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At what age do you give a child a cell phone of there own?

My step son's (he is 8 yrs old) birth mom gave him his own cell phone yesterday and told us that it is for emergency at her house. We told her we did not want the responsibility of it here in our home the kids here are not gentle with there toys and belongings and SS is not the most responsible with his belongings he always needs reminders. I just feel she is always buying him stuff like that to buy his love we do not keep up with technology here in our house and he constantly comes to our home bragging about what his BM bought for him this week. He just has that spoiled boy attitude lately and I want him to understand we are not like that here! But it has been going on for as long as he has been able to know what is better than this and I have been with my husband now ever sens he was born! So frustrating!!!


Asked by jem102675 at 2:44 PM on May. 25, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (17)
  • Age depends on the kids maturity and what the cell phone is to be used for. I didn't have my first cell phone until 16 and I paid for it myself, but then my little sister got her first one at 13 paid by my Mom when she decided to disconnect the house line and use the cell phones only.

    Sooo... It really just varies on a lot of things. 8 is entirely too young for me, but I could see 13 if the kid is mature enough.

    Answer by MissMommyK at 2:50 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • I don't think age is the important thing, maturity is...

    Answer by SWEETPEAS3MOM at 2:52 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • I understand, is there a way you can take it if he brings it to your house? I won't let my kids have one at their age (they are 9, 8, and 3...not that the 3 yo would have one anyway). They will get one when it's necessary, when they will be doing activities outside of the house and we can't reach them any other way. Until then, NO!

    Answer by cheez1e at 2:52 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • i would probably get my child a cell phone between the ages of 10-12, but if me and his father were split up and he went to his fathers house every weekend or every other weekend, i probably would get him a cell phone earlier then that so that i am able to call him whenever i want. i dont think theres anything wrong with technology. i think you should be keeping up with technology, especially computers, because it will help your children in the future. everything is run on technology now. i also dont think theres anything wrong with being spoiled. i plan on buying my kids lots of things. its fun to have things, and buy things. it makes life more enjoyable.

    Answer by PURPULbutterfly at 2:53 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • well at least you know where that much of the child support went to :/
    all you can do is be yourself yes he is a kid now but soon will realize the difference. Just don't make a big thing out of it bc you will be the one feeling all the anger just let it go yes it sucks but damn what can you do. next time the boy bags about something just tell him you guys are happynfor him but shouldn't be bragging bc he just might brag to the wrong person and some people are not veery nice. GL

    Answer by Butterfly1108 at 2:54 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • To PP. I guess I don't really agree with that. The time with the father is just that, his time. I don't think the Mother should be calling all the time or whatever and the Mother should also trust the father enough to be informed if there is a problem. If the Mother has the child most of the time, what little time the father is able to spend with the kid/kids should be his time... Not interrupted by the cell phone whenever the Mom feels its convenient for her to call.

    As far as giving a kid a cell phone, I posted my own thoughts about that up top... As far as being nosey and clingy, that's what I feel.

    Answer by MissMommyK at 2:59 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • It depends on the situation. There is no reason you can't keep the phone for him when he is at your house and then he can use it to call his mother. That would be the nice thing to do. Don't even think or talk about "buying love". A mother can buy things for her child. Just be happy for him. If she buys things he brings home that gives you more money to spend on your biological children.

    He can't have a spoiled attitude if no one responds in a way that feeds into the attitude. When he talks about what she bought say "that's nice" and let the conversation end.


    Answer by Gailll at 2:59 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • First of all I want to THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR INPUT! BUT I guess I should clear the technology thing up! We do have computers in the house my husband and myself have cell phones but we do not buy the kids the new DSI, ps3 so on or any thing really updated we feel that we like to spend our time with our kids out side, playing games, going camping. I guess just together! NOT playing video games, computer games, and texting or talking on the phone all the time! We know my SS does all of this all the time at his BM's house when ever we go onto our Facebook profile he is always on his. We just think it is going to far for him only being 8 it will only get worse as he gets older because he will want the best of every thing all the time! We see it already!

    Answer by jem102675 at 3:08 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • DH and I want to wait until 16 or later for our own children, but I think it depends on the situation and maturity level of the child. We just don't see the need until they're driving. HOWEVER, my sis does have one for my nieces and bought it years ago when their Dad fought for unsupervised visitation. It is ONLY given to them when they go to their Dad's. My sis left him because it was a VERY abusive relationship - she was hospitalized several times. When they first went for weekend visits, they were pre-teen and left alone in bad neighborhood - there are drive by shootings, etc - while he and his new wife went to work and then came home to go back out to casino or bar. Nieces called from his home phone, sis went and picked them up. Several visits in a row. Now their aunt stays at his place on those weekends, and they see her more than they see him but they at least have the phone just in case something happens.

    Answer by pd4now82 at 3:20 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • I don't think your son should have one at his age, but that's not me. It's sad that his mom can't get over what happened and brings the kids into it trying to buy love or try to say she is better than you guys, whatever. It's really sad that adults cannot get out of the stupid high school mentality. If it were me, sure he has the phone while he's at your place, but make some kind of agreement that it stays in one location (say a spot on the kitchen counter) so it doesn't get lost and/or damaged.....and use whatever limitations as you and DH see fit for the rules at your house (i.e. if his mom allows him to make as many calls, texts, as he wants but you don't want him using it, etc). That's just me though....

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:27 PM on May. 25, 2010