the kids have a phone i am constantly reminded. My oldest daughter has a pre-paid one that she got for christmas but she is 13 and walks the younger ones home. My older son who is 14 has one but goes to high school by public transportation and again its pre-paid. saftey procaution. nothing else. if she wants one tell her she can have one when she gets a job if its only for friend use. but if its a saftey procaution then yes pre-paid.

Elena - posted on 12/31/2009

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it depends on the situation. If the child is traveling alone (as mine is) then yes- for safety reasons. If not then well its up to you- sometimes the social status of a kid depends upon their having or doing something- is this an issue for your child?

Nicey - posted on 12/31/2009

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My 11 y/o has also been begging for a cell phone, we recently had her birthday party and it was a sleep over, 4 out of the 7 girls had phones, so of course the begging got worse. I tell her that she cannot have a phone untill she is 16 and driving. plus she'll need to work so she can pay for it. We never had cell phones growing up, heck we didn't have anything close to what kids have today, I think a cell phone is a grown up thing, and i think we let our kids do "grown up" things, then wonder why they start doing other grown things before they're ready, my daughter doesn't have any kind of interest in make-up or jewlery, she thinks the Jonus Brothers are cute, but thats where the "boy craze" ends. i see kids my daughters age and younger weariung full make-up, carring purses and cell phones, like they're 20...i just think we should let our kids stay innocent for as long as possible.

Jean - posted on 12/30/2009

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I believe you are right. I have an 11 almost 12 year old daughter and she wants a cell phone too but we don't think that kids should have phones. Some of my daughters friends have cell phone too but I don't believe that kids of this age can do the things they are suppose to do when they have a cell phone. I only use a prepaid phone for myself and my business so I told my daughter that when she was older we would see about getting her a prepaid phone and then she would have to manage her minutes. She keeps asking for one but it just isn't going to happen.
Good luck and stick to your guns.

Jen - posted on 12/30/2009

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I have a 10 yr old and 11 yr old who currently have cell phones. Although they are prepaid. They have them when ever they leabe the house with out me. You never know if they need you or you need them. They buy their own refill cards with their allowence so it shows them that it costs money to use it.

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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