What age is to young for a cell phone?

[deleted account] ( 8 moms have responded )

My son and my daughter are 9 and 11 years old. They both have been asking for a cell phone. It started about a year ago I guess. I keep telling them I dont think they are old enough. I see more and more kids with cell phones now and I wonder am I behind in the times or something? Should I wait a little longer or are they old enough to have one?

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It depends on the circumstances and what the needs of your family are. I used to think that my kids would never need one until they were driving (16) and paying for it themselves, but then my ex bailed on us... My girls (at 8.5 years) spent 2.5 weeks w/ him this summer and he didn't let me call them one single time since the court order only specified that THEY could talk to ME anytime they wanted. It was torture not being able to check in w/ them. Unfortunately he lives where cell phone reception is spottty and I can't guarantee that a phone I bought over here would even work over there. That is THE only reason my girls don't have one yet.

Crystal - posted on 09/22/2010

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if you believe they wont lose it and they are doing good in school and help out around the house and what not then you should. if it means that much to them then maybe it will help encourage them to do better and listen more, it will give them more responsiblity and if they dont mind their manners then it could work in your favor as well- take it away from them. But make sure that if you do get them one go over the minutes and txt plan first or that can bite you in the butt. good luck.

Virginia - posted on 09/22/2010

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As I tell my 10 year old, it doesn't matter what everyone else has, you are the parent. YES, that is too young, maybe in high school. I don't believe in children having cell phones.

Hesti - posted on 09/22/2010

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We got my husband's children each a cell last year, being 13 and 10 years old respectively, more because of the distance they live away from us and their mum (with whom they live) became very choosy when she let them actually talk to their dad, i.e. answer when he phones, not allowing them to phone, etc. The elder one (a boy) got his first cell when he was 9 but lost it within a month. Got another one (old one), did a sim card swop, lost it again within 3 months... so we decided that he wasn't responsible enough to handle it and left it untill end of last year. Problem with mum not letting them phone or receive calls got worse and worse, so we felt we did not have any other choice but to give it another go... So far so good, I have to admit, I had my doubts! They do play games and sms their friends quite a bit (we get the monthly statements with itemised billing!) so we can stay on top of what they are using the phones for etc.

Important to have the safety-issue talk with them, i.e. strangers and chat rooms etc - we have the talk on an ongoing basis, also set limits, i.e. no phones/sms'ing at the table, whilst doing homework.

Them having phones have managed to give them some control in talking to us, we are much more 'up to date' in what they are up to, whats happening at school, test results etc. so I would recommend it.

I would say you know your child best, it is a responsibility, and set clear limits for its use.

O, yes, we also didn't get them the 'top of the range' phones, just the basic models, not only with the price in mind, also to limit what they can and can't access and/ or download.

Amy - posted on 09/24/2009

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My husband and I think our son is too young and he is going to be 8 in two weeks. I always wonder though the same thing you are asking because we let him go with his friends. He is ONLY allowed on three Streets by himself and has to come home if he wants to go the the playground andlet us know. I will then come with him and all that. You can never be too careful these days with kidnapping and all the other horrible stuff that goes on. So I have often thought he should soon get one. My inlaws think that is horrible to give any age child a cell phone. They are in the old school and 73 years old so go figure. The other day he asked me if he could use my cell phone and take it with him. I said no way. Sometimes other children are with him and parents call me to ask if soso is with Abe and I will tell them so if there is a problem I want people to get a hold of me. We decided to wait a few more years before he gets his own cell phone. Plus my cell phone is our phone we do not use our home phone just for the internet only. Some people have it because we had problems so we thought we had to get rit of the phones and I do not want my son answering every call that comes through. Hope this helps. it is just common sense and ask yourself if he is responsible etc that stuff. I do not want a child at this young age to have a cell phone but the way the world is it would help incase of danger. Have a good night.

Dorothy - posted on 09/24/2009

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my son got his at age 7 (he was in second grade and he walked home from school 4 blocks)...to begin with...Sprint has a helpful tool on their cheap phones..that I could add who ever I wanted to his address book. then I was able to lock out the cell...which ment besides 911 he could only recieve and make calls to the ppl I added to his address book ...this made me very comforitable to give it to him...it is now 3 yrs later (he is 10 rs old) and he has full access o his cell (sprint tv, movies, utube, text pic mail, voice & music) but he also knows that every night mom or dad has the right to check his phone to see all activity. cant be to safe....

Also he has to pay 1/4 of his monthly allowance to "pay" for the cell bill....and he akes the cell with him everytime he is not with a parent...so it is my piece of mind.

our youngest child is 5 and we have told him he can have a cell when he reaches 2nd grade (another safty reason...big brother will be in the h.s. building by then)....all in all I think you have to ask yourself ..how responsiable are they...how much to you think they will use it...and finally will they get upset when you check up on them (cuz no matter their age...a good parent will monitor who they chat with). I hope this helps :-)

Jodi - posted on 09/24/2009

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My personal opinion is that they should only have one when they NEED one, not because it is the latest accessory. Also, they need to be able to pay for it! I only just gave my 12 year old son one for his birthday, and the reason I did was because (1) he is now at an age where he tends to go off with his friends either to the movies or for a bike ride, etc, and the phone is there if I need to call him or he needs to call me; and (2) he is old enough now to help us in our businesses with some basic work to earn the money to pay for his phone credit. Also, he is starting high school in a few months, and will have to catch buses, so I felt it was appropriate :)

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