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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Ambi - posted on 04/07/2010

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My 11 year old son got his cell phone for his last birthday. We have strict restrictions on it. He is not allowed to take it to school. The main reason we got it for him were those rare occasions when he has to be dropped off at a sports practice where one of us can't stay there. He recently exchanged numbers with couple of friends but he has very limited text messages. It has not been a problem.

Angela - posted on 04/07/2010

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We got our daughter a cell phone when she was 9. It is on our plan with Verizon, has a GPS tracker and is a restricted line, meaning that the only numbers she can call are the ones that are programmed into her phone. That way we know which friends she can call, and of course she can call us anytime. She only gets the phone when she goes out to play, sleepovers, and when she visits her father out of state. I love the tracker, because we can actually see where she is at any given moment from our phones or the website. We originally got the phone fro her summer visits to her father, but it has really been a big help at other times too. If its properly monitored, I think it is a great tool for them to have.

Karen - posted on 04/07/2010

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my son is 10 years old and has a cell phone. its for emergency use only. like when he stays late at schothemol, so he can call for a ride. also when he goes over friends houses so i can call and let him know i'm on the way to get him. These days it's a necessity for kids when both parents are working and to keep track of

SueLynn - posted on 04/07/2010

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I definitely think 11 is entirely too young. My daughter is 13 and she just got her first cell phone & I would have preferred to wait, but under the circumstances she needed it as she plays a lot of sports. So I need to be able to get in touch with her. She tends to forget it at home & so far I'm surprised she hasn't LOST it..LOL. Her phone is locked so she can only call certain people during the week & we unlock it on weekends so she can call her friends.

ROBBIE - posted on 04/07/2010

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hi i think that haveing a cell phone at 11 is fine my granddaughter has one because when she comes home after school she is home alone for about 30 min so we can call her to make sure she is in the house and that she locked the door it just makes us feel better because she has it and if something were to go wrong she can call i would go with prepaid and let her know that if she uses all the minutes up on talking to her friends she wont have any minutes it teaches them how to manage her minutes and when she gets older you wont have a problem it really all boils down to how well you know and trust your child.

Patricia - posted on 04/07/2010

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My 11 year old has a cell phone. She has had one for two years. But she has had it because she rides the bus home alone and this is a way for me to beable to know where she is. Now that she is in 5 th grada alot of her friends have phones. She texts more than she talks and even that is not alot. I think it has taught her some responsiblity because she knows how important it is to always know where it is and have it on her. Also she knows to always check in with me no matter where she is. when she is at a friends house she will check in with me by texting a few times a day, just to tell me she is okay. I think this sets them up for great communication when they are teenagers. I also have a 16 years old and whe always checks in with me even when she is with friends.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/07/2010

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My oldest son has had one since he was 9. It wasn't my choice, his father bought him one while he was staying there. His father has also gotten him and his little brother, who is 9, a Facebook account. My oldest is now about to turn 11, and the phone has actually come in handy, and many of his friends also have a phone, so he calls and texts them, but he doesn't abuse it. Of course as he gets older I'm sure his phone time will increase, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. The Facebook accounts I''m still a little nervous about, but so far they just use it to play games and my oldest keeps up with his cousins, that are a couple of years older than him, who he adores.

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My older son purchased his cell phone and we helped by getting him the min. He got the phone when he entered the high school building even though he is only in the seventh grade, age 12. I have found it helpful, we switch back and forth between the boys riding the bus and getting picked up so texting is an easy reminder, that doesn't involve the loud speaker at the school. Also with all the School Shootings if something did happen I would want him to call or text me RIGHT AWAY!!, not have to wait to use a school phone.

Teresa - posted on 04/07/2010

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11 yrs old is to young to have a cell phone . my boys did not get a cell phone when they were 16 and 17 yrs old .11 yrs old are not responsible . tell here this if her friend jump of the bridge would she .

Funke - posted on 04/07/2010

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Cell Pnone is not good for 11 Year old because it will serve as a distraction to him or her.

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We got our daughter and son (twins) a cell phone for their 11th birthday. We gave it to them mainly to use for emergencies. They have them in their backpacks during school, but we ask them to take them when they've gone for a bike ride with a friend. We just started letting them leave the driveway on bikes this past year. They check in with us about every 15-20 minutes and are gone no longer than an hour. As time goes on, we'll probably extend the check in time. It makes me feel better to know they can be in touch with us at any moment. They are not allowed to text and use our home phone to call friends. Both respect the limits. My daughter uses hers at times for her camera. We're not big media people. We don't have network tv at our house and dvd's only on the weekend. Computer time is limited to weekends only and comes as an earned privilege. So far so good.

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We got our daughter and son (twins) a cell phone for their 11th birthday. We gave it to them mainly to use for emergencies. They have them in their backpacks during school, but we ask them to take them when they've gone for a bike ride with a friend. We just started letting them leave the driveway on bikes this past year. They check in with us about every 15-20 minutes and are gone no longer than an hour. As time goes on, we'll probably extend the check in time. It makes me feel better to know they can be in touch with us at any moment. They are not allowed to text and use our home phone to call friends. Both respect the limits. My daughter uses hers at times for her camera. We're not big media people. We don't have network tv at our house and dvd's only on the weekend. Computer time is limited to weekends only and comes as an earned privilege. So far so good.

Racheal - posted on 04/06/2010

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I don't believe a 11 year old needs a cell phone. My daugther got her father to buy her one and he had her bring it to my house and the very next day she tried to sneak it to school. so she proved to me, herself and her father that she can not handle a cell phone nor does she need one.

Geri - posted on 04/06/2010

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NO...thats too young...I have to agree with you...none of our kids have there own cell phones...but...If they go to a football game or a school activity...I give them my cell phone so that when its over or if something happens they can call me to come and get them...hope this helps?? lol good luck and god bless

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I think it is okay as long as its limited. My friend got her son one that he can only call 4 numbers and two of them are his parents. So the other two numbers he had a choice of who he wanted on there. Its a set up through bell.

Holly - posted on 04/06/2010

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I am having the same issue and it is amazing on how many 11 year old and younger kids have their own cell phone!! Not sure how i feel about it

Kim - posted on 04/06/2010

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I think it's fine. My 10 year old has a cell, it is used in case of emergency, if something happens to me and I need to call him if I'm running late to pick him up from school, or if he's at a friend's house and I can call him directly, or if he wants to call his friends. I have had no trouble at all.

Kami - posted on 04/06/2010

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This is really a great topic to talk about. I was having this dilemma when my daughter was 10 now 12. All of her other 10 yr old friends had one. She wanted one so bad. We said no but Grandma bought her one. Nice Grandma but grandma does not pay the monthly charges or consequences does she. She just bought the phone to be cool.

Well, it has been taken away a few times and many limits have had to be set. The phone is always used as a consequence for bad decisions made. But, I tell you, my daughter sure does learn from that consequence.

Melissa - posted on 04/06/2010

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Great job Ann, I think that is a perfect idea... in today's society where we depend way too much on technology I am glad to know that my daughters have a cell and they are a phone call or text away!!!

Ann - posted on 04/06/2010

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We bought our daughter a cell phone at 10 years old. We started with the "Firefly" so she could get only family members and one friend we allowed. Then we got her a prepaid one so we could cut her off if we felt she was using it excessively. When we were convinced she was responsible enough to have her own phone, about 2 years later, we added her to our plan. It gives us peace of mind that she can call us no matter where she is and we can get to her. She feels safer too, knowing we are only a call away. Sure she uses it for friends (a lot) too, but we regulate her minutes, her applications and her downloads and she is learning responsibility. I see nothing wrong with getting a cell phone for a child and have recommended them to many of my friends. Every child is different and only we as parents know if they are old enough yet. Good luck on your decision.

Shanna Lee - posted on 04/06/2010

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My daughter, who will be 15 in Oct, got a cell on Xmas right after she turned 11. I was nervous but it has turned out to be a great thing. She's never lost it, it has broken a couple of times, but so has mine. She has been very responsible with it and there have been many times when I am so thankful that she has it. running late from school, at a friends hose where they dont hear the phone, she's sick and needs me to come get her...etc.....It was a tough decision at the time to make, but I am proud of her for the responsibilty she has shown. And I think each kid is different, one rule doesnt apply to all. Whats your child like, can they take it seriously...?

Melissa - posted on 04/06/2010

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Yes some of your reasons are true for not having them... but you must look on the other side of this controversy. What if they are stranded, kidnapped with the phone on silence, GPS can be used. Left alone and needing a ride, etc. I don't care if they text too much or talk on it too much, it is worth all the negativity if just once it helps them not get into trouble or is insurance that they are ok.... That is worth it for me.

Kelly - posted on 04/06/2010

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My eleven year old daughter wanted a cell phone so we got her a pre-paid phone with unlimited text. She was fine with it because she never called anyone but she got some of her friends older brothers friends texting her some very vulger texts and a picture of well we wont go into detail but it was explicit. although she didn't text or send anything from her end she recieved the image and texts which she then hid from us because she knew she would have her phone taken and when it came to light that is what happened. Needless to say she is now 13 and she has 2 more years before she gets another phone.

Melissa - posted on 04/06/2010

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I personally think it is too young...but that's because we live in the country where my kids only play in the front yard & the only places they go without me are to school & friends houses (& we have landlines with unlimited talk time when they are home) I mean if we lived in the city or they went to a million different after school programs then I might agree to let them have one for calling me to pick them up type reasons but I don't feel they need a cell phone for the purpose of talking to their friends...they can use their computer to IM or call on the landline if necessary.

Dawn - posted on 04/06/2010

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I think a cell phone is what you can afford as parnet so many kids have them now days, the ones with out a phone are left out . :( ~ both my grils have one and as working parents and kids who play sports and very active. We can call or they can call anytime. I also like to make sure my youngest has it when she is out side playing ~ Its a safety net and way to keep up with my girls~ who are 8 and 12

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My 11 year old son has a cell phone and has had it since he was 9. Cell phones are tools, and need to be used correctly. It gives me great piece of mind. I know that he can call me when scouting, at friends a house or if he and I are shopping in different areas of a store. He also knows that he never needs to worry about me. If I am running late, out of town, or at work. In two years he has not lost it or ran up a bill. Maybe I am just lucky, but I know that my son has the good sence to use a tool respectfully.

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My philosophy is that it is a luxury and the child should pay for it on their own. When my 16 year old got a job and wanted a cell phone, that was fine. My 13 year old wants one and wants to use his birthday money to get one... but I don't want him to get one until he has regular money of his own to pay for it. If a child is going to create a monthly bill, they need to have income to pay for that monthly bill. I have the same thoughts on car insurance, my son did not get his drivers licence until he had at least one year's worth of insurance money saved in his bank account (some of that money I had contributed over the years to give him a leg up but he came up with most of it). After he had the insurance money there, he got his drivers license (he is an extremely careful driver - he doesn't want his insurance going up!!). Children should be made responsible for the consequences of their choices. They learn more responsibility that way and will be a little better prepared when they are on their own.

Traci - posted on 04/06/2010

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My 10 year old son has a cell phone. I think it depends on the maturity of the child. Check with cell phone companies to see what kind of parental settings the phone may have, such as who can call her/who she can call.

Jamie - posted on 04/06/2010

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My 11yr old has a cell. I gave her a prepaid for Christmas. After she lost that one, she used her allowance to get another one and she buys her own min and txt plan as well. I see no harm in teaching them responsibility at a younger age than 16.

Pauline - posted on 04/06/2010

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My 11 year old son has a cellphone which I have bought for him because I am a working mom and he is at home for an hour after school during the day and then attends maths classes till I get home and it is not something fancy It's got no special features like wap or the internet it is a simple phone you can only receive and make calls from and he is quite happy with that for it is only for him to get in contact with me when needed.

Shelly - posted on 04/05/2010

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my daughter will be 11 in june and she has one. everyone has difreent needs but consider this if you decide to let them have one you can contact them at anny time there is now soft ware out so you can find them if they go missing. they can call you if there in truble and if you are like me and devorced they can talk to eather parent when ever they want now its ben really nice but she all so has strict rules on who she can call who gets her # and no texting or aplactions. she has had her phone for all most 2 years and has never really lost it un like my self and my husband who have gone throu 5 and it was really nice when she broke her arm at a near by park this last summer

Shelly - posted on 04/05/2010

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my daughter will be 11 in june and she has one. everyone has difreent needs but consider this if you decide to let them have one you can contact them at anny time there is now soft ware out so you can find them if they go missing. they can call you if there in truble and if you are like me and devorced they can talk to eather parent when ever they want now its ben really nice but she all so has strict rules on who she can call who gets her # and no texting or aplactions. she has had her phone for all most 2 years and has never really lost it un like my self and my husband who have gone throu 5 and it was really nice when she broke her arm at a near by park this last summer

April - posted on 04/05/2010

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I think the most important thing is to look at the child's character and habits; unfortunately, my son was almost 9 when his father and I got a divorce. Even though we both bought houses very close to each other, I still was unsettled on the weeks he spent at his fathers because I did not know where he would be 24 hrs. a day. Even at the age of 10 (when I decided to get him a cell phone) I took into consideration his character (he is a great, loving, helpful, and respectful young man) and his habits; although his numerous "I can't find my glasses" became a pain, I figured that he would treasure a phone much more than some dumb pair of glasses he would need to see with. My son turned 15 today and while he has gone through more than 6 pairs of glasses, he has not lost a phone yet!

Arlynn - posted on 04/05/2010

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my son is 11 y/o and has a cell phone which was handed over to him by his aunt. i guess it's okay for a child of his age to have one for as long as he knows where and when it's gonna be used for. he only uses it in instances like, they were asked to bring something to school the next day which is not readily available from the house. so, he texts or calls me about this and we get to have more time to prepare for it.

Debbie - posted on 04/05/2010

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ive gotta 11 old son n ive gone back n forth on if i should get him one this summer.hes very good with takin care of his ds and other games but i wasnt sure if he was mature enough.so after much thinkin i came up with this plan..i handed him an old,not workin phone of mine and told him he needs to keep it on him at all times,even in school.and ill randomly ask him where it is,just to make sure hes got it.if he can do this until summer with no hiccups,ill get him a phone.however,if i do..it will not be a prepaid.just cuz i know he will run it out of mins n i want to be able to reach him or when he really needs it.i mean if i have unlimited mins cuz i always go over,i cant expect an 11 yr old to be able to stay within a certain amount of mins....

Melissa - posted on 04/05/2010

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YES!!!! by all means should an 11 yr old have a cell phone. In our society today we need to be able to pick up the phone and reach our children at all times... I think that if you teach them when it is acceptable to use it, and how to use it properly it will work out fine. She does not need internet and all the other new stuff, but a limited amount of text and a little guidance I think that it will be fine. On the other hand what if your child is in a situation and needs you or a police officer. A cell phone will come in handy. While teaching them the do's and don'ts then also teach them how to use the 911 call system. I got both my daughters phones in the 5th grade and I can't tell you how much we communicate during the day via text messages. I teach and they are in school and sometimes we just need to remind each other of something... I would not dream of my child not having one... not with the way my kids are involved and always on the go...

S Adrianne - posted on 04/05/2010

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Eleven is too young to have a cell phone 'just to have a cell phone' or 'because everyone else does.' Remember the old adage, 'If everyone else jumped off the bridge, would you do it too?' Anyway, my oldest, who is now 18, got one at 15, but only because he was the scorekeeper for the JV Basketball team at his high school. This enabled us to keep in touch about times for practices, games, etc., for drop offs/pick ups. My youngest, who will be 13 in two weeks, knows that he can't 'just have one just because' his friends do. He has to be on a sports team or in a club at school. It's not a trust issue or anything like that . . . it's a combination issue. 1) Financial. And that's all I'm saying on that. And 2) 'Just because everyone else does' is not good enough. That's what's wrong with a lot of kids today. Too many of them are being told 'yes' to too many material things in their lives and they just don't appreciate having them. This generation of kids has grown up so that even welfare kids have cell phones, big screen tv's, Air Jordan's, et. al. Where did they get them? How did they get them? (This is ALL kids) Do any of them appreciate how hard Mom & Dad have worked to get them, or do they just assume that it's their RIGHT to HAVE them? If they assume that it's their RIGHT TO HAVE them, then we've already lost the battle, and we're raising a bunch of little future welfare recipients . . . and they're already standing with their hands open . . .

S Adrianne - posted on 04/05/2010

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Eleven is too young to have a cell phone 'just to have a cell phone' or 'because everyone else does.' Remember the old adage, 'If everyone else jumped off the bridge, would you do it too?' Anyway, my oldest, who is now 18, got one at 15, but only because he was the scorekeeper for the JV Basketball team at his high school. This enabled us to keep in touch about times for practices, games, etc., for drop offs/pick ups. My youngest, who will be 13 in two weeks, knows that he can't 'just have one just because' his friends do. He has to be on a sports team or in a club at school. It's not a trust issue or anything like that . . . it's a combination issue. 1) Financial. And that's all I'm saying on that. And 2) 'Just because everyone else does' is not good enough. That's what's wrong with a lot of kids today. Too many of them are being told 'yes' to too many material things in their lives and they just don't appreciate having them. This generation of kids has grown up so that even welfare kids have cell phones, big screen tv's, Air Jordan's, et. al. Where did they get them? How did they get them? (This is ALL kids) Do any of them appreciate how hard Mom & Dad have worked to get them, or do they just assume that it's their RIGHT to HAVE them? If they assume that it's their RIGHT TO HAVE them, then we've already lost the battle, and we're raising a bunch of little future welfare recipients . . . and they're already standing with their hands open . . .

KELLIE - posted on 04/05/2010

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My son has been asking for about a year now he will be 12 in may I told him to give us valid reasons why he needs one and he could'nt come up with one that he can't use the house phone for

Lacey - posted on 04/05/2010

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I don't think it is a neccessity as much as it is a fad...I was anti cell phone until this year when my son went to middle school. I think as long as they are responsible with it and do not abuse it. Really who cares I would have died to have a cell phone at that age. Bonus its one more thing that you can effectively take away as a punishment if needed. Trust me it works:) Good luck

Regina - posted on 04/05/2010

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I learned the hard way that 10-11yrs old DO NOT need a cell phone. Bought my 10yr old at the time a cell phone. Put minutes on phone and he lost phone..... will not get another cell phone till show maturity and be responsible for it...so no I don't think they are responsible to get a phone....good luck

Dawn - posted on 04/05/2010

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I think it all depends on the maturity of the child!! My son was 9 when I got him one. He is a very mature boy he has never used it in a wrong way. I want him to carry it to school he turns it off before he leaves home every morning and turns it on when he gets off the bus after school.

Now my other son I don't think he will get one that early he is not that mature. So like i said i believe it depends on the child. No one knows them better than there parents.

Cynthia - posted on 04/05/2010

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I think it depends on the child. A cell phone is an expensive purchase for a child. My daughter has had a prepaid cell phone since she was 9. She has her restrictions with it like she can only use it during certain times and she is not allowed to be on it for more than 1 hour a day. She is not allowed to have it in her room at night either or take it to school.

Ramona - posted on 04/05/2010

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So, when your kids are outside playing, you are ALWAYS there. They don't ride thier bikes around? THey don't go to a local park, pool, etc... They never have band or play rehersals run late and then can't find you or the car in the mess of the pick up?? They stay together, taking sports and classes together, so you never have to be in 2 places at once?? If so, they are quite sheltered and you must have wonderfully scheduled events. My kids are 4 years apart and we are consistantly running one here and one there. This rehersal is running late, so I will go and nab this one from there and then pick up the other. I have to hope there is not a train that slows things down even more. We live in town, so the kids can easily walk to the pool, library, candy store, etc...I don't have to hold ds hand anymore. If your kids can't learn to be independent in small doses, how will the learn?? When you drop them off at their dorm rooms??

Michele - posted on 04/05/2010

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my daughter is nearly thirteen and still does not have a cell-phone. She uses mine quite often to text her friends, but she doesn't take it to school or out with her at all. I know that even several elementary school kids have them, but I don't know why?! my son got one going into high school because he was involved in marching band and sports and became much more social, but it was a privilege that was taken away quite a lot at first. I agree that 11 is too young for a cell-phone. I guess you would have to ask yourself what you think the purpose of a cell-phone is...to be able to communicate with you and her Dad on a regular basis, or so she can socialize with her friends w/o tying up the house phone. No matter what you decide, a cell phone is definitely a privilege, and should come with some rules!

Mandye - posted on 04/05/2010

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We have three kids ages 8, 10 and 11. They do not have their own phonesand they will not until they are older. However we have an extra cell phone that we keep for when we feel they need one. For example if they are going on an overnight stay somewhere,we give the phone to them so they have a direct line to us. They have proven to be very responsible so far. I love them very much but I feel they can use my extra phone instead of having one of their own.

Tiffney - posted on 04/05/2010

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I think so. My 11 year old son has a cell phone and it comes in handy for real. My 15 yr daughter had a cell phone at 10. With all the stuff goin on in schools, after schools it is easier for you to always stay in contact. I had car problems Friday after work If it wasnt for the kids having phones they would not of known what to do. I was able to text them and tell them where to walk and meet me at. I think cell phones are great for all ages. Check into a tic-talk phone made by Cingular it is pre-paid, hooked up with Leap Frog and they only can call the phone numbers you have programed in from off the internet. It was my daughter's first phone it worked great for her and for me.

Vickie - posted on 04/05/2010

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My grandson who will be 11 in July and we have custody of does have a cell phone. Ithink it is fine if you lay down some ground rules. He had it taken away for 2 days and believe me it was the end of the world,had no problem since. This way I always have communication with him where ever he may be.

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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