At what age do you think it is ok to give a cell phone to a child, and why should they be allowed one?

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Angela - posted on 02/02/2014

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My daughter got one at 12. It was a pre-payment phone (or Pay-As-You-Go as we call it in the UK) a gift from me and she had £5 start-up credit. After that she was responsible to keep it topped up herself.

Whatever age the child is, do NOT get him/her a contract phone which will be billed to YOU. Pre-payment is absolutely fine for kids and many adults prefer this method of paying as well.

If the child values the privilege of having a phone, then they'll be glad to pay for their credit out of their allowance / money for doing chores etc ...

In the UK, even if the phone has no credit, calls and texts from other people can still be received on the phone as long as it is sufficiently charged and turned on!

Any GSM phone, expensive or basic can have a prepayment SIMcard put into it. So prepayment is no bar to having a fancy phone if this is what the child wants and can afford.

Also gives the child a goal in saving money.

Michelle - posted on 02/02/2014

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We have told our kids that they can have one when they can pay for it.
We managed without them as kids so I don't see it as a necessity at all.

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