Kids and cellphones

Jenn - posted on 10/21/2010 ( 51 moms have responded )

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What is your thought on kids having cell phones? Do your kids have them? Why or why not.

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Jodi - posted on 10/30/2010

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"After school and weekends, In my opinion, are a time for family."



Good luck with that.....most extracurricular sports are after school and on weekends.

Jodi - posted on 10/21/2010

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Big deal. My son has one, he received it for his 12th birthday. He has to pay for his credit. He doesn't use it a lot, but it has come in VERY handy a couple of times, such as when they change basketball practice times after school on Mondays, or when he is at his dad's and needs to contact me or I need to talk to him about something (his dad won't answer the phone if I call his). It is handy if I drop he and a friend at the movies, he just calls me when he is done. He takes it with him if he goes with friends to the local basketball courts or football oval.

Just remember, pay phones are not as prevalent these days. Where I live, you have to walk forever to find one. They actually took most of them out because so many people have mobile phones these days, they don't get used much and are just targets for vandals. So while I was young, I used to have 20c for the phone, now that just isn't viable.

So maybe they don't NEED them most of the time, but I don't see the issue once your child is responsible enough to look after it.

May I also say that my step son's mother gave him one of ohers, and it has given my husband a greater ability to stay in touch with his son when he isn't here with us. We only see him every second weekend because of distance, so this is a great way to be able to keep in touch, and my husband feels more comfortable with it knowing it is his son's phone, and he doesn't have to go through everyone else to talk to his son.

Leah - posted on 10/30/2010

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Argg, this debate irritates me. Did we 'need' cell phones as kids? No. All the extra curricular activites are attended by coaches and/or parental chaperons, so if your kid needed to call you they could borrow a cell phone from one of them.

I had a job at 13 years old and expect my kids to if they want the luxeries in life, like a cell phone. If they want one, get a job, buy a prepaid cell phone and buy the time for it yourself. Other than that, no deal. If there is an emergency, knock on someones door, go into a store or flag down a car to call 911 for you. Period. Kids are so god dammed spoiled these days it drives me nuts and think they are so entitled to things just because they exist. Try to make your kids work for someone once in a while.

Sharon - posted on 10/21/2010

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Nah - it was an older debate Jenn - I was just rationalizing my short response, lol.

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51 Comments

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LaCi - posted on 11/02/2010

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When he's old enough to go out and about on his own, I'll get him a cell phone. I would imagine he'll be out by himself when he's 6 or 7, wandering the neighborhood, and I'll get him a phone then.

I have no problems with him talking on the phone, texting, whatever. I want him to be able to call me if he needs me, call the police if he needs them, all that stuff.

Charlie - posted on 11/02/2010

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Well hardly anyone i know has a landline , there are very few phoneboxes / payphones because of the very fact so many people have mobiles , by the time my boys are old enough to have a phone there will be even less .

When they are old enough to leave on their own at extra curricular activities they can have a pre paid mobile they can work for their credit by doing extra household chores .

Anika , you can buy things by text message off vending machines with your phone !

Iris - posted on 11/02/2010

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Coming late into this debate and I haven't read the responses except on the first page.
My daughter is 11 and got her phone is September, and I couldn't be happier. It's a security and convenience. If we can put her on our plan without hurting financially then I don't see the problem with it. Her phone is also locked during school hours and the only persons she can use it for during that time is us, the parents and 911.
I also saw Lindsay post that most of her friends don't have landlines. We don't have one either and most of our friends don't have one.

Desiree - posted on 11/01/2010

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Sharon good enough reasoning I think. I live in JHB South Africa. that in itself is a good enough reason for my kids to have cell phones. beside we don't have a decent public transport system, of reliable telephone system (Telkom is always down) sports, after school activities and having to drive kids everywhere because not safe to walk is the other good reasons. Ok things aren't as bad as people make out but you just don't take chances with your children's lives full stop.

[deleted account]

@Leah - LOL, I get like that too haha.

The 7 year old thing is because at that age it is feasible that she would be away from adult supervision (walking to school by herself) and so therefore, for my own peace of mind, I'd like her to have a cellphone so I can contact her or she can contact me. If I was driving her to school and back and she was never away from a supervising adult then I'd have to rethink it.

I'd also like to point out though that its a changing world and technology is becoming ever present. It's not the same as when I was kid in the 80s and 90s. Now our phones are not just our phones. I have everything on my phone -music, photos, calendar, notes, calculator, games etc etc It's more than just my phone. Who knows what they'll be like in 5-10 years time? We might be using them to buy things.

Stifler's - posted on 11/01/2010

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i think it's ridiculous. why do kids need a phone even for safety reasons? what are they doing????

Leah - posted on 10/31/2010

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@Anika, sorry got a little flustered lol. No, you are totally on the same page as me. Prepaid, hand me down cell phone is a great idea. I don't know about the 7 years old part but to each their own.

And I am certainly not part of the older generation lol, I'm only 25!

Rebecca - posted on 10/30/2010

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I want to say that I disagree, but right now all I have is a vision, no experience from the parenting side. Only time will tell, I suppose :)

Jodi - posted on 10/30/2010

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No worries :) I was just disagreeing with the link between kids having cell phones and family time. I believe that's a parenting issue not a cell phone issue.

Rebecca - posted on 10/30/2010

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Thanks for clearing that up. :)

I was just saying I personally wouldn't want to see my child walking around staring at her cell phone until she is responsible enough to pay for it herself. I apologize for the generalization

Jodi - posted on 10/30/2010

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I was just looking for clarification Rebecca, simply because I know I don't see that with my son, my 18 year old step daughter or their friends, so I think you are generalising. It is as simple as setting boundaries, just like anything else. After all, this is a debate community and I am debating your viewpoint :)

Rebecca - posted on 10/30/2010

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"What has the family going out the window got to do with cell phones anyway? Just because a kid has a cell phone doesn't mean they aren't into spending family time. And seriously, family time after school is not even a reality. Homework is a reality.....we fon't have family time until we sit down for the evening meal, but that doesn't mean the family is out the window."



When did this turn into comparing your family to mine? All I did was give my opinion on the subject, and i'd like to stick to that if you wouldn't mind. Since my daughter is only 2 months old, I'm not completely at liberty for comparison, i'm just looking at how it was for me growing up. My family actually did do a lot of stuff together...A lot more than just sit down for an evening meal, anyway. My family made sure that family came before anything else. In my opinion, cell phones should definitely not be a priority.



*edit to add* Every young child I see out there with a cell phone in hand is paying much more attention to their friends through their phones instead of spending that time with their family. I just disagree that a kid is responsible enough to have a cell phone.

Jodi - posted on 10/30/2010

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"all of my extracurricular activities were before school and the occasional friday evening or saturday morning. Doesn't mean we have to let family activity go out the window."

What has the family going out the window got to do with cell phones anyway? Just because a kid has a cell phone doesn't mean they aren't into spending family time. And seriously, family time after school is not even a reality. Homework is a reality.....we fon't have family time until we sit down for the evening meal, but that doesn't mean the family is out the window.

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@Leah -I don't think a kid having a cellphone makes them spoiled. It's a changing world. We have more technology to make things easier. I agree, now somethings are too easy. But that all depends on how you use it.

When I was a kid we didn't have cellphones and we did get by, but I can think of a few instances where having a cellphone would have been beneficial.

I'm sure some of the older generation think the exact same thing about us "I didn't need a cellphone to raise my children and work" and they're mostly right too. Most adults don't really 'need' a cellphone either. But I sure as hell wouldn't be without mine.

So when my daughter is about 7 she'll get a hand me down phone on a prepay account and there'll be rules. She plays up and it will be the first thing taken away. She spends all her credit too quickly and she'll just have to wait to get more etc etc. I don't see how that's spoiled.

Rebecca - posted on 10/30/2010

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all of my extracurricular activities were before school and the occasional friday evening or saturday morning. Doesn't mean we have to let family activity go out the window.

[deleted account]

My daughter is only 12 months so I have a wee whiles to go before this is an issue. At this stage, I plan to get her one when she is away from us for any period of time ie when she walks to school by herself. That could be as young as 7. We're quite a technology based family. She already has an old iphone without a sim card in it. Stops her from playing around with our phones as my husband showed her how to unlock them! LOL

Rebecca - posted on 10/30/2010

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My kid will not. I wasn't allowed to have a cell phone until I was able to pay the bill myself, and i think that'd be a great way to motivate my daughter into some responsibility. Who are kids gonna call?? After school and weekends, In my opinion, are a time for family.

Chelsea - posted on 10/29/2010

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i think when a kid is about 12 or so is when they should get one. when i was 12 i had music and basketball practice, competitions, and away games. it would have been nice to have a phone to call my mom from when i was finished. track phones are perfect you can just put time on them as you need it. when kids get older, like 16 or 17, or are responsible enough then i would get them a phone on a contract like that family share thing at&t has

Jenn - posted on 10/22/2010

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Well, I guess it just goes to show you how different it is where we all live - because like I said we still have a ton of pay phones here and everyone still has home phones. Maybe I'll come back to this thread in 10 years and see if I've changed my mind. :P

Tah - posted on 10/22/2010

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firstlt, i don't know when the last time is that i saw a payphone, we were talking about how all the payphones were gone and there are many that have been removed,

next..drug dealers use track phones, they can't be traced..lol..don't ask...

My 13 year old has a phone because he does do activites, he goes to his friends houses, and to the park..etc, and if he is home and we aren't we may need to contact him and vice versa....My 8 year old'f father bought her phone, put here on his plan and pays her bill, she forgot her charger when she came home last month, do i look like i'm in any rush to get her phone charged, i don't even think she needs it, it is on the ledge outside her room and i walk past it everyday. I guess he gave it to her so he could call her, but he has never had a problem reaching her any other time, unless we weren't together....my 3 year has...sike..just playing....he doesn't have one.....lol

Johnny - posted on 10/22/2010

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When she's old enough to go off for long periods on her own, she will be allowed a cell phone. But, she'll have to turn it in at the front door, just like my husband and I do. We have a basket, they get turned off and stay in the basket until we leave the house. She will also have a very limited plan and be completely responsible for paying any overages. I'm not very nice.

Rosie - posted on 10/22/2010

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aahh, cell phones. my oldest who is 10, came up to me just 2 days ago and asked for a phone. i was shocked, lol! he said everybody has a phone, and he wants one too. i told him as soon as he can pay for one is when he can get one. he didn't like that answer, but too bad. he is NOT responsible at all. he has ADHD and his mind wanders too much, he doesn't have the capapbility of taking care of anthing let alone an expensive phone.
i do kinof like the phones that only can call home and 911, but i'm almost confident he's break it somehow. i think my 5 year old can take better care of his stuff than my 10 year old. i might consider getting him one of those phones when he gets older-but then i'll hear the never ending "mom, why does vinnie get a phone when i don't? that's not fair. you're mean!!! "
parenting more than one child sucks sometimes, lol!!

Isobel - posted on 10/22/2010

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my ex just gave my 9-year-old a cell phone (for NO reason I might add). I don't think she needs it, I keep it up on a shelf and give it to her when she asks for it, but she has to tell me what she's doing with it, and give it back to me when she's done.

I don't want her getting used to having it with her all the time, or constantly talking on it...just because I think cell phone addicts are obnoxious.

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Yeah the drug dealers generally have their cellphones but there are still some little thugs using the payphones and yes leaving their "stuff" for someone else to pick up on the payphones. The drug dealing world is a weird world and they will use whatever the heck they can to deal, including payphones taped or not. I know someone who was in that "industry" (not in my life anymore) but the payphones are used a lot and so are cellphones.

Bonnie - posted on 10/21/2010

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It will be a long way off until it is even considered for my kids because they are little, but I don't really know now. I can tell you that if it comes down to it, they will be at least 12 or 13 years old and it will be for emergency purposes only. I know times are a little bit different now, but I didn't have one until I was 17 and I paid for it on my own.

[deleted account]

JuLeah: That's what i was thinking but maybe she means dealing the drugs whilst standing in the payphone...but then again do yous have payphones in boxes like we have in England lol...I dunno! Anyhoo all I know is that generally drug dealers here have multiple mobiles.

Serena - posted on 10/21/2010

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I had to sneak and get an older boyfriend at the time to buy me my first cell phone. Then 5 years later my brother gets one in 6th grade. He did a lot of extracurricular activities and it came in handy.

My children are still too young (4ys, 15 mos, 9 mos) so they don't usually go anywhere without me anyway. But I do want to invest in those phones made for kids with preset numbers in it including 911 when they get older. I thought that was kind of neat.

JuLeah - posted on 10/21/2010

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Mylene, any drug dealer worth their salt has a cell phone. Pay phones can be tracked.

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Borrowing mine is also out cuz the only phone I have (as well as the only phone several of my friends have) IS my cell phone.

[deleted account]

Entirely depends on the family and circumstances.

I used to say there was no way my kids would need/have one until they were driving (in case of accident or break down, etc...). Then our circumstances changed and if I could guarantee the phone would get service at their dad's.... they would've had one before last summer (at 8.5). They were there for 2.5 weeks and he didn't answer the phone for me one single time simply because he didn't 'have' to.... Even though one of my calls was made to return my daughter's call that had been made to me about a minuter earlier. :(

[deleted account]

My son doesn't have one - he's only 10 months old lol. But I'd say once he's in Senior school which here in the UK they go to at age 11 I'll get him a mobile phone, more so for the fact that he'll be getting the bus by himself to and from and for emergencys. My sister in laws who are 11 and 12 have had a mobile since the age of 9 and 10 which I thinks pathetic lol!

Jenn - posted on 10/21/2010

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@Sara - I hardly think home phones will be extinct in 10 years. Everyone I know still has one.

Becky - posted on 10/21/2010

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My oldest is only 2 1/2. He has a Cars cellphone. It's a toy. I doubt we will get our kids cellphones until they are old enough to go places on their own, without an adult accompanying them. Why do they really need them before then? If they're at school, the school staff will call if there's an emergency. If they're at a friend's house, I'm sure their friends have a phone! Likewise if they're out with a friend and their parents. If it's a situation where I truly feel they need to have one, they can borrow mine.
Until they can pay for it themselves, it will be a very basic plan, no internet access or texting!

Nikki - posted on 10/21/2010

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My daughter is only one, she has several old mobile phones, which I might add she loves dearly!!

I think when she is around 12, or starts sports, sleepovers etc where she will be away from me she will have a phone so that we can reach each other. I think it is important, we don't have pay phones where I live, so I want her to be able to call me or her dad if she needs us. There will be restrictions, it will be pre paid and I will regulate the numbers she has and is calling or texting.

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Oh, about pay phones and home phones, those will likely be extinct by the time my kids are old enough to be out on their own.

Jodi - posted on 10/21/2010

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Jenn, I used to think like you, until I had older kids :) Honestly, my son is very responsible with his phone. He is now 13, and all his friends have HIS phone number and when they make arrangements to *hang out* for a bit at the basketball courts, they arrange it amongst themselves rather than tying up my phone. I know it doesn't make sense to you now, but now that I have a kid WITH a phone, I absolutely see the benefits. As long as they have rules and boundaries, then it really is a non issue. And it is a fantastic advantage during school holidays when the kids are wanting entertainment, so I can drop them at the skate park for a while or at the movies. I KNOW that if there is an issue, they will call, and I can also get in touch with them.

[deleted account]

My kids will get cell phones with very limited plans (unless they pay the difference) when they are old enough to go out with their friends without an adult present. It's a safety thing. I want them to be able to call me in case of an emergency.

Jenn - posted on 10/21/2010

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@Sharon - sorry - I am new to this board and didn't realize this topic has been debated. I would have looked back at older posts but when myself and someone else posted to another old post it was locked for no reason - just because it's old. Anyway, I also live out in the country and have 3 kids. Obviously they aren't out playing sports and whatnot yet, but I still don't see why they NEED a phone. For years and years kids have played sports or done other activities and got on quite well without a phone. Do they not have a set pick-up time? Also, I guess it's different where everyone lives, but around here there are still a lot of pay phones, and if you're at a friend's house what's wrong with using the home phone? I mean, obviously this is more of an individual choice rather than a right or wrong answer, I was just curious what people's thoughts were and their reasoning. It just surprises me when I see young kids with cell phones - like who are you talking to? Santa Claus? I wasn't even hardly allowed to use the home phone when I was a kid!

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I don't want my sons to use pay phones unless necessary because I can't reach THEM on it. Also because they are absolutely filthy and generally used by bums up to no good (dealing dope, etc). We live in a huge city and I don't want my kids to have to run 3 blocks to be able to call me when they can just take the phone out of their pocket.

JuLeah - posted on 10/21/2010

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When she can pay for it. If I ever were to catch her driving/texting while talking I'd toss it.

Sharon - posted on 10/21/2010

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My 15 yr old and my 10 yr old have them. Its necessary. This debate keeps coming up and I keep explaining why its good for my kids to have them, but I'm tired.

We live rurally, 3 kids, 3 teams, more than one sport, no pay phones, adults with minute limits = my kids have cell phones.

Cat - posted on 10/21/2010

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There are still lots of payphones around where i live... thankfully... I know b/c I actually lived without a cell phone myself for a long while...

[deleted account]

The kids will have one when they are older. There is no need for those until the kids are at least 14 and they will get a basic plan for their usage. Anything extra they will have to pay on their own. Moreover, I will set a specific price I am willing to pay for the phone and if they want something else they pay for it out of pocket... If it breaks because of negligence ,same thing, they pull the cash out of their own pockets.

I think it is great in case of emergency. I have no issues as long as it does not become excessive usage/

Jenn - posted on 10/21/2010

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My kids are still young (4 and 22 month twins), but my feeling is that kids don't NEED them as many people seem to think these days, and if they want one when they are older, it's up to them make the money to pay for it. So basically if they can afford to pay for one, then knock yourself out!

Cat - posted on 10/21/2010

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Nope, but my oldest is 5, there's absolutely no way he needs one, he doesnt even use the regular phone yet! My stepdaughter is almost 12 and doesnt have one... My stepson however, he is almost 16, and his mom decided he HAD to have one... well she's probably replaced it about 4 times at least, b/c he has no sense of responsibility and either loses it or trashes it...

I will look into getting my kids cell phones at age 15, but it will be entirely dependant on how responsible they are, and I will let them know, they get ONE... if its lost or trashed, I will not replace it, they can get a job by that point and replace it themselves...

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