Saturday, January 5, 2008

Cell Phone For Kids ?


I have this question and I would like your opinion. At what age is it appropriate to allow a child to have his/her own cell phone. My two older children are in 1st and 2nd grade and a lot of their friends have cell phones. Maybe I am crazy, but why do 6,7,and 8 year olds need cell phones? Am I off base? Is there someone they need to call? Am I missing a safety issue ?
My kids (especially my daughter) keep bringing up that this person or that person has a cell phone like I am going to say ,"Oh yeah! Let's get you one." Well, right now I can not see a reason for them to have a cell phone for a very long time.
Please help out on this one. What do you think?

26 comments:

Family Adventure said...

Oohh...controversial subject in our house! Last summer, I swore none of my children would get a cell phone before they turned 12. Today, both my 10 yr old AND my 7 yr old have cell phones. Talk about eating your words!
In my defense...I have found that kids in Norway have much more independence than what my kids have in Canada: They walk to and from school by themselves, they go to other friends' houses by themselves, etc. And in those situations, it is a GOD SEND to have a way to contact them. I now love the fact that they have cell phones.

Having said that, if your kid are like mine are in Canada - where they are pretty much always under adult supervision - I see no real reason for a cell phone. That's just my 2 cents worth...

I'll definitely be checking back to read other comments on this one.

Heidi :)

OhCaptain said...

I haven't found a reason to get our 8 year old one. We had briefly looked at the Miego phone. It was a phone that bascially only dialed mom, dad and 2 other numbers and it could only receive calls from approved sources. That phone is gone...not sure where it went.

Our kids are rarely away from school or home and they don't walk to and from any where. Unless they start having more activities than I can handle, I think we will be waiting to get them one.

Jennifer said...

I have a first grader and there is no way I would give him a phone. Who would he call? He couldn't use it at school, so when he is with me, he could use my cell or the home phone. Personally, I think there is a lot of pressure for young kids. One parent gives a child a phone, and then EVERYONE has to have one. My friend gave her daughter (1st grade) her old cell. She could only use it to call 911, but that could be dangerous too! In my opinion, they are too young and don't need one.

Kristina said...

My children will not be getting phones any time soon, but they are homeschooled.

When we lived in DC, most of the families had one kid on the bus with a phone or knew of a family with a kid on the bus with a phone.

The reason for this was because of 9/11.

We lived on base. On 9/11, the base was shut down. No one got on and no one got off. Unfortunately, the schools didn't lock down--they sent the kids home early. So, there were buses sitting outside the gates for hours! So, parents wanted to be able to communicate with their kiddies in case anything like that happened again.

Melissa said...

No phone here yet, but my little one is 5. She rides the bus and is dropped of a few houses down and I'm always waiting on her.

So no point as of yet. We will probably get her a phone when she's older but much older than 5...

Corey~living and loving said...

great topic here.

It saddens me how the world we live in is trying to force our children to grow up too quickly.

I think that a cell phone is something a person has as luxery (sp?). Not everyone Needs one. In fact I think it is doing so much damage to our society. People are obesses with their phones. Everywhere you look people are on their phones. standing in lines..on the phone. Driving..on the phone. EVERYWHERE.

People talk about having them so that they can keep track of their kids, but I think that a cell phone is a not the answer. We need to be more hands on...and less hands free. just my opinion. I do know that with working and such it can be difficult, but I think children are spending entirely too much time away from the parents.

my girl will get a cell phone when she is old enough to contribute to the bill, if not pay it. Most likely when she is old enough to drive.

just my thoughts...sort of rambled out, but I have been interrupted 5 times...ugh.

Patriot said...

I did not get a cell phone until I was 16 years old and started driving and dating. Before that, there is no reason.

Thanks for stopping by and entering! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Maryann said...

Hi Jenwa,
Thanks for visiting my blog. It was nice of you.
Cell phones for kids? Maybe I'm old fashioned but I don't think a child needs one until they are out and about on their own with friends..like 12 years old maybe?
They do have a phone concept for younger children that can only dial their parents. In an emergency, I think this is a great idea. Kinda like calling 911. Just my 2 cents worth :)

Mama Zen said...

Just today, my daughter was telling me that one of her classmates has a cell phone. She's four! That's just insane!

Beth said...

I really can't imagine my kids having a cell phone until they are driving. Until that point they will either be in school or with me all the time.

Sue said...

My six year old barely knows how to USE the phone.

I have thought about eventually getting them one of those phones that only calls their parents, and that has the GPS tracking thing, so that you know where they are at all times. But like Jennifer said, when they aren't with me, they're at school, or with an adult who knows how to use the phone. So I'm not sure what the point would be. But just to be able to call friends? No way.

Kellan said...

My nephew is 11 and just got one and to me it seems too young - no need that I have seen for that kid to have a phone yet - that's just me. My 15 year old girls have phones and got them when they were 14 - that was soon enough (for calls from school to pick them up - occasional calls to friends) - but 11 year olds don't have the same needs or the same connections with friends yet. I think 13 or 14 is a good time to give them a phone or even later - it just depends on the child and what all they are involved with in school, etc. Have a good weekend - see yo soon. Kellan

Don Mills Diva said...

My son is only 2 so I'm not speaking from personal experience but I would think that unless they are going somewhere unsupervised - 12, 13, 14? they wouldn't need a cell phone.

Derek said...

My eight year old really wants a phone also. I don't think she really needs one, she just wants to impress her friends. On New Years eve, she was at a party and I gave her mine since I was with my husband and I was a little nervous about leaving her. I could tell she was pretty thrilled- she called several times(there weren't any problems) just because she thought it was fun.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Dawn said...

I'm so sorry! I left the above comment under my husbands account. "Derek" was really me, Dawn :)

Cindy Breninger said...

Hi,
I am divorced and bought both kids (ages 7 and 9) their own so they could call or text me from their dad's house. They have actually come in handy when they are with a babysitter or the daycare is late in picking them up from school. Other than that, they only use them for the video games. :)
Cindy
www.adayinthelifeofcindy.blogspot.com

Jen said...

Madison is 10 and has driven us crazy for a cell phone for 4 years. I told her she could have one once she has entered middle school. The reason behind this in my opinion is....

We had a school shooting back in 1997 here in my small hometown. It hit hard. Madison was only a baby and has no memory of it. But I do. And the children called home to talk to their parents while being held hostage.

I know this is so juvenile's....but I want Madison to feel she can call me whenever she wants for whatever reason and I will be there for her. She will get a used phone with a certain amount of minutes to only people I know. And no texting. She understands this though.
I think children youngest than middle school dont need it.

Rebecca said...

Personally, I think that they don't need one until they start driving. My daughter is 14 and my son is 17. Last year we decided to get them phones, my daughter ran the bill up to 1500.00, sitting in her room on the cell.. She no longer has a cell phone..

My Goodness said...

I think kids should have phones when you are comfortable with them being somewhere on their own. And, I don't think there's a universal age for that...depends on the child.

Autumn said...

I think cell phone usage is out of control. However, I do believe there are family situations were it makes sense to get a child a cell phone. We purchased a cell phone for my stepson when he was twelve, he moved across the country from us and we were having a hard time staying in touch with him. It has worked perfectly the last three years. My nephews received them when they were 10, for the same reasons, divorced parents. With my five year old, I'll just have to see, he probably won't get one until he is in high school and driving.

Pam said...

I echo Corey's sentiments 100%.

Jennifer said...

In our house the rule is when you get your driver's license we will supply a pay as you go phone for in case of emergency needs. I see no other reason for a child to have a cell phone.
Smiles!

Miss Patti said...

My Daughter is 7 and has been talking about having one for almost 2 years now. But I think that once they start walking home from school or going to a friends house maybe it is a good reason.

Are You Serious! said...

My theory is when they're old enough to buy one for themselves and can pay the monthly then maybe they can have one. Personally I feel that my kids will have to meet certain maturity levels and if there ever is a reason why they might need one maybe they should go where ever they're going or I'd let them use mine for that one time... It's a hard debate and lots of views out there!

Mel's World with Melissa Mashburn said...

That is a great question!

My kids got cell phones when my oldest was going into 6th grade (during the summer). He was going to start going to a public school (he had been in private school his whole life). When we did though we gave my youngest (2 years younger) a cell phone too. (Which, by the way, came in handy when my oldest was in a major accident and my youngest actually used his cell phone to call the grandparents to come and get him since I would be riding in the ambulance. (SO...there are some serious pros and cons)

Patti said...

My 8 yo keeps asking for one too. He's too young, IMO. He's always with an adult at this age.

But I did get my older son one when he reached middle school age ... 11 years old. He was out hanging out with friends alone and I felt he needed one. Now .. he's 14 and he either never turns it on or never answers it! Grrrr...