Should a 11-Year-Old Have a Cell Phone?

Diana - posted on 11/25/2009 ( 198 moms have responded )

7

15

0

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.....

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Colette - posted on 11/26/2009

1

21

0

I think it's a good idea! My kids had one for emergencies. They could get a hold of me at anytime they needed during the day. After school to tell me that the bus was going to be late or that they forgot their key to the house and they were going to the neighbor's. My daughter's 11 and my son is almost 10. They have unlimited plans now like Cricket,T-mobile and Metro PCS depending on where you live.

Heather - posted on 12/06/2009

1

0

0

IMHO, 11 is much too young. For many. many reasons but I won't step on my box in this forum. I have three children and currently only my 17 yo has his own phone. My 15 1/2 yo is getting his for Christmas and my 12 yo will have to wait. That's how life works. I feel that this country is much to over indulgent and too many parents encourage it simply to save an inconvenience for themselves. Heck, if people didn't want to be inconvenienced they shouldn't have had kids! I know that people consider me old fashioned because I don't allow my children very convenience at their fingertips but way back in the 1980's we actually played OUTSIDE, knocked on the neighbors door if we wanted to talk and may parents met my friends face-to-face. Imagine that.....

Becky - posted on 12/06/2009

91

20

15

I would say it depends on her maturity level........but if she isn't doing assigned chores I would tell her no not until you can except the responsibilities you have around the house ......my son is twelve and wants one too but until he can do his chores without being constantly told to and keeps his room clean the answer will be no...he doesnt like it but thats how it goes here. Good luck!

Heather - posted on 12/06/2009

7

24

0

I have an 11 year old daughter who also wants a phone. I told her no b/c she's too young to have one yet. I"m with her everywhere she goes b/c she's too young to run by herself to the mall for instance. I am just getting my 13 year old daughter one for Christmas b/c she's into a lot of sports, and that way she can call me when the bus is going to be at the school for away games. (They stop and eat, I just go home). I feel that we give our children way too much these days and that it's time parents be parents and not friends with their kids. With all the peer pressure that goes on today, I'm half afraid of getting her one. I mean, there's all this "sex-ting" that's going on, naked pics, etc. How can a parent properly monitor what exactly is being sent/said over a phone that's not right in their hands? If my daughter wants to talk to her friends, she can use the house phone.

Catherine - posted on 12/06/2009

2

7

0

The cell phone issue is something that I feel is very tricky depending on the situation and the child. My oldest didn't get her first cell untill she was a freshmen in high school. She never really had a need for one before then. She began playing sports and coming home late on buses ect ect. This made it easier for me to know that she was safe as well as saving me time sitting at the school if the game went into over time or they're running late. My youngest did however get her first cell at 11. Reason being that she was playing sports earlier than my oldest and for the same reason. So as you see you have to weigh out the pros and cons. I do however keep tabs on her usuage, mins, times spent on phone as well as grades and behavior being the number one importance of her keeping the phone. Good luck with your descison.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

198 Comments

View replies by

Charlie - posted on 12/19/2009

11,203

111

401

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread , look forward to future posts from all of you .



Loureen .

Moderator .

Robyn - posted on 12/19/2009

16

10

0

Quoting andrea:

I feel in most cases, an 11 year old with a cell phone is kind of crazy, however, I have a friend who let her daughters have cell phones when they were that age and it was actually a great thing for them. Both girls were involved in sports and various after school activities and relied a lot on their friends' parents and other prearranged pick ups and drop offs due to the fact that my friend was an incredibly busy basically single mother working and going to school...there were a couple times when, for some reason or another, one of her daughters was inadvertently forgotten. If it wasn't for the cell phone she was carrying...who knows what would have happened besides a whole lot of panic! She didn't allow her daughters to use their cell phones casually, she was very strict with the use of them as a matter of fact and luckily the girls did abide by her rules otherwise not only would they lose the phones...there would be no after school activities either. That being said...I wholeheartedly agree that children this age should not be allowed cell phones unless they share a similar need and under extreme supervision. There are too many things that can go horribly wrong if not carefully watched..and even sometimes under a watchful eye. It comes down to just using your own better judgment
.


 

Sima - posted on 12/14/2009

11

6

0

The younger children are, the more comfortable they are with using all kinds of technology. My daughters didn't get phones until they were 16, but now my 10-year-old niece uses a cell in Manhattan. It really depends on the child's maturity and responsibility level. But it's good to remember, as Shaina says, a phone is not a right, it's a privilege. Also remember that so much of cell use these days is texting, so you have to have rules for that as well.

Kathryn - posted on 12/12/2009

13

10

0

Some would say that is too young but when my daughter reaches a certain age I would like her to have one. They are great in case of an emergency. In the world we live in I want to make sure my daughter can either call me or 911 if needed to. If you're worried about her abusing it there are some phones where you can restrict who they call. I think it would be best to get a prepaid phone to begin and take it away at night so she wont be up all night gossiping!

Denise - posted on 12/12/2009

1

5

0

I let my daughter have a cell phone @ 11yrs old. She had to catch the bus to school, and the school was way across town. Maybe it was more for me, to feel better. In an emergency she could call me or her Father.And things went well. I felt it was a way for her to be responsible. I wouldn't of given it to her just to have a cell phone because all her friends do. I'd give it to her and she'd have to show you she is responsible enough to keep it. Get a pay as you go plan first. Then after report cards come out reevaluate things.

Susan - posted on 12/12/2009

3

5

0

well my sons 10 and he has one,he only uses it 2 ring the family if he needs any thing,and if he needs money on it,he knows he has 2 do his chores, and also i can keep an eye on where he is and what time he will ne bk,

Sima - posted on 12/11/2009

11

6

0

The age keeps moving down as younger children are more and more tech savvy. My daughter didn't get one until she was 16, but my 10 year old niece uses one now in Manhattan. It should depend on the child's maturity and responsibility level and, as Shaina said, it is NOT a right, but a privilege to be earned.

Julia - posted on 12/08/2009

4

1

0

Its a false sense of security!

If a child is kidnapped, a phone is not going to save them, a kidnapper is not going to just stand there waiting for them to phone home.

I also mentioned other risks in a previous post, please read it. A mobile phone is merely a tool, and (just like the internet) it can be used to access your child.

Jen - posted on 12/07/2009

3

40

0

My daughters did very well on the prepaid thing that it was only a matter of a few months until they were added to our plan. honestly i have more problems now with them going over on things then i ever did at age 11. lol

Mary - posted on 12/07/2009

1

15

0

check out the fireflymobile.com. I've been reading about their prepaid cell phone features for my son and I think I will be getting him a cellphone for christmas with these features that will give a complete control of my childs phone use.

Codi - posted on 12/07/2009

20

37

1

get her one... my friend gave her kid one and it was great because it was one of those phones where the parent has to program in what numbers are called... alot of the time having a cell phone is just for show at that age... or get her a prepaid cellphone and if she wants minutes on it than she has to do her work around the house and keep her grades up... there are lots of ways around a young kid having a cell phone

Angela - posted on 12/07/2009

1

21

0

I think that 11 is too young to have a phone as well however there are some exceptions, like does your step daughter walk home from school by herself? Does she come home to an empty house? Is she allowed to call dad when she goes to mom's house? I have a similar situation at my home. My 15 year old got a phone when she was 11 but she walked a mile home each day after school to an empty house and I wanted her to be able to call me if necessary. However we started her on the Firefly with AT&T. We programmed the phone so that she was only able to receive calls and make calls to the numbers that were programmed into her phone. My 13 year old step daughter and 11 year old step son want us to get them phone however they have a cell phone at moms and we don't see the need in them having two phones. They are not allowed to give the number to Dad's side of the family, including Dad, they are not allowed to call anyone on Dad's side of the family with their phone however when they come to our house, they are allowed to use any of our phones to call their mom, friends or anyone else as long as their homework is done.



In regards to the 15 year old, she does her homework, has 3.7 GPA and she pays for all the extras on her phone such as unlimited texting, unlimited access to internet, etc. We pay for the basic service and she pays for any additional downloads.

Jeanne - posted on 12/07/2009

3

0

0

you sure got a lot of opinions on this one. we had the same debate with our 11 year old. our older two did not get one until junior high. i think it depends on the need and the responsibility level of the child. we laid down the rules and started by having her use one over the summer when it would not be a distraction with school. she did great and never lost her phone. she had some social awkwardness we were also working with, and the cell phone has really helped her friend situation and helps her to fit in better.

well, that's our child, and there is plenty of room for misuse.

Tracy - posted on 12/07/2009

2

20

0

My daughter had a phone at 9, she's now 13. The first one was prepaid and we put limits on the use, but this one has a certain amount of minutes of talk, which she is to use only to call me when she's out, and unlimited texts to talk to her friends. She uses it constantly, is never off, except during school hours. I think it is a good safety feature for girls to have. Also, if she doesn't live near her friends, it helps to keep in touch, send messages about sleepovers etc. I think it's worth paying for. We also did this for our much older son when he was in trouble financially, so he could keep in touch. He gave it back as soon as things eased off for him.

Sheay - posted on 12/07/2009

2

8

0

i was leary about lettin my 11 yr old having a cellphone but believe it or not it has shown her some type of responibility. she has really proven she is old enough to take care of it. plus you can always customize it to keep the bill from being outrageous.

Jacqueline - posted on 12/06/2009

1

9

0

Girls talk a lot more than boys.11 is too young she will have a high phone bill or use up pre-paid minutes. My daugther had a high phone bill with her first cell phone and she was 16 yrs old. If she is not doing her chores she will not follow the rules of having a cell phone.

Michelle - posted on 12/06/2009

167

10

12

My ex-husband bought our daughter a mobile phone when she was 8. I was so not impressed! As he hadn't had much contact with her for many years beforehand, and was justing starting to visit her dad every second week-end. I told him that it was a stupid idea giving such a young child a phone. After a few months she wasn't looking after it, left it on the floor in her room and later stood on it therefore breaking it. About 6 months and a different girlfriend later, my ex bought her another one. I told him as long as he was paying for any calls and not me. She isn't allowed to take it with her to school and she really isn't that interested in using it thank goodness. She is now 11 and only uses it when her father phones her. Young kids of this age don't understand fully or appreciate the responsibilites that having a mobile phone entails. And also sometimes the consquences eg running up big bills. Sometimes it can be a peer pressure thing.....I want one because all my other friends have one. I am definately not really keen on young children having mobiles, but I can understand the need for one if there is a safety issue eg waiting to be picked up from somewhere on a regular basis.

Gloria - posted on 12/06/2009

9

12

0

it depends on way the child needs or even wants a phone. Is it a safety issue. Or is there concern that an emergency may arise and she need the phone? Did she ride the school bus and come home to an empty house? If she just wants a phone i say NO. But if there is an emotional need that the phone addresses then consider the request.

Jen - posted on 12/06/2009

3

40

0

My daughters ages 16 and 13 now both started out with cell phones at about 11. i think they are a great thing for both the child and the parent. They make great tracking devices. If u dont want to add her to ur plan start out with a cheap pay as u go phone just to see how it goes and how she is going to take care of it.

Yashica - posted on 12/06/2009

10

3

0

If you think your kid is responsible enough to handle a phone then fine, but if not than you shouldn't get them a phone. If you want to give it a try, get one if those prepaid phones. You can use this as a way to teach responsibility and discipline.

Tina - posted on 12/06/2009

15

31

1

To be honest i think its a good idea as far as for emergencies, and with the freaks out there today its a safety precaution.

Channa - posted on 12/06/2009

4

29

0

My kids aren't that age yet, but my friend with six kids says that 8 or 9 is the appropriate age for prepaid cell phones so the child can contact the parent if they are taken, etc. Let's face it: it's a scary world out there with lots of sickos and if I can give my child a chance to contact me if something bad happens, as long as the child is mature enough to understand the concept of emergencies, cell phones w/gps detectors are huge helps. c

Kimberly - posted on 12/06/2009

165

40

7

Most eleven year olds do have cell phones and it can be a good thing if you set rules and stick to them. Its good for emergencies so that would be my way to justify it. I think if you get a prepaid phone it can't really get out of hand and she'll have to use it wisely so as not to waste all minutes.

MARYTIEL - posted on 12/06/2009

8

9

2

I wouln't buy her a cell phone.Y?I mean u just tell her to use the house and if u have a cell phone let her use it once in a while.That's wat i would do just to check her out see who she calls and wat she does...

C. - posted on 12/06/2009

4,125

35

238

I think 11 is too young. Cell phones are a PRIVILEGE, not a right!!!! And just b/c her friends have cell phones, doesn't mean she needs one. If her friends jumped off a cliff, would she???

Sharlyn - posted on 12/06/2009

1

10

0

My 10 year old has a prepaid. If she wants minutes she uses her allowance. I think for kids in this age group it's more of the idea of having one then actually using it. She uses it mostly to call family. I like her having it because when she is somewhere without me I can check on her.

Neiceydaboss - posted on 12/06/2009

9

55

1

its up to the parents I have a young son and a young granddaughter and I wont them to have a phone but that is up to me and my husband. Just giving my opinion.

[deleted account]

I don't think it's a good thing as it makes them "too big for their shoes". they need to be their age. I also have a step daughter & her dad let her shave at the age of 11 and had 3 holes pierced at 13, She is now 14 but acts as though she is 18.

JACKIE - posted on 12/06/2009

1

22

0

I think 11 is a little to young but it also could come in handy if someone was to try to kidnap your child or your child gets lost for some reason.

Jessica - posted on 12/06/2009

621

25

79

I guess I'm a little ol' fashion but I believe 11 is too young. When I was 11 I never had one. We always had to let our parents know where we were going and who we were gonna be with and I had to check in with them if I was gone all day. I did this til I finally moved out at the age of 22

[deleted account]

I may be old fashion but I thing that is too young..

1. Does she show OUTSTANDING responsibility ?

2 Is she VERY considerate of others?

3 Is she REPRIMANDED more than three times a week?

4 Are you called to school for ANY reason regarding her behavior or work ethics?

If you answer positively to and of these then she is very well behaved and could probibly have a go phone on outings but not every day untill high school when can pay half the bill so she can appreciate the the cast.

Katie - posted on 12/06/2009

7

7

0

My son is 11 as well, and he has a cell phone. The reason we got one for him was because he walks to and from school, so its piece of mind for my husband and I

Julia - posted on 12/06/2009

4

1

0

If you are considering getting a mobile phone for a child for safety reasons please consider that it can be a double edged sword. Yes they can contact you if they need, but anyone can also contact them; your child's phone number will be accessible to anyone who comes into contact with the phone on the recieving end of a txt etc. How many school friends will your darling be texting? What happens if one of these phones is misplaced, lost or stolen? Someone who you don't know, has a kid's phone full of other kids mobile numbers, can read all previous txt, and can contact your child!

I suggest communication between parents and children with mobiles be talking only and not txt.

You might think I'm paranoid, but hey, remember there was a time before the internet too...... food for thought.

Jacinta - posted on 12/06/2009

15

22

0

Quoting Petra:

I am going to be the bad guy here and say absolutely no. What in the world is a kid this age doing with a cell phone. If we have to buy 7 and 8 year old little kids cell phones, we are too busy as parents. When they are teenagers and are able to pay for it or at least for part of it, that's a different story.


Yes I am too busy as a parent but I didn't ask to be a single working mother. This is my life now and it makes both him and me feel safer.



I would agree with those who have said it depends on you individual circumstances
.

Rev Diana - posted on 12/05/2009

1

1

0

11 year old should not have a cell phone, in these day and time to much is happening to our young people. No family structure, because we don' t know where they are ,or who they're doing it with. when they are older in high school, more respondable ,doing good in school, doing their chores, then it might be time

Tracy - posted on 12/05/2009

62

7

7

Depends on the reason for the phone. For safety, sports. when she stays home alone, yes. To chat with friends doesn't seem like good enough reason for me to justify the expense unless she is willing to work to pay for the minutes (or use an allowance if she gets an allowance.)

Andrea - posted on 12/04/2009

2

21

0

I feel in most cases, an 11 year old with a cell phone is kind of crazy, however, I have a friend who let her daughters have cell phones when they were that age and it was actually a great thing for them. Both girls were involved in sports and various after school activities and relied a lot on their friends' parents and other prearranged pick ups and drop offs due to the fact that my friend was an incredibly busy basically single mother working and going to school...there were a couple times when, for some reason or another, one of her daughters was inadvertently forgotten. If it wasn't for the cell phone she was carrying...who knows what would have happened besides a whole lot of panic! She didn't allow her daughters to use their cell phones casually, she was very strict with the use of them as a matter of fact and luckily the girls did abide by her rules otherwise not only would they lose the phones...there would be no after school activities either. That being said...I wholeheartedly agree that children this age should not be allowed cell phones unless they share a similar need and under extreme supervision. There are too many things that can go horribly wrong if not carefully watched..and even sometimes under a watchful eye. It comes down to just using your own better judgment

.

Gaynor - posted on 12/04/2009

1

1

0

ive just bought my 10 year old her first cellphone, ive only bought her a cheap 1 because i dont want other children trying to steal it off her and because she now goes to her grandmas house on her own and to the shop occationally. i think it really depends on the child, if they are ready for independance then yes they need 1 for security.

April - posted on 12/03/2009

1

20

0

I think it depends on the child. If your step-daughter is responsible and trustworthy then I would lean toward saying yes. I would set some strict ground rules. I hope that helps!!

Liz - posted on 12/03/2009

9

27

0

I think you should get her a pay-as-you-go cellphone(just without all the bells and whistles as regular expensive phones.)Tell her if she's responsible and uses it wisely then she'll earn the right to a regular cellphone.

[deleted account]

We got a cell phone for our 10 year old and put Verizon's Chaperone on it. If it's on you can get messages to your cell phone or computer that tell you where she is within a half mile. She knows the restrictions and is pretty good with it. It really is a maturity issue. Is she mature enough to use it properly or will it just be an expensive toy?

Reyna - posted on 12/03/2009

3

6

0

My daughter is 11 years old and she has had a cell phone since she was eight. It was my decision to get her one for a safety issue. She was always going places with family and friends and I wanted to be able to talk to her and vice versa whenever we needed.This day and age with all the kids that come up missing, I think it is a good idea. It may not be for every young girl. We make sure she knows the rules and responsibility that comes with it. I think that having a phone since she was eight has taught her that it is not a toy.

Rhondella - posted on 12/03/2009

2

20

0

My daughter has been having a cell phone since the age of 10. I have had no trouble out of her or the phone. If she starts to clown then its gettin turned off real fast. I dont play that. I always talk to her. I tell her to let me know when she starts liking boys and all that. I dont want her sneaking behind my back talkin to them or anything like that.

Patricia - posted on 12/03/2009

10

0

0

Absolutely not! 11 years old is too young for a lot of things, and cell phones is one of them. 11 is also the age when they start the "but everyone else is doing it," whine and, "you're so mean!," and the famous, "you never......" statements. Don't give in to her whims. You're the adult, so not only are you the one with the wisdom, but you are also the one in control. Don't let her take that away from you becasue once you give in to one whim, then it's all downhill from there. She will know she can manipulate you. You've got quite a few tough years ahead of you before it gets better, so strap on your seatbelt and get ready for a bumpy ride. Just remember that YOU are in the driver's seat.

Diane - posted on 12/03/2009

13

9

2

I think she is too young. As my mother used to say "if everyone else was jumping off a bridge would you want to too". Just because other children have certain toys doesn't mean she needs one. The teachers in school have lots of trouble with the kids playing on their cell phones instead of doing their work. If it is a case of the child needing emergency aid ( like the one with diabetes) then I would say yes but still have strict limits.

Robyn - posted on 12/03/2009

16

10

0

my son has one but he did not get one intil he got to 8 th grade but my nepew as one and he is 10 yr. old so let your get one

Tracy - posted on 12/03/2009

1

1

0

I thought it was too young for my daughter too, until I realized that with a cell phone she had absolutely NO excuse to not keep in contact. Looking at it from a communication stand point, its a tool not a toy. I got her a limited access phone at the time that only allowed a few calls and texts, and the phone was only to leave with her when she was away from safe places. Of course as time went on she earned the right to more privileges thru behavior and grades. This is something she wants like a toy, this is something you NEED as a tool to keep your child safe and in contact. Set the rules from YOUR view, not hers, and keep firm with the boundaries and you will not only teach her responsibility but the lesson in earning what she wants thru mature behavior.

Dawn - posted on 12/02/2009

9

12

2

The only way we let our children have a cell phone is when they may need to call us in an emergency or let us know when their extra curricular activities are done so that we can come pick them up. We have three children and it is shared. There are some days even weeks that that phone just sits on the counter. At age 11 she is in 5 or 6th grade and that age and grade level really don't have that many extra things going on that are not on a time table so I would probably say no. If the friends want to talk on the phone than have them use the land line where it can be monitored on who they talk to and for how long. Giving too much freedom too soon is a dangerous road.

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