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What is a good age to get you child a cell phone?

My Daughter Brooke is 11 and she wants a cell phone. She says all of the kids at her school has one. What do you think is a good age to get your child one? What age did your child one?

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Asked by sushibob at 10:05 AM on Jan. 30, 2010 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (24)
  • When they start staying after school for activities (DO NOT assume school will let them use the phone in the office, DS school will not no matter what) or going to a friends house that they are able to walk to, or as soon as they know how to use a phone if there is a nasty custody stuff going on.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:08 AM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • when thye get a job and pay for their own!

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 10:08 AM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • You could have a "while your away" phone. Maybe do a pre-paid phone and they have only a certain amount of money on it. They can take it with them when they go for sleepovers, if they have to stay after school and they need to call you for a ride at a later time...things like that.
    I don't think phones should be a recreational's for a purpose!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:13 AM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • I did what the PP talked about. At age 11, (he's not 12) my DS got a prepaid older flip-phone that used to be my DHs. It was because he was doing great in school. But he has rules. It doesn't go to school with him though, it doesn't need to this year as I take him and pick him up. He takes it with him when going to sleepovers and when riding his bike and walking to friends house. He must answer when I call him to come home and he turns it off when homework is being done and when he goes to bed. (his friends text all them time.) He also knows when the money on it runs out, that is it until I put more on when the required time limit is up to put more money on it and to get that he has to make sure chores are done without gripes. He's done great with it and next school year when he's in Jr. High, we're getting him a better one so he can take it with him as he bikes to school.

    Answer by mom2BOYZnDad at 10:47 AM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • I meant to say "He's now 12" LOL

    Answer by mom2BOYZnDad at 10:48 AM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • When they need it, not want it.

    Answer by rkoloms at 10:55 AM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • When they need it, which right now I see that as when they are 16 and out driving by themselves. And when they have a part time job and can pay for it themselves. A phone is a privilege, not a right. I don't see it as something I have to provide by a certain age. Now, if we lived somewhere where they walked to and from school that would be a different issue. Then, yes, I would give them one so I could get in contact with them while they were walking but that would be the only time they would have it. It wouldn't be theirs to talk on in the evenings with their friends.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:08 AM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • I got my first phone when I started staying after school for stuff. I was 13, so I had to be able to call my parents when I needed to be picked up. I plan on applying the same logic to my son when the time comes. If he's never away from me or a trusted adult, then he probably won't need a phone yet. Of course some circumstances would require a child to have a phone much earlier IMO. For instance, a coworker gave his kids a cell phone before 10. He's divorced and wanted to have a surefire way to check on the kids when they are at their mom's or other relatives' houses. Apparently there was some bad blood between him and his ex so I am totally on his side with cell phones for the kids.

    Answer by Nesa_Z at 12:23 PM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • My son is 10 and some of his friends have phones. They are DEFINITELY not mature enough. One friend has lost or broken five or six phones in a year and there is no reason in the world that this kid needs a phone. Another kid calls my phone (I guess he thinks he's calling my son) and leaves "prank" messages. Or calls 3-4 times in a row without leaving a message. This ticks me off because I am extremely busy at work and only play messages because I think there might be an emergency. Anyway I guess I am not really answering the question, but its nice to vent.

    Answer by Jemma4000 at 12:54 PM on Jan. 30, 2010

  • Never. They can have one when they can pay for it themselves.

    Answer by heatherann0221 at 3:02 PM on Jan. 30, 2010

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