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Thread: Cell phone for kids...what age?

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    lodestar's Avatar
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    Cell phone for kids...what age?

    At what age did you let your child have a cell phone? Mine do not yet but this is a constant discussion in our home with them all begging for one! And yes, I feel it will depend on when the child is ready for the responsibility but just curious for ages/grades in school?
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    Never. I will never give my children their own cell phones. There will be at least one family phone available, but they will never "own" their own until they are old enough to sign their own contracts and pay their own bills.
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    My oldest was 9. He got a hand me down one and it had enough minutes on there to make phone calls and texts. When we moved back to the states, we needed him to have it in case he stayed late after school. they don't always allow them to use the school phones.

    My youngest will be getting a tracfone because they like to ride bike around the area, go to the school playground on their own and I want to have the ability to contact them. He is 9 too.

    It depends on where they are at, their freedom and maturity level. They don't have contract phones but prepaid ones. When they are out with friends, I want them to have a way, if they are in a tough situation and want to get out of it (i.e. friends that are making bad choices), I want them to be smart enough to call us. Also, driving they should have one for emergencies.
    "Obstinacy is a fault of temperament. Stubbornness and Intolerance of contradiction result from a special kind of Egotism, which elevates above everything else the pleasure of its own autonomous intellect, to which others must bow.: Carl von Clausewitz
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    Last edited by RebeccaAshley; 03-08-2018 at 08:27 PM.
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    I was around 10 and going into middle school. I was starting school in the next town over, was in a carpool, and would be staying late for practices and rehearsals. My brother got his in 5th grade (I was mad lol) because he had soccer practice in the neighboring town that he would be dropped off at. However, he was only allowed to have family members’ phone numbers to text/call until he started middle school.
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    There are going to be so many different answers because it all depends on the situation, the family, and what they feel is best for them and theirs.

    Mine currently don't have cellphones because they're 8 and 6 and there's no need for them to have one. I know where they are at all times. If they're not with me, they're at school or with another adult that I can easily contact.

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    My 9 year old has been begging for a cell phone for years now! Some of his classmates had them at age 6! I'm waiting til I feel he's responsible enough to handle it, with his ADHD it may be a while - even with meds he forgets/loses everything (sweaters, library books, pencil cases, etc) and as others have said he's never alone he's either in school, after schol program at daycare or with me (or DB when he's not deployed) so at this time it's not necessary yet...
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    We waited until 13 for our daughter, even now she doesn't need the phone but we couldn't handle the constant nagging anymore. She doesn't take it to school and she puts in on the desk downstairs before bedtime every night. She has access to it after her chores in the afternoon on school days and after breakfast on weekends.

    Honestly, I would've just kept her without one for a couple more years if it were just up to me because when you hand them a phone you are basically waving goodbye to interaction with your child. I have put my foot down a few times and told her to put it down and interact with the family but it's just a battle that's not worth fighting most of the time. When we used to talk about stuff in the car and in the living room as a family we now have two person convos with a third using headphones on her phone the whole time.

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    Our oldest is 16 and got her first phone at 13. Even at 16 though she is not allowed to take it to school. She is not currently involved in sports but when she was then she was allowed so we knew when to pick her up and we could communicate before/after meets. Otherwise, she watches the youngest and with both SO and I working I message her something like 'put dinner in at.....' or something else that may come up.

    Our next 2 are 12 and 10. Both repeatedly ask for a phone but we don't see the point. They go to practice and games with SO (he's their coach for football). Neither stay after school for an activity. And at home, between SO, myself, and ODD we have 3 phones. They also have their tablets, desktop, and laptop to message us from. Not to mention, they have those headset things for the game systems so they can speak with the friends they're playing with.

    Our youngest is only 5 so a phone hasn't crossed our minds yet. Or hers. She has a tablet and is more than happy with it.
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    My parents didn't get me a phone until I needed it. When I was 13 I started going away for school trips and competitions a lot and my mom wanted to be able to hear how things were going and know when to pick me up. They gave me my sisters old pay as you go phone for a few weeks so I could prove that I was responsible enough to take care of a phone.

    It definitely varies by situation. I would wait until the kids actually have a need for a cell phone, not just because they want one.
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