What age do you think a child should have a cell phone?

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 01/02/2011 ( 79 moms have responded )

4,455

6

402

What type of cell phone should they start off with?

Should a 8 year old have something as high-tech as a Blackberry? Even if they are advanced readers, great in school, and pretty good kids? Or is that too much of a first phone?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/13/2012

3,377

8

66

I do not agree with a child of any age, unless they can pay for it "needing" a Blackberry. Age 8 for a cell phone IMO is way too young. Any age under 13 is way too young and they still do not need a Blackberry. I don't even have one at 36. I don't see the requirement when there are PC's, I cannot control what my kid does on a Blackberry or IPhone...



My daughter begged and begged for a cell phone since age 10. There was no way in god's green earth, my response was if you cannot pay for it you cannot have it. i never ever had a cell phone growing up, there was no such thing. We all made it by quite well.



Anyhow, to make a long story short. When she turned 13 I realized that perhaps my stubbornness was unnecessary. I started finding myself wishing I could call her to come home (when she was out playing and something came up where we had to go), or just wanting to text her something neat. So, I started to ponder, how bad could this really be. I mean the technology is there, maybe it would be OK.



Last Christmas I went to see what all the different plans were, I was surprised to see there was such a large variety. It was perfect, I could get one with unlimited texting (what she wanted), no internet (she has a laptop and ipod touch), with 200 free daytime mins and free evenings/mornings and weekends. All for $25/month. So, I bought it for her. Oh and it is just a basic phone, no Blackberry required. That IMO is nuts!



It also turned out great because since it is another privilege of her's to use, I can also take it away when she doesn't listen. When I gave it to her she was given the list of rules surrounding it - no bedtime use, no use at the dinner table, no in class use, no use during homework and she must always have it on (she knows if I call and no answer = no more phone) - she has obeyed since she loves her phone and she is a good kid.



The biggest downfall, she no longer remembers any friends phone numbers, since they are programmed in her phone and she doesn't go out to see if they are home, rather she texts them first... But hey, what can I say, that's technology for ya...



I haven't read all the other posts, I do apologize now if I offended anyone. This is only my opinion, for my kids and my home and am not saying what you do is wrong, if you do it differently.

Becky - posted on 02/13/2012

232

23

9

My daughter has had a cell phone for a year and a half already. She's 10 now. She started staying home by herself after school and we didn't have a land line. In looking into costs, it was $10 a month for another cell and $25 minimum for a land line. We decided on the cell. At first we were extreamly restrictive! There were only our numbers, and a couple other emergency contact numbers in the phone. She was not allowed to give out the number to her friends and there was NO texting allowed either. She could use the phone at home and take it with her only when I approved (going with friends to the park or something), but she was not allowed to take it when she was simply going over to a friends house because her friends parents had a perfectly functioning phone she wouldn't need her phone there.



She has proven herself to be responsible with the phone. She has used it correctly and has not abused the privilege of having it. We've now allowed her to add her friends numbers to the phone. She is still not allowed to text on it and she respects that and tells her friends not to text her either (we pay per text on that phone).



She got the phone because she needed a way to contact us or emergency numbers when she was home alone. She has proven she can handle the responsibility of having one so we allow her to take it with her more frequently now.



I still wouldn't get her a smart phone. I don't see the need for it. She would use it often for games and such and I don't think that would be appropriate. Heck, I don't even have a smart phone and no desire to get a smart phone.

[deleted account]

never. Children dont need cell phones. Of course under circumstances such as your child will be travelling alone on a plane overseas to family for a week or two, or you are leaving them at someones house overnight but dont know the parents very well or whatever, then giving them a TEMPORARY phone would be wise.

A blackberry is out of the question. Waste of money and allows them to access way to much on there own. Whatever phone a child gets should have the internet blocked seeing as they could go on anything and chat with anyone unbeknown to you.

I will not be giving my kids phones until they are well into there teens and doing activities without me. And even then it will not be a social item. It will be an emergency or contact mum and dad item.

So what if everyone else has them? We have a house fone dont we? call your friends on that. Whats wrong? cant sms privately? EXACTLY. thats the point.

Cant believe 7 yr olds turn up to school with iphones. so ridiculous.

Only for emergencies with very very restricted access.

[deleted account]

If you have kids, especially in school.... a phone is most certainly a need. Maybe not for them, but it sure is for the parent. I can't imagine how it would've gone when my daughter got a concussion at school last year if I HADN'T had a phone and been able to be reached.......

79 Comments

View replies by

Kendall 15yr - posted on 06/13/2017

4

0

0

I got one in 5th grade bc my mom would be at work when I got of the bus and walked a little to get home. But I was given a track phone and I could only call and text her and 911. When I was in 7th grade I got a real phone but it was checked everyday( they checked history, social media, texts, and photos) now I'm 15 and they have never had a problem and they stopped checking and to be honest I don't do anything bad with my phone besides(rarely) joking swear words in chats with friends.

Kassidy - posted on 07/20/2016

26

0

4

I would say 13 or 14 is a good age for a phone
If you insist on a phone before then I would get something that handles drops well or something like that. My SO has a 12 year old brother who has a phone and constantly leaves it in random places

Nellynunes148 - posted on 07/17/2016

164

0

0

Our children got pay as you go cell phones when they started high school at 14 years old, before that they were always accompanied by a parent. I drop off and pick up from elementary school. I occaisionally still pick up from high school. Once they get home their cell phones get turned off and they can use the home phone.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/21/2012

3,377

8

66

hehehe - yep that works at times... ;) bribary can be bliss if your good at it. LOL I use it if needed...

**Jackie** - posted on 02/21/2012

953

1

18

Oh I agree Meme, I just meant when they first get the cell phone. I have absolutely NO clue as to what I will do when she is a teen lol. I might bribe her to be good haha

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/21/2012

3,377

8

66

Emma, you will be great when they are teen's, that's why you get to practice before they are that old.... ;) It's all a learning experience, by the time they are teens you will know what to do.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/21/2012

3,377

8

66

When they are teens they aren't going to stand there and talk to their friends in front of you... ;) Just sayin... Trust me they do deserve their privacy BUT I will read my daughter's texts. Just did it last night actually. She lost her phone for not listening about something - I can't remember it was so trivial - it warranted phone loss. I was sitting here at 10:35pm and the damn thing went off. I thought, hmmm, well it is mine I pay for it, I can see what she is doing on it. It was boring, nothing juicy! LOL



I don't believe reading texts or internet information is snooping on your child. These are social networking tools and we still have to make sure they are being safe while using them. Now, if it was her journal (diary) no, I would never ever read that, unless she had a serious change of behaviour and I was really concerned for her. I would do anything then, nothing is private anymore, you have to ensure they are OK....

Stifler's - posted on 02/21/2012

15,141

154

604

Oh I thought you meant your phone company recored calls she took but then I realised you said before you can hear the conversation

**Jackie** - posted on 02/21/2012

953

1

18

No I don't think anyone records calls. I said "as opposed to a phone call that I can hear". When she needs to talk to a friend she can call them in front of me. There doesn't need to be secrets. There would be no reason to go into her room and shut the door and talk to someone.

Stifler's - posted on 02/21/2012

15,141

154

604

I wouldn't care less what they were texting. I'm going to suck at parenting when my kids are teens.

**Jackie** - posted on 02/21/2012

953

1

18

Oh ok. Kids get carried away with texting, from what I see anyway. They are on them all day in class. Plus, my phone carrier won't let you get a print out of what your child is texting, as opposed to a phone call that I can hear.

Stifler's - posted on 02/21/2012

15,141

154

604

I live in Australia and I've just never seen a phone in any store with no texting. I don't think I'd even get my kid a phone with no texting, texting is good.

**Jackie** - posted on 02/21/2012

953

1

18

did u check walmart's website ? or maybe ebay? or do u mean your carrier won't let you?

**Jackie** - posted on 02/21/2012

953

1

18

Oh, that's another thing. My daughter will have it drilled into her head that when mommy calls her she better pick the phone up before it gets to the 3rd ring or I'm comin for her little butt! lol I'm laughing but I'm serious

**Jackie** - posted on 02/21/2012

953

1

18

I saw in Walmart once this phone that was pre-paid and it had a few buttons only on it. One you program for 9-1-1. And then two other buttons were for other programmed numbers. No texting and no internet or anything.



As soon as my daughter starts sleeping over other people's houses I will get her one. If she feels uncomfortable I want her to know she can go to the bathroom and call mommy and I will get her and tell them she doesn't feel good or whatever.



I remember one time my mom dropped me off at a friend's house when I was like 11 and she knew my friend and her mom and even my friend's sister...she didn't know the dad. Well he chose to walk around the house with a beer and only a pair of tight underwear on. I knew that was wrong and I didn't feel right. There were no phones and I had to ask my friend's mom to use the phone because I said I had to tell her something. My mom came over and said that I told her I had failed a test and now I'm grounded and can't sleep over lol We are both awful liars. It would have been easier to just call her from my phone and tell her I didn't feel good

Deborah - posted on 02/13/2012

256

8

16

I think that is WAY too much for a first phone.



How active is the child? are they in a separate parent situation? are they involved in a lot of activities? are the parents extremely busy with work and the like?



Just like everything else with parenting, it depends on the situation, but in any case I can think of ,a blackberry is way too much for even a 'good' kid. A prepaid phone with calling only would be far more appropriate, and only for the kind of circumstances listed above...so they can get ahold of their parents, not have 'social hour' with their friends whenever they feel like it. I didn't get my first phone until I was 18, and even then I wasn't always 'good' with using it properly.



IF they are involved in a lot of extra curricular activities, separate parent households, or their parents lead very active lives with work and volunteering and the like, then sure, a kid should have a phone at the age of 8. No games, no ringtones, no texting, just a basic "I use this to call people" kind of phone.



When my daughter is mature enough to understand and care for a phone properly, she will have one. She spends weekends at her dad's house, and he lives in a bigger city. I hate that city, it's dangerous, so she will have one in case of emergencies.



So all in all, it depends on the WHY and the specific circumstance. If you get your child a blackberry because 'they want one' and with no other backing than being a 'good kid'....... No. Cell phones aren't toys.

[deleted account]

No, cell phones are not play things. They are a responsibility and should be treated as such, but to make a blanket statement that it should be illegal for a child under 16 to own a cell phone is ludicrous. I used to say that my kids would not get a cell phone until they were 16 and driving because the only time they would need one before that would be to be home alone and they only time I would not be home would be if I were w/ my husband... so the kids could have one of our phones. Circumstances have changed and my children WILL need one at 10.5... and they will get one.

Jerusha - posted on 02/11/2012

17

0

0

Yes, we had walkie talkies when we were kids. We had walkie talkies, which are not CB radios. Our walkie talkies were play things. Cell phones are not play things.

Stifler's - posted on 02/11/2012

15,141

154

604

Laws against CB radios? LOL We had walkie talkies when I was a kid (UHF)

[deleted account]

Seriously.... that is laughable. You do realize that many, many homes and families only HAVE cell phones, correct? I guess my children should never be allowed to speak to their father (or to me when they are WITH their father) since we only have cell phones.....



My kids don't have a cell phone yet, but will have one (to share) by summer when they are 10.5. They will be in middle school, riding the bus (for the first time), and occasionally walking to gymnastics after school (maybe half a mile?) and I would not be comfortable w/ that unless they have a cell phone to call/text me upon leaving the school and arriving at the gym.

Jerusha - posted on 02/11/2012

17

0

0

Personally, I believe children should not be allowed to have a cell phone. Cell phones are not toys. There certainly is no logical reason for an 8 year old to have a cell phone. There should be laws against children possesing cell phones. I was a child in the late 1970s when CB radios were a big craze. I remember back then children could not use CB radios. There were laws prohibiting children from using CB radios. There should be laws prohibiting children from using cell phones. Children do not need cell phones. We did not have cell phones when I was a child, and we manged to get along just fine without them. In fact, I believe it was a better society then because children were not using cell phones and the internet. Nobody under 16 should be allowed to have a cell phone. It should be just like having a driver's license. You have to be 16 to get a driver's license, and you should have to be 16 to get a cell phone. Nobody under 16 should be allowed to use a cell phone or the internet without direct adult supervision. Children should especially not be allowed to carry a cell phone into the class room at school. Our declining society needs to crack down on these children and their ability to be wild & free.

Celeste - posted on 01/13/2011

3,072

30

874

I just recently gave my 8 year old daughter a cell phone. It's my old prepaid one, and it's a very basic one. I let her use it when she goes to friends' houses, so I can call her to tell her to come home.

I restrict her use. No internet, and only a few ph #'s that she is allowed to call. When she's not using it, I have it.

As far as smart phones, right now, my feeling is that she can have one when she has a job and pays for it. I don't think she needs one right now.

LadyJane - posted on 01/12/2011

162

7

1

Depending on the responsibility of your child is how you should determine whether they need a cell phone or not. Personally I will NOT get one for my 14yr old. She will NOT be responsible with it. My 6yr old most likely won't get one at age 8 but he may get one if and ONLY if he proves himself responsible. Honestly, I don't feel kids need a cell phone until they can afford it themselves, but there are situations where it may seem a necessity. If you do decide to get the cell phone for the 8yr old. Find out if you can get a phone that will only allow calls to 911 and to a number you decide they can call. Some providers may infact be able to block all other outgoing calls except to your preferences. I wouldn't get them one that will allow for internet usage, or texting. Just a plain outgoing phone would be fine until they're old enough to buy their own or until they've shown enough responsibility where your phone bill won't end up costing enough to build 14 cruise ships...

Lady Heather - posted on 01/11/2011

2,448

17

91

I don't see why a kids phone should do more than call and text (I'd say just call, but texting is cheaper). I'd prefer them to not have cameras, but I guess that's pretty impossible now. Pretty much any phone you can buy now is good enough, so the most basic I could find is what I would get.

I'm not sure what age I'd give a phone for the first time. I guess it would partly depend on the kid. I'd probably consider keeping the phones myself and giving them out to the kids when they were going somewhere with friends or something. We had a family phone when I was in high school that we took when we were going out with friends. That worked pretty well, although with all the cheap family plans there are these days, my kids will all have their own phone by the time they are teenagers. There are definitely advantages to that for us parents.

Kathy - posted on 01/11/2011

13

7

1

do they "NEED" I don't think so. Do they "WANT" absolutely. All of my children have cell phones it's todays technology and they are just keeping up more then most of we do. This is their day and age! For me, I use a "text only unlimitted plan" I do random phone checks. If I were a child I would want one too! lol Anthing with the internet options for me wouldn't work at their age. They get to use the internet on the computer under my supervision. Ipods, I deletele the browser (hide it with the parental controls) and password for downloading apps so that I can monitor what they are downloading. I think it is just how it is today and we have to move with them instead of being behind them not knowing all the safety issues. So again, its not about age it's about TODAYS WORLD that we children and adults live in. :) just my opinion

[deleted account]

Well, I do believe it's never a need. There is always another option. A phone itself is not a need. Well, maybe you job requires it but it's still not a need, it's a tool for your job. Another job you might not be required to have it. No, I stand that a phone is not a need.

Though I will admit to feeling lost without mine, LOL!

Nikkole - posted on 01/10/2011

1,505

31

49

I think if the child does mulitple after school activites then yes they should have a basic phone just in case they need to get a hold of me but i dont even have an i phone or blackberry my kids sure as hell wont have one lol but now a days what if your kid walks home from school and they get taken they have there cell phone and they have GPS's on them so you can track where your kid goes so i think they are good in some circumstances!

Sal - posted on 01/10/2011

1,816

16

34

when they can prove they are responsible enough not to need one....my son got one at about 13ish and thought that he was then free to do and go where he pleased as "just call and i'll tell you where to get me" so he would wonder off with his mates with no concern for me having to pick him up, i'd call and he'd have it on silent (as you weren;t ment to have it in class) and not answer, so i'd go with our arrangements, as i had to travel up 60km to get him and had 2 babies it was no not hepful at all to try and find him after i had arrived at our original meeting place, i had to really get strict with him and make him meet me when and where it was pre arranged or he would lose his phone priviledge, when it broke i refused to replace it until he was more responsible..but i am now more sure than ever that they don;t need them, there is too much sexting, bullying and money wasting associated with them at the moment, they can cause a lot of trouble if not monitored by parents, no not reading every message, but just the odd check up.

[deleted account]

when do they need it? Never. no on really NEEDS a cell phone. But I bought one for my 9 and 10 yr olds. Not a blackberry, but a nice texting phone. And that's what they use it for ... texting. I remember, at 10 or 12, being on the phone for hours talking to friends. Kids don't talk on the phone any more. They text.
So IMO cells are no longer a thing of need, but rather a new form of communication. So I let my children have them (and thank G-d for unlimited texting plans!)

Gina - posted on 01/04/2011

388

6

12

Well I swore my daughter wouldn't have a phone before she was at least in high school[12 or 13 years old].This Christmas I got her a phone.Every single one of her good friends had one, she'll be in tears saying she's left out because she has no phone to talk to them on, apparently home phones are not cool.So she got a pre paid phone now at 12.When I told her I didn't have or need a phone at her age she replies,MUM! that was in the olden days!

Meghan - posted on 01/02/2011

3,169

33

202

when he has a job to pay for one himself or he starts driving in which case I will get him a a pay as you go simple thing.

Stifler's - posted on 01/02/2011

15,141

154

604

Lol. I don't even need a mobile. I never go out enough to need one and never have credit anyway.

Sharon - posted on 01/02/2011

11,585

12

1315

What age? I think it depends on the circumstances. For us - it was when my oldest was 9yrs old. It was a firefly phone, had 4 preprogrammed numbers and a 911 button. Thats all he needed. To reach me, his dad, his grandmothers and our house phone or one of his friends.

NO. they do not need a blackberry or iphone or android.

My son turned 15 and got a higher tech phone. if I could afford it and if he did more around this house, I'd get him an android. well, maybe not. he'd probably never pay attention in class and I'd be pissed when it was taken away.

Stifler's - posted on 01/02/2011

15,141

154

604

I suppose I walked home from school too and never even thought about it. Do they still have safety houses?

[deleted account]

My feelings used to be a hard and fast not until they are driving (and then only so they wouldn't get broken down and stranded in the middle of nowhere). Then my circumstances DID change. Now, my 9 year olds still don't have a cell phone, but ONLY cuz the reason I would get it is when they are w/ their father (they can call me, but he STILL never answers the phone when I call even though it's violating the court order) and I can't guarantee that a phone I buy over here will have service where he lives... even HE has crappy service simply due to his location.



I will definitely be getting them a phone before I ever leave them home alone though cuz my cell is our only phone.

Jodi - posted on 01/02/2011

2,694

52

175

Jodi A, oh I know! That's why I said tentatively, I know plans change and parenting choices change and all that, but for now, we'de like to steer clear of cell phones. But yes, I do realize that very well may change in the next decade or so of her life! ;)

Bonnie - posted on 01/02/2011

4,813

22

262

When I was a pre-teen it was rare to see many with cell phones at that age. When are 2 year old now get to that age, chances are most will have them, who knows.

Jodi - posted on 01/02/2011

3,562

36

3907

"I feel better about the decision my husband and I have made (tentatively, she's not even 2 yet!). We have decided that our children don't need phones until they can pay for one themselves and be responsible for it."

Never say never Jodi. I used to think like that when my kids were that age too. So I actually take it with a grain of salt when a parent says "no way" and their oldest kid is a toddler. No disrespect intended, just being honest about where I was with it 10 years ago, and my feelings about it now.

Jodi - posted on 01/02/2011

2,694

52

175

Wow, I feel better about the decision my husband and I have made (tentatively, she's not even 2 yet!). We have decided that our children don't need phones until they can pay for one themselves and be responsible for it. And boy oh boy have we gotten flack for it! We live in a small town and even the nearest "large" city is small by today's standards! Not to mention, when she's old enough to go out with friends, what are the chances one of her friends won't have a phone in case of emergency? lol

I definately don't think a blackberry is necessary especially at 8 yrs old, I don't even feel like a basic phone is necessary, but it's one of those parenting choices that has to be weighed carefully IMO. If we lived in a very large city, maybe I would feel differently, but we don't, so for us, it's just a "fun" thing, like an ipod. lol

Shauna - posted on 01/02/2011

1,015

19

35

i dont even know, part of me hates seeing young kids with cell phones, but then i think im just being old fashioned. I know for a fact me and my husband discussed this, if we are paying for our childrens cell phones, they will hand them over before they go to bed so they are not up all night talking to people using the net etc etc. i think i will allow it *not sure what age* but will have alot of restrictions.

Bonnie - posted on 01/02/2011

4,813

22

262

A BlackBerry is definitely too much for an 8 year old IMO. Personally, I don't feel a child needs a cell phone. Maybe by the time they are 12 years old, for emergency purposes to make outgoing calls only perhaps. I didn't have a cell phone until I was 18 and able to pay for the bill on my own.

Jodi - posted on 01/02/2011

3,562

36

3907

I know, shocking isn't it? I must mention to my mother what a bad parent she was ;P

Dana - posted on 01/02/2011

11,264

35

495

I'm surprised you weren't abducted! Are you sure your parents are really your parents!

Stifler's - posted on 01/02/2011

15,141

154

604

I didn't got anywhere at 8 that I would need a pay phone? We played in our yard and rode bikes and rollerbladed.

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