At what age do you allow your children to have a cell phone/smart phone?

Activity Forums General Discussion At what age do you allow your children to have a cell phone/smart phone?

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    • #6097

      loula
      Participant

      I am seeing kids as young as nine or ten with cell phones. I don’t understand why they need one at such a young age. My oldest daughter is nine, and she has told me a bunch of her friends all have phones. They snap chat, instagram, and who knows what else. Oh, the times are a changing I guess.

    • #6152

      frxjkp
      Participant

      I think for children it is important that they are not left out of the latest trends and often without meaning to, other children exclude others who do not have the most recent gadgets. Perhaps a compromise such as an ipod touch or similar would be more suitable than a phone at such a young age because it is important to speak to people in person rather than just via text or other social media.

      • #7183

        kendra
        Participant

        I have to agree with you on this one. It’s sometimes complex, and a lot of people don’t understand all the reasoning behind not allowing children devices like cell phones.

        If we were talking phones like we had when I was a teenager (trac phones mostly, but flip-phones came about then, too but did not have such wide access to things like internet and multimedia sending options), then I would allow my child to own one around 13, I guess. When they began going out and staying overnight with friends more often and those sorts of things, so that they could get in touch anytime, then I would allow a phone like the ones we had as I was growing up, but never an iphone or phone with options like internet. No way.

        It may sound bad or “strict,” (which I am far from!), but there are logical reasons behind this. For example, among teenagers, sexting is so common as is nude photo sharing and internet access? Just no. Not without serious protection and stuff. I don’t care how “responsible” my teen would be, I would not allow them to have access to get into the situations I myself got into (and I was very responsible, known for being responsible in fact) as a teen. Too many risks and things they would most definitely fall into.

        Another reason is my nephews who are teens and although we tried hard to teach respect for themselves and for others and how to be compassionate and kind (including in the world of dating,) I still see their behavior on cells phones and in everyday life. It’s not pretty, to say the least. I just would not chance it. There’s no reason a teenager ever needs unlimited access to internet or image sharing.

        And I certainly wouldn’t feel “right” contributing to kids’ ideals that you have to have certain material things to be accepted by others. In my family, we’ve demonstrated to the kids (nieces and nephews of mine) that they should not ever do anything just to fit in, but that those who only accept them for material and other things are not true friends. True friends will accept you for you, no matter what devices you own. And for the most part, the teenagers don’t really care what others think of them to such a large extent, and they don’t really behave in ways only to be accepted. The oldest could care less if someone accepted him or not. He likes to be who he is, like it or leave it & I’ve come to love his attitude for that.

    • #6822

      Pegasus
      Participant

      When my son went into the 6th grade we got him a phone because it was the first time I was going to have kids at 2 different schools and I wanted him to be able to get a hold of me. My younger son has my old iphone that isn’t activated as a phone, he plays games on it.

      I do agree though with frxjkp – it could definitely be a way to not be left out. As I now homeschool my children, the only reason my older one has a cell is because he is more independent now (he is almost 14) and I like being able to gt a hold of him. At his age I had a pager so my parents could say “get home now ” LOL

    • #6893

      loula
      Participant

      yes, I totally get that some kids do need them, considering they participate in sports, after school activities, etc, and I know a few kids whose parents are divorced have them. I get that kids have them to fit as well. My daughter is nine and has been asking for a phone all year because all her friends have one. I will totally admit my husband and I gave in and gave her an old smart phone, she couldn’t call or text, and she could only download or use the internet with wifi. Then I got a call from another parent saying she had left an inappropriate email to one of her friends. She claims her friend was snap chatting her inappropriate things, and for some reason she couldn’t snap chat back so she just sent out that email. Long story short I took that phone away, and disabled snap chat, instagram, and whatever else I didn’t think was fit for a nine year old. I have since then given her that phone back but it is strictly for games only and I will periodically check it.
      I am just curious to what everyone else’s thoughts were on this subject 🙂

    • #6896

      Nicolee25
      Participant

      I got one when I was in 7th grade.

    • #6898

      Payton
      Participant

      I got my first cell phone when I was about 9 years old and my dad told me we shared minutes. I had no idea what that meant and let me tell you I racked up that phone bill, haha. After that I didn’t have a phone untill I was in 7th grade and had to pay for it by myself

    • #6899

      loula
      Participant

      My parents gave me one when I was 16, but we are talking about a time where the cell phone was twice the size of a cordless phone (when they first came out) and was very heavy. It wasn’t a phone that you could just put in your pocket, and it didn’t come with caller id, or even store numbers. My parents gave it to me because I was working and starting to venture out on my own. LOL, I know I just dated myself too.

      • #6920

        Pegasus
        Participant

        omg loula that makes me laugh because our first cell phones were just like a fisher price ‘my first cell phone’ it was clunky and awkward just like you’re describing. I could put it in my purse if I had a big purse. I got this when my husband was overseas and we wanted to keep in touch. let me tell you the $500 phone bill was a bit of a shock

    • #6907

      Emily Hargrove
      Participant

      I got my first phone when I was thirteen… it was a teeny tiny flip-phone (flip-phones hadn’t been around for very long, my friends thought I was so cool) and I had to pay for the minutes with my allowance.

      I think my kids will be younger when they get their first cellphones. We’re living in a different world than the one we grew up in… I have to remember that my parents bought me my first game system when I was just a little kid, and phones are essentially gaming devices now.

      • #6921

        Pegasus
        Participant

        Emily,

        Sometimes I feel like I’m caught between the young generation and the older. I seem to agree more with the younger generation because I get a lot of grief for my kids having electronics. I think there is a time and place for them, because as you said we are living in a different world. I like non-electronic time too, but I even get such a thrill out of this stuff because when I was little I had hand held games and we were a big video game family. Granted my video games were not portable and the cartridges were the size of my car door but still we loved it!

      • #7161

        loula
        Participant

        lol @ Pegasus exactly!! And I think I’m with you on being caught in the generation gap. I also agree with how phones are basically gaming devices for kids. I don’t know how many times I have to change my password on my phone because my kids will try to just run off with it, however, we have gaming devices, and computers for them and most importantly a huge backyard 🙂 I know it’s becoming the trend for kids to have phones, but there are some people who just simply can’t afford it, especially when there is really no need. As much as I love my kids, and want to give them everything their little heart desires, and give them a better life than I had, I just can’t afford it. Another thing is that my kids are all a year apart, so if I give one child a phone, I’m getting bombarded by two other ones who want a phone lol 🙂

      • #7179

        Pegasus
        Participant

        @loula I think giving the kids the better life doesn’t have to mean that they get all the latest stuff. I think giving them something to want is part of raising that well-rounded child, so I think you’re doing a great job 🙂

    • #7149

      thecatchall
      Participant

      I live in a small town so everyone keeps tabs on my child, when he is old enough to drive is when I will get him a cellphone. I really believe that it has a lot to do with the environment you are raising your child in. If I was living in California instead of a small Midwest town I would get him a cell phone at a much younger age.

    • #7157

      Emily Hargrove
      Participant

      @Pegasus: Everything should be limited… giving a kid free-reign with electronics is never a good idea. My parents always made sure that me and my brother put the video games down and went outside for a while lol. As far as people giving you grief, that’s wrong on so many levels. I think I would have a hard time not being hostile towards someone who gave me a hard time about how I raise my children. I’m one of these “mind your own business” moms lol.

    • #10342

      SadieMarie
      Participant

      I don’t have kids but if I did I’d say by 7th or 8th grade maybe.

    • #10370

      Kimberly Brown
      Participant

      My kids will get one when they get a job and can pay the bill unless I become rich. I do let them have my cell phones that don’t work to play games on it.

    • #37454

      jkct01
      Participant

      I think 16 is the right age for a kid to carry a hand phone.

    • #37551

      Grecy Garcia
      Participant

      Cellphones without internet I can give it to my kids when they started to go to school. Not the expensive one, just enough for text or call. If they will have cellphone that has internet they will need to leave it at home.

    • #37573

      Maricel
      Participant

      This is a serious topic for me it is good to give them cellphones to know their whereabouts. Right now I do not allow my children using cellphones since they are not allowed to bring in school. Maybe when they reach their High school.

    • #37611

      shaloowalia
      Participant

      My son was 12 or 13 when I got him a cellphone.

    • #37620

      TAlberts
      Participant

      I´m glad I don´t have this problem. If I have a child of young age, I wouldn´t allow her / him to have a cellphone unless she or he is 13 but I would only buy prepaid and it should be paid by her /his own allowance. Learning how to budget at a young age is good.

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