Am I the only one who thinks that a cell phone for a child is INSANE?

Jennifer - posted on 05/22/2010 ( 379 moms have responded )

18

13

0

You know, I understand that it is a huge convenience for a child to have a cell phone --- so you can contact them when you need to. However, I feel as though, aside from other scientists with electrical and magnetic theory backgrounds like myself, that I am one of the few parents that absolutely refuse to allow my kids to use cell phones. My four-year-old is not allowed to use our cell phones unless it is on speaker and only if she holds it away from her body. Aside from the tentative health risks posed to children from the non-ionized radiation emitted from cell phones, I simply think the idea that it is a necessity for them to have one is slightly ridiculous. I see so many children with cell phones glued to their ears, and many of them aren't even teens yet. Please tell me that I am not the only one that feels that this is insane.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

379 Comments

View replies by

Kara - posted on 05/25/2010

14

9

0

I agree with you completely! Kids have way too many things they can do without. I have a 7 year old. There is no need for her to have a cell phone.

Debra - posted on 05/25/2010

3

0

0

i agree they r very dangerous i stupidly let my 2 year old play with an old cell phone that wasnt turned on he put it in his mouth a man who fixes mobiles told me that all sorts of poisons are emitted from mobiles even when not turned on i have teenagers and my 2 year old always wants the phones as they are always using them usually 4 music i no longer let him touch them

April - posted on 05/25/2010

3

1

0

I don't feel it to be insane at all. I feel that like anything else it should be monitored. Just as I wouldn't allow my child to sit in front of the TV for 8 hours, or play a video game for 4 hours straight, I wouldn't allow either of my daughters to use their cell phones endlessly. As far as the health risks, they are nill. Studies have actually shown that the type of energy that they emit (non-ionizing) may decrease a person's risk of developing alzheimers. Non-ionizing radiation means that it doesn't cause damage to chemical bonds or DNA. Of all the studies that have been done on this MANY of the studies that claim cell phones are cancer causing have not been accredited or peer reviewed. While we're at it, cell phones fall between TVs and Microwave ovens on the EMF spectrum. Shall we stop using those as well?

Laurel - posted on 05/25/2010

7

16

0

@ Gina, you actually got it wrong again.....it's Laurel....you missed the u. But, no worries. A perfect typist I am NOT! heehee. Good day to you Gina!

Samantha - posted on 05/25/2010

90

48

6

I totally agree I work in a day care center with afterschoolers. I have a 2nd grader who has a phone. I am thinking you know in second grade I was not concerned about phones. I think when a child gets to high school and is involved in lots of activities and sports then you can get them a phone. Until then they can talk on the home phone and on thier parents cell phones. I am tired of seeing 12 year olds walking around the mall holding thier "boyfriends" hands and talking on a cell phone with no parent in sight. To me I am like where are the parents? Second of all kids are having sex at 12 you should be monitoring your child at 12. I think cell phone are appropriate for HS. I got mine in HS because my brother and I were doing different activities and we needed to call our mom or my brother to pick me up from said activity.

Anne - posted on 05/25/2010

7

3

1

No you are not insane, just a concerned mum. but what you say can also apply to microwaves and televisions. Cancer is an immune disease. concentrate on keeping your child's immune system fully operational because we live on a toxic planet.

[deleted account]

I think each family has different needs and that unless you know what's going on behind the scenes theres no way to know if that 6 year old has a cell phone because parents gave in to a "status symbol" or for some other reason.

And yes we all survived without cell phones and seat belts and computers and bike helmets and so forth and so on. But then again my grandparents survived into their 30's without penicillan too. Does that mean I want to abolish it? Nope.

As for the health risks, there are no studies that show a conclusive and actual risk linked to most brain tumors and cell phone use.

And last but not least, I'd like to share something a very wise man once told me (my dad) "Be careful of the yard stick you use to measure others. For some day it may get turned on you and you'll find you don't measure up either."

Laurel - posted on 05/25/2010

7

16

0

I am a mom to two grown boys (27 & almost 30) and to an 11 year old. None of them had/have a cell phone. In teen years my oldest wanted a pager (that was what was popular back then) so we told him if he could pay for it himself, he could have one, which he did. But, he was already in high school by that time.

My middle son eventually did same but not till he was a junior in high school. After that they both purchased and maintained the cost of cell phones.

Currently my 11 yr. old does not have a phone or any kind of device outside of a Nintendo DS. He has friends with phones but he actually thinks there is no good reason for them to have one. I would think them a terrible distraction to the other things in life a child should focus on. Yes, there is a temptation of instant access to your child if he had a phone, but good grief, we all went through school and childhood without a phone attached to us and we all did just fine.

Jennifer, I'm with you!

Gina - posted on 05/25/2010

179

10

7

Hi Jennifer
Add me to your list !! I don't even have one it floors me to see so many adults on these things. Seriously is it always an important call .I somehow douht it . No matter what it is they can call your land line and leave a message. I can see th eadults needing them for medical emergenceys to contact a spouse or 911. Other than that leave them at home.
I was walking my 16 month old pug at a crosswalk and this crazy young woman was on hers well she almost hit us. as she passed she was laughing and showed me why she alomst hit us. I slamed my fist on her trunk and told her she almost killed a mother, Aunt, Nanny , sister and a dear friend not to mention a valued member of my family , Dixie.You should all watch Oprah and see her piece where she shows people who have lost their lives due to people like you who think it i sa nessesity to own one. Due to others who feel the need to ownone and thier live is so dam important that they value using it over someone life. NO PHONE ZONE should be a rule in all your cars.
As for cancer i am a 10 year survivor. I don't smoke i am careful to use sun screen, and i don't and never did own a cell phone.Everybody holds the cancer cell some develpoe the dreaded deseace and some are fortunate not to ever have it. Please excuse my spelling . I hope this clears up every asspect of cell phones. One more thing children follow by exsample. If you don't believe thye shouldn't for what if reasons than mayb eyou shouldn't for the very same reasons. have a great day
Gina

Bettie - posted on 05/25/2010

41

45

0

My husband has joint custody with 14 year old daughter and she has had a cell off and on for a few years. The thing we see about that was the fact her mother didn't jointly discuss with my husband to get it for her in the first place. It is an old one of the mother's and isn't always activated, but still, the mom thinks we should abide by her grounding for the daughters miss use of it which has meant her not spending her dad's time with him. She of course has different rules at her house than ours, so she that has caused issues. The daughter and her two sisters, different fathers, are home schooled so really have no reason to even need them for emergencies, but it is a show off item basically with that situation. Too bad we, and the other father's, are paying for their toys. Neither of them has shown any responsibility with the cells.

Colene - posted on 05/25/2010

1

1

0

I agree, I have raised 4 children and have two still in high school. There are times when I wish they had a cell phone but the problems they pose are not worth the convenience. If parents feel it is a safety issue then give them a family cell phone without text messaging that they use when away from home and give back to you when they return home for the night.

Stephanie - posted on 05/25/2010

3

0

0

Other parents can call me irresponsible or push over~~giving my children everything they want~~ but I will defend my position on allowing my 12 year child to have a cell phone. My daughter also exercises in the neighborhood with her friends, if for any reason she needs me, all she has to do is call me. I was in an accident several years ago and possibly a dangerous situation and did not have a cell phone for myself. I promised I would never go with out one again. I have a 9 and 5 year old and they do not have one yet. I give my 12 almost 13 year daughter little bits at a time of freedom and responsibility, she is doing very well with it. It is certainly a matter opinion but as I said before, I don't judge parents who "think it is crazy for a child under 16 to have a phone" and think it would be fair for those parents not to knock parents who have made the choice for their children to be allowed.
We do not allow cell phones (including mom and dad) to used at the dinner table or during conversation time. We think phone manners are a huge part of being a cell phone holder.
Like some one else said, to each is own but I also believe it is a situational based opinion.

Allison - posted on 05/25/2010

1

29

0

I agree with you...my older son only got one when he started activities that required him to stay after school...my 5-year-old has "his own" phone...which is my old phone (now w/o calling capablility) that he uses to take pictures & plays the games I had on it. I feel that children today are way too unsupervised by parents. That's why the parents have given them the phone. If parents were more involved with their childrens' practices & events...they wouldn't need them. I've seen way too many drop their kids off and then run off & do their "own thing"....that's just wrong!!! LOL...I'll get off my soapbox now....

Sarah - posted on 05/25/2010

2

1

0

You are not the only one. I totally agree and it's actually a rule that babysitters have their phones off and use the house line. I am with ya 100%

Lori - posted on 05/25/2010

2

0

0

My oldest daughter was 12-13 when she got her 1st cell phone. I bought her a pre-paid type phone, paid the activation fee, and then she was responsible for minutes. She learned to limit her calls and what was important enough to use minutes on and when to tell her friends she'd talk to them later. She had to pay for her own minutes for 6 months, then I put her on my plan. At that time (she's almost 19 now), the minutes on pre-paid phones were quite expensive.

PAULINE - posted on 05/25/2010

15

7

0

We have cell phones for the kids for safety and convenience. They are respectful and as for parenting we are good parents but no one can see there child while in route to his friends house on a bike and in a second he could be snatched up. Also severe allergies to bee stings has made a difference in how much it is needed. I see parents let their children over my house for the day because they feel safe but what about on the way home. I always make certain I follow the kids as they are only 10. Who said you should know where your children are? How do they get there? They ride their bikes, walk or skate. Can you see them every step of the way? Good parenting has nothing to do with my children having phones. I'm just giving them every chance to stay safe!

Liza - posted on 05/25/2010

1

0

0

I can agree with you Jennifer. I have a 14 year old and she loves to talk, so also have many friends with cells. And she keeps asking for a cell but I don't think that she is ready for one. I know my daughter very well and she would always be on the cell. Yes she has freedom she's allow to go with friends but she also knows to phone home when she gets there too. We also live with alot of sick people out there you love to track young people down and some end up dead. So you can say that i'm over protective of my child.I have heard to many stories already about children and cell phones. So no you are not insane about how you feel about it.

Lori - posted on 05/25/2010

2

0

0

My daughter is 9 and yes... she has a cell phone. She's not allowed to have it glued to her ear though. The initial purpose of the cell phone was for when she went to friend's houses. She has several friends within a few blocks, but there are a few stop signs that vehicles blow past. She has the phone to call and let us know that she made it there or to tell us if her and her friends are going to ride around the block. Luckily she does have it. While she was riding, she hid a pot hole in the elementary school parking lot, fell, hit her knee, and tore a couple layers of skin off her toes - without the cell phone to call and have us come get her, she might have been laying/sitting there for a 1/2 hour before we started looking for her, since it wasn't time for her to come home.

We have unlimited texting too, so she uses her phone to text her cousin in Florida - it's a heck of a lot cheaper than letting them call each other!.

Jessica - posted on 05/25/2010

1

25

0

I think it really depends on the child's maturity/responsibility level and need. For instance, my (almost) 10 year old is mature/responsible enough to have a phone, and since I have split custody with her dad it would be nice for me to be able to have contact with her on his weeks. (He rarely answers his phone or returns calls/texts.) Plus, it is a fantastic 'grounding' tool. ;) My 8 year old, on the other hand, may never get one. She loses everything and is very clumsy.

Renee - posted on 05/25/2010

1

0

0

I totally agree, it is crazy how parents give in to their children in the name of convenience. My daughters are 9 and 12 and of course they would like to have one but as their parents we know this is not the right thing to do for them so we have stood firm. If they need to use one or take one with them somewhere they can use mine or their father's. I have saw and heard from my daughters to many bad things that come from them at this age.

Bettie - posted on 05/25/2010

41

45

0

I see too many youth today not showing respect for others around them, and some adults too, with the constant texting at movies, restaurants, meals at home. And then there are the adults, using that term loosely, who haven't remembered to put their cell on vibrate or at least turn it down while in a public place, like church or someplace where it would be a bother to others. that doesn't show too much common sense and sure doesn't teach the youth any lessons.

Laurel - posted on 05/25/2010

3

13

0

I TOTALLY Agree - maybe when they are driving so they can let you know if the car breaks down - and even then a prepaid phone. If you don't know where your kids are - then you aren't being a parent. It is quite ridiculous that kids these days have so many electronics - and they don't treat them well either - throwing them and breaking them and parents actually REPLACE them - not in this household!

[deleted account]

Last year for his 10th birthday we bought our son a cell phone - I love the convenience of it. However, we blocked texting for him and my 15 year old son - that I am against.

PAULINE - posted on 05/25/2010

15

7

0

Cell phones are technology that allows us to contact our children in the event that we are in the throws of a panic attack and for five dollars a line I'll get my dog Shorty one for his collar! The radiation is a concern, just the word alone is cause for panic but you must admit that this is a messed up world when we have children killing children and kids abducted by freaks. I'll take the cell phone any day. No, not insane just concerned for their safety and my sanity. I appreciate your point but this is a tough world we live in. I worry about drinking bottles and microwave and on and on.

[deleted account]

You know, I've always said my ten yr old daughter wouldn't get a cell until she was able to drive, or at least be places (sports, etc) that I wouldn't be at always. Then we moved from TN to KY. The thought of something happeningto her while she was at the Boys & Girls Club for the summer, or on a school bus, scared me to death! We have no other family here. I am able to text her while she's at The Club throughtout the day. She can text or call if she has gotten too hot or doesn't like the lunch, or better yet, she can call if something terrible is happening. I know if the bus is running behind dropping her off and I won't have to worry. I know where she is and whats going on at all times. BUT, if we had not moved, she wouldn't have gotten one ;-)

RITA - posted on 05/25/2010

2

16

0

No you aren't the only one, I think it is rediculas for a child to have a cell phone.

Karen - posted on 05/25/2010

1

4

0

I agree. I did not let my children have cell phones until they were 16 and in the car alone. At that time we had a shared cell phone that was used only when necessary. Teens now are doing more texting than talking, so I do not see the harm in brain tumors, I see more harm in the attachment of the device. They do not kow how to act if you take there cell phone away. Now that is scary to me, they are just way to dependent on this little technical device. I think it is good to learn how to live with that dependency.

Diana - posted on 05/25/2010

1

25

0

i am with you. i dont think that thay should be far enough away to need one.when thay are 16 that is different thay need one if thay work to pay the bill. childern should have an older person with them untill thay are old enough to be by themself. that is why thay are being kid naped and all of the other things that are happening to them. cell phones come after the clothing that parents are letting them ware. a lot of kids today need to put on more clothing.

Bettie - posted on 05/25/2010

41

45

0

Amen sister!!!! I am a firm believer of no cells for children. What is the need for children to have to text everyone at all times of the day? Shouldn't they be either with their parents, or other family, or at a school activity while they seem to need to be glued to a cell? It is good for them to have the knowledge of how to contact someone in an emergency, but come on now, you need to have to show me you're responsible before I would ever give anyone under 16 a cell phone. The first time it is used in a bath tub and drowned, would be the last time for me. I see too many children telling their parents what to do and this is very wrong. Teens who act like children when they aren't getting their own way, screaming and talking back, need to be treated like children.

Nikki - posted on 05/25/2010

3

0

0

I agree that a child should not have there own cell phones but as far as the cancer thing, anymore everything can give you cancer. If your going to get cancer, your gonna get it. One minute one thing will give you cancer then the next minute it is really good for ya.

Josephine - posted on 05/25/2010

27

71

0

well as for my opinion of fones and children, as a parent, all i have to say each to his/her own and how they want to 'govern' their parenting and rearing their children, it ALL boils down to one thing, CHOICE.

Heather - posted on 05/25/2010

1

32

0

I have 5 children, 14, 11, 8, 5 and 2 months. Our oldest two children are the only ones of their friends that don't have cell phones. I always know where they are and there is always someway that they can get ahold of me. They will get cell phones when they turn 16, when they are on the road and need one. My husband and I have agreed to stick to our guns on this one!

Arlene - posted on 05/25/2010

7

0

0

Every child is different. Physically, I agree with Abbie. There's so many more other things that I worry about than cellphones. Anyhow, I set a very good example for my daughter. I rarely use my cell. It is a pay as you go phone. Her dad/my hubby never uses a phone (Doesn't even like to talk on the landline phone!) So, February my niece, who's 6 months older than my 10 year old daughter, turned 11. She got her own pay as you go phone. Has a texting plan. So, my daughter wanted a phone too. I told her the only way she could have one is if she paid for it herself. My niece got her phone for her birthday, but she has to pay for the plan. Anyhow, my daughter had been saving for an American girl doll, but decided she wanted the phone. So, we got it. She thought she was pretty cool! (By the way, not to sound cliche, but everyone from about 12 on around here does have them. The kids are teased that don't. Although I don't want my daughter to conform, I don't want her teased.) Well, the weekend she got it she used it all the time! Since then she rarely uses it. She's a very busy girl and to be honest doesn't have a lot of time to play on the cell phone! I don't look at the cell as a means of communication. She is with me or my husband (or another adult) at all times. I look at it as an expensive toy-like a Gameboy or Nintendo! There are lots of rules. Including that I can look at her call log and messages at any time. So, I feel that yes, it's okay to have a cell. Like I said just another expensive toy and if we can get our kids dvd players, cameras, gameboys, and other electronics, then a phone is okay too, but it must be monitored!

Sarah - posted on 05/25/2010

16

0

10

hi
i think it depends on the stuation. my 10yr old has a mobile phone, as she walks to school with friends and i want her to be able to have this independance, but also to have the back up of being able to call me if she has an accident or anything.
my 7 and 3 yr old don't have mobiles as they don't them. they usually speak to people on the house phone, as it is cheaper.

Brandy - posted on 05/25/2010

10

17

0

I have ALWAYS said that my kids won't have a cell phone until they can pay for it...well now I struggle with getting one for my 9 yr old daughter. She is a very active soccer player. My husband has always coached her team but now it is time for her to move up and that means traveling the Austin area for games and sometimes the parents carpool. She is also going away to a soccer camp that has no pay phones in the dorms. I hate seeing kids running around with cell phones infact my step-son no longer comes over because we have rules regading cell phones at the table or family events and such but I hate to have her in such vulnerable siuations with no way to contact me. We have been considering a pre-paid phone used only for these situations

[deleted account]

I do agree with the mom who started this conversation. However, we have a blended family in which the mom of my stepkids (3) gave them cell phones when they were about 12. They all primarily use their phones for texting. I think they text faster than they talk. My 2 kids got cell phones when they were 12 as well but they don't talk very much at all. Texting is the thing. I probably talk on mine to my husband a whole lot more than all the kids talk on theirs put together. My family has always "joked" that, sooner or later, the researchers find that just about everything causes cancer. If I let it bug me too much, it will drive me insane. I try to arm myself and my kids with good nutrition and vitamins with antioxidants to combat the free radicals (cancer causers). What more can we do? Hide in a cave. Maybe become Amish or Mennonites ;)

[deleted account]

My boys got cell phones when they were in middle school and active in sports. It gave them a sense of security knowing that they could contact my husband and myself if their schedules changed or whatever. They also gave up part of their allowance to cover the monthly fee. They have never been ones to talk on the phone so they don't really use them for that. They do text with their friends when they need to arrange get-togethers, etc.

So my take on this issue is that it has been a good thing for children who are old enough. I agree that small children don't have a need for a cell phone, but with the comments I've read, there could be some exceptions to that for safety reasons.

Stephanie - posted on 05/25/2010

3

0

0

Forgot one more thing, I also wish that we still lived in a time of pay phones, dollies, sit and spins, but the world around us is going more techie every day! There is a limit to what I will allow my children to have.
But when you have multiple children and they are involved in different activities, a cell phone creates a direct line to their parents. It is really difficult to say what you will and won't do until the situation is presented to you.

Tanya - posted on 05/25/2010

1

2

0

I agree!! You're not alone. My fourteen year old son continues to harass me daily about getting one. I've told him that he can have one when he can pay for it. Hopefully, by the time he's sixteen, his development will be advanced enough to "handle" the effects. know that it's inevitable for him and am just trying to delay it as long as possible while also sending him the message that I don't think cell phone usage is benign. Good for you and hang in there!!

Stephanie - posted on 05/25/2010

3

0

0

I guess I just have an issue believing that we are all going to just develop brain tumors because we use cell phones.
Maybe it contributes and maybe it is just one more thing that we are suppose to worry about.
We have transfered three times in the past 7 years. My daughter got a cell phone at age 11. She keeps in contact with her friends and family. She has been extremely responsible and even stayed within her text limit. I do believe our children are growing up way too fast but I believe it has to do with other reasons not cell phones. I don't think any parent is crazy or wrong for standing behind their values or beliefs in how you choose to raise your children but the same should apply the other way around.

Kristi - posted on 05/25/2010

8

79

0

you must be. lol j/k i know alot of parents that think the same way but my daughter is 9 and walks home from school. i like for her to have hers for safety. I use a low rate cell company and its perfect for her.

Lindsey - posted on 05/25/2010

1

6

0

I think everyone's circumstances are different as far as the need for a cell phone,My son has one and he is 12-he has had one since he was 10 based on the fact his father didn't have a home phone so I wanted a way to talk to him and he carries it for emergency as you never know like another woman said how the girl was attacked and her phone saved her.He has limits on how much he can use it.As far as the health risks ,not sure,but have you looked into what vaccines are made of ? My daughter died from a vaccine reaction so if you aren't concerned with this,I think this is by far more of a health risk then a cell phone!!
Do what you feel is best for your situation :)

Margo - posted on 05/25/2010

9

9

1

Its a hard thing to say. As I say it's a individual parent's choice. Ours have been saviours for our teenagers, our twins don't talk on them very often only text, but this past winter when several men tried to break in the house while they were studying for midterms, it allowed them to call me, their dad and I was able to put them on hold and call 911 immediately, I could hear the whole attempted break in-"in progress via their cell phone" scared the crap out of me!! My twins are 14 but only 4ft 8". BUT police came 3 hours later I got there 30 mins later. Police told girls they had more pertinent things to get to first and that we needed to fix our front door it was a mess. No kidding. Our kids also walk up to the main road which I can see but not the bus stop and we had some crazy guy going around here and pa snatching or attempting to snatch the kids from the bus stop. We have peds and child porns everywhere because for some crazy reason being in such a little tiny state our STATE feels the need to make world news!!!. LIke the Vice President being from here isn't enough. OH and my twins called me last week while I was headed away and was nearing Baltimore to tell me a guy had hit there bus, flipped over and hit the next car driving the same direction. That guy died. But I had all the kids insurance cards and if the district made them go to the hospital I would have turned around, if not for the cell no one would have known why the girls didn't get home until 2 hours after the bus left school. Again I said it's individual decisions, but 4 years old with one, yea a little over the top I suppose.

Justine - posted on 05/25/2010

2

3

0

I am sure you will feel the need to provide your children with a cell phone when they are going on public transport to and from school!

You then need to weigh the risk of using a cell against the risk of travelling on public transport. I would be a nervous wreck if I couldn't contact my children during their travelling time.

Yes we all coped without cell phones, but the world is sadly a different place today and my children have been in some uncomfortable situations while travelling. Until all of you mothers with small children are in this situation you have no right to judge!

Michelle - posted on 05/25/2010

12

22

1

I agree, apart from the dangers of cell phones I believe young children have far too much given now - ipods, TV's DVD players, laptops, its ridiculous, children should be allowed to play with normal toys and be children!

[deleted account]

You are absolutely not alone. It's no different than any of the many other "adult" items that have become acceptable by mainstream society, in recent years, and look what is happening to our society. We can't blame cell phones, but we can blame the mentality that encourages them. Sometimes it's because parents want their children to have everything others have, but often it's simply because they don't have the backbone or parental skills to simply say, "NO". Kudo's to you for your "no". Each of us who says "no", whether it's to a cell phone, a barbie doll, an R rated movie, etc. are helping to at least keep our society from falling deeper into the abyss; and possibly, each "no" may even contribute towards making things a bit better!

[deleted account]

I agree and disagree. I think that too many kids have their own cell phones way before they can understand or care about the responsibility of having one. And I'm even including some teenagers in this statement! Not to sound old-fashioned, but if we managed, so can they.

On the disagreement side, I don't think if my son was on my phone talking to my mom that he would be in harm's way. I always use the speaker function, but that is because he doesn't always hold the phone correctly, lol.

  1. 1
  2. ...
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms