8/27/07 First Cell Phone

   49 votes

  1. 1. What is an appropriate age to get your first cell phone?

    • 8 or younger
      4
    • 9 - 10
      1
    • 11 - 14
      9
    • 15 - 17
      24
    • I wouldn't get one for my kid
      11

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

28 posts in this topic

School is starting and though the public schools in my area has banned cell phone use in the schools, we have friends who are getting cell phones for their kids. My oldest daughter who is 10 wants one (Sheesh, I don't have one any more cause I never used it). Are any of you being asked by your kids for a cell phone? What do you think is a good age to give your child there own cell phone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son has asked for a cell phone the last 3 years. He won't get one until he's 11, another 5 years to go! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My kids are young adults now but when they were younger there were plenty of things that they asked for and did not get, a phone of their own was one of them. Any item that keeps on costing would be something that they would have had to pay for themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are so many things that they want and we can't afford. Right now we are trying to get another place to live. Since my husband gets a discount on our phones through work, it would be easy to get the son one, he just doesn't need it now. We live in a small village and my parents are 10 minutes away. Now once we move to another state, that may be a different story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for younger kids with moms who work and or have other kids who are needing to be run here and there I think the cell phones that have 3 numbers that can be called is good enough

for the teen who is out driving back and forth to work I think its a great idea.

my daughter has one she is 15...she has had one for the last 2 yrs...she has had it taken from her on several occasions due to the not following the phone rules.

she gets it off the charger in the am before school and she has to put it back when she returns from school. also if she has it on during school and gets it taken from her its mine also.

the phone is for my convenience and peace of mind not her plaything.

I like knowing if she needs me she can reach me quick

nutti :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is entirely dependent on circumstances. For safety reasons I would hate to think of my daughter without her phone. It is our way of staying in touch, I always know where she is and she can easily get a hold of me. She doesn't use it inappropriately and I can easily see who she has called, who has called her, when and for how long (not that I ever do).

I could imagine that if I were at work and my daughter was at elementary school, I would probably get her one of the kids phones - the ones that have only a few numbers they can call. I think the key to allowing a son or daughter to have a cell phone is to emphasize that it is a phone not a music player, game player, texting machine or camera!

Lisa R.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I still had a school-age child who was also driving & working I would want him/ her to have the phone to call for assistance.

The first cell phone we ever got ourselves was for me when I went back to work at the state hospital on night shift, and got rid of it when I went back with the health department because we were being charged even when we didn't use it!

After our first long post-retirement trip DS#1 got all bent out of shape that we had no cell phone "for emergencies" so DH finally got one that the only cost is the minutes we buy as we need them. We rarely can get a signal on the road, and the places we prefer to camp are usually not blessed with towers anywhere close, so they're not much good, and neither of us has a clue how to retrieve messages on the thing.

The next year DS came to the realization we're hopeless and this time he begged us to get a laptop, because even if we had no modem or wi-fi at the campground (and he still doesn't accept that we would be willing to camp somewhere without wi-fi!lol) we could find a hotspot in a nearby town. Of course, what the dear boy is still coming to grips with is that although many wi-fi sites will let us receive email, the security on our 'puter won't let it go out. Anyway, we got the laptop the last time our "real" 'puter crashed and I STILL miss our old setup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the phone is for my convenience and peace of mind not her plaything.

I like knowing if she needs me she can reach me quick

nutti :)

Exactly, my reasoning. Mabyn has had a cell phone since 9th grade. Our school boundaries are split up in the most absurd way. From my drive way to the front door of her school is ten miles; its a little far for me. The other two high schools are within walking distance. Mabyn has been responsible with her phone, doesn't go over minutes, doesn't text.

Alysia wants one. My brother just started working for a company that carries the Disney cell phone service. They are programmable. We may get her one for being out and about, but not at school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I voted for 8 or younger. If I had a child in my care, as soon as that child was able to walk and talk, he/she would have a cell phone. When a child can no longer rely on adults for assistance, I'd just as soon they learn early how to reach me. I don't believe they should be used as toys though. Both of my kids had cell phones when they were teens, but back then they were the big, bulky and very heavy phones but they always had them in their cars with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my personal opinion is when they are driving, more as a just in case thing than a talk to friends thing, but i know that will happen too. but my kids are way to young to ask for one yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris kept asking all last year for us to get him one. DH told him he could get one when he buys it and pays the bill. If he really needs one he can use mine, it usually just sits there and collects dust. :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went with the having to pay for it themselves route. I know my son and he would have issues with the limitations. We still battle over the internet thing and that is enough for me. I see too many young kids out there talking on the phone and it really worries me because standing right next to them are the parents who are talking on the phone. I work in retail and it is so frustrating trying to deal with people who can't hang up the phone long enough to sign the stupid credit card machine. Meanwhile, others are waiting behind them..... :welcome: Sorry....bad subject for me. I will slowly back away now....

Stepping back for one moment...I was reading an article on CNN about the high rate of teenage drivers getting into accidents because they are texting while they TRY to drive. Backing away now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 2 nephews 16 and 11.5 both have cel phones. THey are for emergency use and calling for a ride when practice is over etc.

I never heard of any complaints about the cel phones with my sisters family.

I started with cel phoines 11 years ago because of my grandmother and home health people. It has become anelectronic ball and chain. Now use a Treo 650 PDA phone

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tracy, I am a teacher in an urban public school district and have taught everywhere from k-5th grade, and I have always thought it was stupid that the schools take away kids cell phones if they are caught with them--whether they were abusing them at school or not. Sure I agree that during school hours they should not be on, but many of my 5th graders were latch-key kids and lived in dangerous neighborhoods. Their parents--usually single working moms; gave them cell phones for safety reasons for both the trip home as they walked through the neighbor"hood", and while at home or a friend's house. I have always advocated for kids having cell phones. There are entirely too many sickos and predators out there, and often times (worst case scenario)-- if an abduction occurs, as long as the phone is on,there are often ways to track where a child is at. I'm not sure if the child tracking package comes with the service or if it is extra, but it is DEFINATELY worth it. Not to mention that you can also use it to check up on your older kids to see if they are where they are supposed to be. Check with your local cell phone provider. They probably offer a tracking program with cell service. It is an excellent reason to give your child a cell phone at just about any age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am 19 and i have never wanted one. My parents have always wanted to get me one though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have any school age children, but I definitely would want my grandchildren to have a limited calling plan when they go to school. One of those where they can only dial certain numbers. Both of their parents have to work, and I would like to think that they and their parents can contact each other for safety reasons. (They live in Rochester, NY, not here on the island in Maine where cellphones don't work).

Since my son is manager of a T-Mobile corporate store, I have a very nice phone, which I use when I travel, as well as a To-Go phone which I give to my mother whenever she travels. (The To-Go phone only costs $10 per year if you only use it for emergencies).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our HS freshman has a cell phone as part of a 3-phone package with AT&T (DH & I have the other two), but she doesn't have texting. She whines about it regularly, as texting is currently the in form of communication among local teens. She can text and receive messages, but it costs fifteen cents per message.

Last month I overheard her telling her father that she had to go to the cell phone store. I didn't pay attention until I got a call from the store asking what our account password is, 'cause they couldn't change the phone service to unlimited texting without it. I didn't give it to them. Told her when they got home that if she wants to text, she can pay for it, message by message. Two days later, when the phone bill came, come to find out she'd racked up more than a hundred messages and was hoping that by switching to unlimited I wouldn't notice! :banana: There's now an account list on the refrigerator. She worked off part of it doing dishes and some cleaning beyond her normal household chores, then her sister gave her cash to pay off the rest.

She wanted to know if she could take down the list, but I told her to leave it. This will be an every month thing and I don't feel like making a new one every month. She doesn't like to see it, reminds her she needs to be prudent with her texting, but it did accomplish one thing --- she asked if she could earn texting $$ ahead, so she's already saving up for next month's bill. :hippi:

The HS junior has had a phone for some time now, a gift from one of her older half-sisters. She and her friends don't seem to mind that they have to call long distance (from Missouri to New York) in order to communicate.

When we lived in New Orleans, we had one cell phone that DH & I shared. We have only one vehicle, so whoever was away from home carried the phone. Lloyd traveled across the river every day to take the girls to their private school, and it was handy to be able to contact him or vice versa, although we used it rarely. By some quirk, because we certainly didn't plan it, we signed up for unlimited nation-wide calling. When Katrina hit, the land lines and the cell towers went down immediately, but we could text to other cell phones and when out of the area could use the phone on the road or wherever. To say it was a lifesaver would be an understatement. We used the cell exclusively for a couple of months until we got resettled -- at no extra charge. What a blessing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son is eight years old and some of his friends have phones. I think this is a little too early.

But this is a different world than it used to be with things seeming to get worse all the time. Ever since Columbine it has become obvious to me that the schools can't keep our kids 100% safe. So you have to teach them how to be responsible for themselves at a very early age. Maybe being responsible for a cell phone is one of the ways to do that....plus it gives us an extra method of getting to our kids when we have to work or if there is an emergency. Still... it is just a convenience not a necessity in my mind.

I am in favor of a reduced calling plan, NO texting whatsoever, NO camera function and no other bells and whistles that will just distract them from doing what they need to be doing when they are in school or driving etc.

Cell phone use is a lot like the internet and needs to be monitored. Everything they do with that phone should be your business.

And as far as paying for it themselves... I would still have to insist on having some control over it while they live under my roof!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like a bare bones phone only would be appropriate as part of a family plan. Alternative would be a TracPhone or other pay for minutes when needed.

There is now way I would give a child the phone I carry a TREO 650 which is also a PDA and mp3 player and a cellular modem to my laptop.

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would only give a young child a limited use phone if they did sports or some other after school activity. Other than that, not till they were in high school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think for my kids it'll be when they start driving...the emergency thing. No talking and definitely no texting while driving. Other kids have different needs and those needs should be addressed. I'm fortunate to be a stay-at-home Mom who takes my kids to school and a neighbor's child and she does the afternoon pickup. We live in a good neighborhood and my kids BETTER NOT be at someone else's house without adult permission. And adult supervision at their ages.

Terri

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My two are older now and are responsible for their own bills, but I have a funny story concerning cell phones:

My older daughter, who is now 21, had a phone at 15. She lost her first one and her dad told her if she lost another, that was it.

Well, one day her and 2 friends were walking home. My daughter dropped her phone and it fell into a storm drain. She and her friends managed to lift the grate off. My daughter tried to get her gulible friend to go down and get it, but she wasn't as gulible this time, so my daughter jumped in to get her cell phone. She ended getting stuck up to her thighs in muck and couldn't get out. Her friends went to a house nearby an asked to borrow something to pull her out. The owner gave them a garden hose. Well, that didn't work, so they went back to the house and called 911. The fire department shows up, the hazmat team, and an ambulance. They did manage to get her out without doing any harm, but would not let her go until one of her parent's showed up to sign her off. Her dad went to meet them, which ticked my daughter off, as now he knew what happened to the phone.

Long story short, she really smelled when she got home and reported "after all that, the phone did not work anymore!"

I giggled myself to sleep that night thinking about the whole mess!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My kids had a car phone IN the car when they started driving. Other than that, they really were not interested in a cell phone. They all have one now, but then they are all adults.

I'd be very careful about phones with cameras. My co-worker has a 14 year old daughter, who has a boyfriend who is 15, and one night after the daughter was in bed, she checked the cell phone. She was absolutely shocked to find that the daughter had used the camera feature to take pictures of herself, totally naked, and sent them to the boyfriend! The boyfriend now had naked pics of her to do with as he wished! The phone was immediately confiscated and the boys parents were alerted!

My husband bought me a cell phone as part of a 2 phone package a couple of years ago. He worries about me driving alone, and when he can't reach me at home, likes to be able to reach me on the road to make sure I'm ok and not laying in the floor at home, unresponsive! (I had a mild heart attack 8 years ago, hence the worry)

I think it really has to be considered on a kid-to-kid basis as far as the NEED. Obviously, kids think they NEED everything the other kids have. The parents need to determine the need as far as safety issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is good for a child to get a cell when they start driving- you never know when you will need to call for police or ambulance. I know we will not consider getting our son one until he starts driving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i didnt get my first cell phone until i started high school (14) i think thats a good time for kids to get one because your a freshman and you get a little more independant. I didnt really even ask for it though my parents wanted me to get one. so we got the cheapest one and i was happy with that for about a year. but then i wanted a new one because the original one was huge compared to the newer ones my friends had. im on my 3rd phone in 5 years. pretty good compared to my friend who is on his 8th in 3 years (though he has soaked them, broke them, lost them, crushed them...hes pretty clumsy ;P)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now