23 answers

Cell Phone for 9 Year Old.

I want to get a cell phone for my daughter for her 9th birthday. Any advice on which one to go with? I want something that has some type of parental control. So far I've researched Kajeet. Has anyone used the Kajeet system or I would appreciate other recommendations. Thanks in advance!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I did end up getting her a phone and adding her to my Sprint account. I did the family locator (GPS) on her phone which is a great feature. She walks to school so she makes sure her phone is on when she is in route and turns it off at school. She doesn't know that I can get on-line and see exactly where her phone is at any time. You can also set times and triggers that alert you if she is not where she is supposed to be at certain times. For now I have this feature as a safety precaution, I also had it put on my phone and my mother's. She has now had the phone for 10 months and has NEVER abused it. The only phone calls she makes are to me or family members and occasionally to a friend that lives out-of-town. I like the fact that she can call me if she needs to when she is at a slumber party. She's not the type of child to sit on the phone chatting with her friends, she'd rather be out playing with them. I'm very happy with my decision. Thanks for all of the comments/suggestions!

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Just wondering WHY a 9 year old needs a phone?!?!?! I didn't get a phone until I was 16 and driving and my kids won't have a phone until they are driving either and even then I will have some kind of parental controls.

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I don't know if they still have it, but the firefly with ATT is perfect for that age. It only has a few numbers that you program in, and those are the only ones she could call.

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Maybe I am a little old fashioned, but WHY does a 9 year old even need a cell phone? Are you not with them almost everywhere they go? They can't use them at school. I have a 20 year old, a 19 year old, and a 6 year old. My oldest two did not get cell phones until they were 16 and actually needed them because they were going out with friends without me. My youngest will NOT get a cell phone until at least 8th or 9th grade as well. I just don't understand WHY folks think a kid NEEDS a cell phone at such an early age. That is just one more piece of technology that they can become addicted to. BTW we NEVER added texting to our plan either. I wanted to HEAR my child's voice when they called to tell me they would be late or wanted permission to do something.

SAHM of three: 20(married and starting her own family), 19 (freshman in college), and 6.

1 mom found this helpful

My just turned 10 year old son got one for his birthday. His aunt got him a Virgin pay as you go. She is the one that is putting $20 per month on his phone. (Mom & dad weren't too sure that he needed one yet but ok'd her doing it). If he runs out before then, he's done. He got a very basic but neat phone. It didn't cost much and if he loses it it's not a huge deal. But the agreement with him is that mom & dad have access to it at any time to check call logs, etc. He's pretty responsible so I don't have much concern. Anyway - the phone has got great sound and seems to have really good coverage.

1 mom found this helpful

Many of the phones have parental control. We just added our son on to our Sprint acct and in the 4 years that he has had his cell phone, we haven't had any problems with his usage or running the bill up. The hard decision to make is which phone is actually appropriate? The phones these days are so hi tech...

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wow- you have received alot of information that you did NOT ask for. My daughter is 8 and has a cell phone- big deal! It was an extra line we were already paying for and not using so we decided to give it to her. We started with whatever phone was "free" at the time- she still has it and we told her after she took care of it for one year- we could upgrade. She hardly ever uses it, but likes having it. We were also able to cancel our home phone since everyone here has a cell. I say start with a cheap starter phone- alot of times you can get a nice phone for "free" just by adding a line to your existing service. Good luck and kudos to you for doing what YOU want with your child, not what others think is right.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm with the moms who say a 9 year-old doesn't need a cell phone. By giving our kids "grown-up" toys, we're pushing them into adulthood way too early. If they get cell phones and TV's and all that while they're still kids, what will be left to give them when they're teenagers? Kids today act like it's their right to have things like cell phones. I say it's our responsibility as parents to think about what we're giving our kids, and about what we're teaching them in the process. I'm not trying to say you're a bad mom ... I've fallen into the same trap, myself. Just be sure to think this through.

1 mom found this helpful

Oh my goodness! I have a 9 year old and I would never DREAM of getting a cell phone for him at this age. Matter of fact, we're not sure we should have even started with the Wii! Until he's driving, I can't imagine the need for a cell phone. It's really an emergency only kinda thing in my opinion. And if you watch any of the videos on teens texting, it's enough to NEVER get them one! If she's at a friend's house, she can call you from there. Any other time, you should be fully aware of where she is anyway at this age. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know if they still have it, but the firefly with ATT is perfect for that age. It only has a few numbers that you program in, and those are the only ones she could call.

1 mom found this helpful


Just wondering WHY a 9 year old needs a phone?!?!?! I didn't get a phone until I was 16 and driving and my kids won't have a phone until they are driving either and even then I will have some kind of parental controls.

1 mom found this helpful

What possible scenario would suggest that a 9 year old child needs a cell phone?

1 mom found this helpful

I got phones for my kids when they started attending middle school parties as I wanted them to be able to get ahold of me if they got into a bad situation. Both of my kids were 13 when they got their phones. I have never used any type of monitoring system on their phones. I know AT&T offers a plan that does cost extra monthly that allows you to turn the texting off/on. Its very user friendly. Although I have never used it, I did look into it.

I do have to ask, at 9 why does she need one? I know that wasn't your question and I sure don't mean to offend you or anyone. I personally don't think at that age they need them. For me, I waited until I felt they needed them. There is a HUGE responsibility that goes along with them. Any texting or calls made from that phone are your/their responsibility.

The reason I mention this is because I had a friend whose son lost his phone. The boy's friend took it and from that phone he sent life-threatening messages to some girls. Well the phone was traced back to my friend's son who, according to police, were facing federal charges, imprisonment and suspension from school (the girls were on a field trip so that made it school related). With that said, this boy didn't need his phone if he wasn't responsible enough to keep up with it. Just something to think about...

1 mom found this helpful

Stay on topic, folks. She didn't ask if you agreed w/her decision - she asked if we could recommend a service. :)

L., my girlfriend's 10 yr old daughter has a cell phone through AT&T and it is on some serious lock down. She goes online to program the phone through her AT&T account and she has complete control over what numbers her daughter can dial, what numbers can dial into her, who can text, who she can text - even what hours the phone is turned off and on. I do not know if she pays any extra for this service, but I do now that most carriers offer these types of parental controls so I would talk to your carrier first and find out what is available.

1 mom found this helpful

AT&T has a GREAT program for children; it called SmartLimits. My husband has it for his 10 yr old daughter in Houston and my son, 9, also has this on his phone. You are able to set a time for the calls to go in and out as well as texting. (our time starts at 3:30, after school till 8pm so they can get ready for bed m-th) You have the optional to block 15 numbers. You can set 15 "allowed numbers" that allows the child to use these numbers at anytime. We call those our emergency numbers, mom, dad, sitter, gma gpa etc. I always recommend this to my friends. The program has other options to set a limit or block things like texting, internet, downloads... again we love it!

Good Luck

L. didn't ask if her 9 year old needed a phone or not, what she does is what is best for her and her family, not what is best for yours. She asked about a certain type of phone.

Today is a day I wish my 9 year old had a phone. I have to take one daughter one way and she is going home with a friend in the other direction. It would be nice to know that she made it safely to her friends. Since she doesn't, she is going to use her friends phone to get in touch with me.

However, I still am not ready to get a cell phone for my daughter, but L. is. Let's not bash her for making choices for her family. And you can make the right choices that fits your family lifestyle.

try verizon they have a chaparone it allows you to control when why and how much they uses phone also can tell you where they are when turned on i think it is like 10 extra per month

Are you sure you want your 9 year old with a cell phone. If you do you might think about rules. My step daughter would come over with her phone. Text, text, text, even during our conversations or family conversations, dinner, anything basically. Even walking into Walmart, etc. The phone was always sort of a wall between building relationships. She also only learned communication through texting. Like telling her mother she was pregnant through a text. Important conversations through a text. Never talking with her mom about important things. I think she thinks its O.K.
Think about your precious time with her. Do you really want her focused on a phone during your time with her. My nieces come over and are also glued to their texting.

sorry, but another mom saying NO to a 9 year old with a phone. i know you didn't ask for this opinion, but obviously it is a touchy subject. my 12 year old asks every so often when he can have a phone. "when you can pay for it" is my answer. i may consider it for him when he turns driving age, but then at a very controlled pace.

Don't waste your money. You'll end up paying for a phone that shouldn't be used. A 9 year old should always be with an adult or within yelling distance of the house anyways, so you're just going to end up feeding an electronics addiction. By the time your daughter is 12 she'll be begging for the newest and most expensive phones and she'll be the one calling all her friend's house phones while she brings up your cell phone bill. I've got a little sister who rung up a $2500 cell phone bill in one month.

I was like 15 when I got my first phone because I was out hanging out with friends and riding my bike around town... and it was one of those Nokia bricks that had the game snake. Honestly... I spent more time playing snake than calling folks.

a blackberry any kind with her name on it

Cingular has the Amigo (i think). They add to your bill and that phone is only allowed to call 5 pre-set #'s. Its great for younger kids who only need mom, dad, and Bf.

Hi L.,

We have debated purchasing a cell phone for our 10 year old since she lives with me (in TX) and goes to visit her dad in the summers and holidays (in IL). I was actually looking at the firefly but we just decided to send one of our cell phones with her instead of adding her to the plan. I was looking at purchasing a phone for our daughter since her dad does not have a home phone and he rarely answers his cell phone when I call so we had to look at what was best for our daughter so she is borrowing one of our phones until we get her set up, which might be a few years but that is okay. Also, with the way the world is today I would love for our daughter to be able to call us whenever she feels the need to.

My 8 year old son wants one really bad.. only he thinks he needs an i-phone because his cousin (younger) has one! I don't think so! ;) I also looked into the AT&T Firefly phone (at that time, he was 7) and I really liked their option for the younger kiddos.. (there were 2 options) it only had 4 big buttons labeld for parents,etc. And the only incoming calls could be from someone on the phones phone list. And no texting :). I knew he didn't really NEED one, so we decided it wasn't something we were going to let him have yet. Whatever your reason is for thinking your daughter should have one.. it's your business. This one might be a good option for you - probably a good "starter" phone. You might check Craigs List to see if anyone is upgrading their kiddos phone and has one for sale - ?

This is a very touchy topic with a lot of parents. What is right for one family is not necessarily right for another.

Here's my take.....I have a 14 yr old girl. She has had a cell phone since she was 10. The FIRST and FOREMOST reason she has a cell phone is SAFETY.

At 10, if she were sleeping over somewhere, etc. I would text her goodnight, etc. If something was going on that she was not comfortable with, she would tell me. I picked her up once because she texted me and told me she did not feel comfortable. Yes, I was glad she had her phone at that time.

Since then, she continues to keep it with her. We are fully aware that the phones are not allowed to be used in school, HOWEVER, it does not mean you can't have it with you. At middle school...she texted me one afternoon to let me know there was a lockdown.

Now that she is in high school, it is all that more important for her to have her phone. She is much more social now, goes with groups and she knows without a doubt if she calls us we will be there.

We have AT&T. We started with the add a line to my number and her first phone was a little Motorola flip phone. A word of advice is not to spend too much money on the first phone. It will either be lost or broken...expect it.

The razor phone was a good one for her as well. It was small and fit nicely in a pocket or pocket in her purse.

We both carry Iphones now. We also have the unlimited family text, etc. We use it a lot as a family. Yes, my daughter's phone is attached to her hip....mine is attached to me as well... I've seen over 4000 texts a month from her alone.

Of course I would not suggest the Iphone for a 9 yr old. Start simple. Daughter is on her 3rd Iphone....1 broke, 1 was stolen.

I would get one of the phones that you can add warranty to your plan. That way, if it is lost,stolen, or broken it is $50 or so to replace it. Also, ATT does have Smart Limits where you can control certain aspects of service. There is also a feature with our phones where ATT can locate us.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with a cell phone at 9. it keeps our contact with each other intact and our daughter is not having to run arouns looking for a way to contact us. Again...our primary reason SAFETY

Good luck making the right decision for your family!

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