What is the right age to get your child a cell phone?

Some parents think a cell phone is essential for staying in touch with young kids while others think it's a privilege for only older kids. What do you think is the best age to get your child a cell phone?

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15  Answers

0 20

I tried 4 different times. It depends on the maturity of the child.Single parents have to give them earlier,because sadly,it is part of how we communicate.My son was 13.

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3 6

I think it depends on the family situation-- I almost feel "forced" to have gotten a cell phone for my eldest who will be 13 soon because when he turns 13 he will "age out" of the daycare system and, being a single mom with limited income, I don't have many options for child care for him. I always imagined I wouldn't have gotten him one until he was old enough to work, himself, and pay for part of the bill but out circumstances have changed that. Therefore, ideally I would have preferred to have waited but he does have one now.

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0 9

Mine daughter was 9 years old . We lived in new York
Got her one the day after 911. I would say it is your set
Of circumstances as opposed to age.

I

1
0 0

Really

1 14

SO 3 year olds in Preschool need to make calls in that 2.5 hours they are there and Driving age should get one so the can talk and drive and get in an accident. Makes perfect sense to me. M DD will get one at 12 since she will be in 7th grade and walk to and from some days.

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43 0

Haha, I was thinking the same thing! A preschooler has access to half a dozen adults, their phones, and the office phone. If the preschool is SO unreliable and untrustworthy that he or she needs a personal cell phone, then it's time to find a new preschool.

12 0

Depends upon YOUR need to be in touch with your child, IMHO. Otherwise, I'd say 11-12 in my fam.

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2 0

think it depends at what age a child is needing to be independent of parents eg travelling a distance to school or going out on a golf course and being out of contact unless a phone available. Do no

think mobile phones should be given to kids as an accessory but when there is a genuine need. My eldest got one at 11 when he changed schools and was commuting a distance. It was great if buses were missed or something unexpected came up at school. My second son now 11 but he does not have one as does not go outwith our control yet.

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43 0

Age has much less to do with it than circumstance. I think that most teenagers (and some preteens) can handle owning a basic pre-paid cell phone. Very mature teenagers can be given the opportunity to prove themselves trustworthy with something more complicated. However, there may be circumstances in which it might be prudent for a younger child to have a pre-paid cell phone. If he or she is frequently in situations where they might need to call for help (such as walking a long distance home from school alone, or being shuttled around by a less-than-reliable third party, etc). In a perfect world, we could always ensure that our children are safely supervised when not in our presence, but for those for whom that isn't possible, the pros of a simple cell phone may outweigh the cons.

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61 4

If a child is old enough to attend pre-school or camp or daycare, they should be able to have a cell phone so they can communicate with their parents or in my case, grandmother. I don't appreciate the way tiny tots are attending pre=school at three years old and if my granddaughter does, I want to get her a cell phone so I can call her and she can call me.

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11 0

If she needs you wouldn't the workers watching her call you??? Maybe I am confused or missing something here????

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1 7

I think they should be in high school and be responsible.

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7 24

When they can drive so about 16

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1 0

My Son is in MS-just started and wanted a cell phone-I said sorry.....the school has out number IF there is an emergency!!!!! Maybe magic number is 13 or in HS!!

1
0 0

I think they should so if lost at a function or a huge crowd of people they could contact us

0
0 0

Ultimately i think it depends upon a few things: your child's age, your child's personality, responsiblity and the circumstances.
Are they a latch key kid? How much alone time do they have? Are they responsible? Is it a single parent home or two parent home? is one parent work from home or a housewife? Is there a medical condition? does a sibling or parent have a medical condition? Will the child use the phone appropriately?
Given my personal situation, and unless my work and my schedule changes, my kids very well may be latch key kids. Once they have to be (when daycare kicks them out at age 12 or 13), they'll have cellphones with 911 and 4 or 5 numbers that they can call and their cell will have family locater programmed in. Not because I wouldn't trust them but inc ase something horribly went wrong. If my kids don't have to be latch key kids then i'd say they'd have to get a job and help pay for their bill but i'd still put a family locater programmed in, due to the sick people in this world.

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5 0

My son received his for his 12th birthday, conveniently the same time he started jr. high and had more independence with getting home and off the bus, etc We gave it as a gift to him, he had never asked for one, but he was quite happy to receive it thankfully, as it was more a necessity to me to keep in touch for my own peace of mind. I think that it is such a good piece of technology if the child is using it to keep in touch at home, and is restricted to text usage and minutes. This teaches them to use the phone in moderation, not to live on it and run your bill through the roof. We do a pay as you go plan and phone was cheap to buy outright, and plan monthly is $15...very reasonable, it is more the young folks whose parents pay their $50 and up phone bills that baffles me...I would not need to stay in touch with my children under 12, as they would be with me, but that is a whole other story, as some children unfortunately need to be "latchkey kids" and these same reasons could apply, so I think it is all circumstantial on the purpose or need for a cell phone....when do we give our children more independence to go places on their own and with their friends....hmmm...

0
0 7

Tough one. I don't think there is a correct answer. It's a one by one situation/circumstance. I never thought in a million years I would give my 6 yr old kindergartner a cell(she's now almost 10), but I did. I am divorced and she rode 2 different school buses home depending on the day, and one day she ended up accidently being home alone at her dad's for about 1 1/2 hrs due to a misunderstanding with her older brother(he forgot it was a day she went there and he chose to be a normal teenage boy after school and hang out at friends). Neither of our homes had a landline. Needless to say, she had no way to get a hold of anyone. We didn't give her a phone right away, but a couple months later I happened upon a Migo phone(Verizon Wireless used to offer this phone..looks like Shrek, could dial 4 numbers and 911) and we had a line under contract that wasn't being used. It only made sense to use it. My daughter couldn't text and could only call who I programmed in the phone. At almost 10yrs old, she's moved up to a regular phone..the plan allows minimal minutes and unlimited texting. We have long been out of contract, at this point I wouldn't take the phone from her. It's a necessity now. Am I saying a 6 yr old should have a phone? Absolutely not. Again, I don't think there's a correct answer other than whatever the personal need may be(a walker from school, after school sports or activities where the child may need to call for a ride, or sometimes even as a comfort thing for a custodial situation).

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