Cell Phone for 13 Y/o

Updated on November 30, 2010
D.A. asks from Los Angeles, CA
12 answers

My 13 y/o daughter wants a cell phone for Christmas. For many reason we've decided to get her one.

Does anyone know what cell phone is popular amongst young teens right now? What cell phone does your child have?

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answers from San Luis Obispo on

The way things work with teens is that "they know everything". So, you should just ask her what kind of phones she has seen at school, what ones she likes, and which are the best. You can do it in general terms without giving away that she may get one. My daughters liked a bunch of phones for looks, etc., but were able to find out from their friends which phones worked the best, etc. Many phones look cool, but don't work so well under the constant use of kids, being shoved in pockets, and falling to the ground on a regular basis.

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answers from Bakersfield on

In my opinion, a 13 year old + a cell phone = Disaster! Before taking the step to buy her the cell phone, it is probably best to talk to her about what the rules are and what the consequences are for breaking the rules! My brother bought his 13 year old daughter a cell phone and now he cant get her off of it! (TEXTING ALL DAY LONG!!!) Now his bill is thru the roof and he pretty much regrets is! A prepaid cell phone would probably be the best because then she wont be able to run your bill sky high and leave you with a head ache! LOL

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Go to the cell phone company of YOUR family carrier. They usually only have a couple of 'BASIC' models to choose from. Go with whatever bottom line model they have & it will be the one that all of the kids from that carrier have; trust me! They usually give you a couple of color options among the two. Then just make sure it has a full keyboard (either push or flip) and she will be happy... For yourself, btw.... You will have to switch your family to an unlimited texting plan. YOU HAVE TO!!!! It is all that 7/8 graders and teens do. You will see a thousand text easily on a bill. So cheapest model with full keyboard and unlimited texting and you will be a winner.... Hey just make sure you place the ground rule; no texting at the dinner table or in school; I have a 13 yo son after-all. LOL.... Great gift, we did it to last year and I am actually not sorry we did it; even though the little girls texting him is CRAZY!!!! Merry Christmas.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I have no idea how to answer this but I would definately get a teenager a prepaid phone so that they cannot run up the bill. My little sister send an awful lot of texts messages to her friends plus with a lot of phones you can go online that will also run up your bill. I'd probably get a trac phone that offers double minutes for life (some of them have this) and get a certain amount of minutes for her if she goes over she can purchase more herself beats getting a phone bill that is several hundred dollars because she ran it up going over minutes or texts.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

A 13 year old is totally ready for one because that's the age when they start going to movies and the mall with friends, without the parents. That's how old my daughter was. You have to keep in touch with them to make sure they stay out of trouble and where to meet up, etc. A lot of kids have iphones, but they are so expensive. My daughter's first cell phone was a Verizon Env3, with a lot of texting and calling, for $50 per month, but she just got a new phone that's just like an iphone but so much cheaper, only $25 per month. It's a Samsung Intercept, by Virgin Mobile, and it gets unlimited texting, 300 min. calling, and internet. She's 15 now and likes getting the internet because all the other kids have it on their phone, but a 13 year old doesn't necessarily need that yet. And by the way, she's not allowed to text while at dinner or out to dinner with us, and not during homework time, and I tell her she's never to text while in class at school, and I know she doesn't because my husband checks her records (you can do that, see who they are texting and when, but not what they say.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My kids all got their cel phones when they got to Jr Hi.

If she doesn't have an iPod and you can afford it, an iPhone is a great choice. We have four of them in our household and we all love them. You have a phone, an iPod, calculator, the internet, games and more all in one. Just talk about responsible use.

I highly recommend that the phone be turned OFF and plugged in to a charger at a set time - 9pm, bedtime, whatever - to keep her from texting all night long - you'd be surprised!

I also recommend UNLIMITED texting unless you can monitor her usage and let her know when enough in enough. Otherwise you could get hit with a BIG bill. Teens can surprisingly send 1000s of messages in a month!

Don't buy the CHEAPEST phone out there because she's a teen. She will be ridiculed by her peers!

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would start with what company your family uses for your cell phones. Then I would let her pick from the phones that are already in that company. This will usually be cheaper to add a line than to start with a whole new company.

As far as getting a pay as you go - I don't think this is a big deal (although I started my 8 year old with a pay as you go basic phone to see if should could keep track of it, before we 'graduated' to a better phone, but she was 8 - 13 is much different).

If you are monitoring it they can't 'run up a big bill'. Most of the plans include unlimited text now. Plus, I think you just tell her - here is how many texts you can send. here is how you check to see where you are. If you go over, then the phone gets taken away / you have to pay xxx or whatever your consequence is. (FYI - and you didn't ask, but I'm volunteering. I don't limit the # of texts my daughter can send. She can only use her phone for non-family communication after everything else is done and before bed. after homework is done and her room is picked up and her laundry is separated I really don't care if she sends 50000 texts to her 2 friends that I have approved be in her cell phone and/or or step-sister).

If your daughter is 13 and keeps track of her other stuff, I would imagine she will treat her phone the same way she treats everything else.

I let my daughter pick which phone she wanted from the 3 I felt were appropriate for what we needed her to have it for. So, she has a phone that has a slide out qwerty keyboard (easier for her to text) but NOT internet access. She can download ringtones and wallpapers from the Tmobile website only (which she doesn't have access to, so she has to ask me to log in.and then pay for what she wants by giving me the cash before we 'buy' on the internet) and it has a camera.

PS - she probably wants an iphone!!! That's the most popular. hee hee. I want an iphone too!!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My daughter is 15 and has the cheapest Verizon phone with picture and text capabilities. She got it at 13 as a freshman, but not as a gift as a neccessity or staying after school and swim team practice.
It is a flip phone and not very spectacular, I think it cost $50. She has not abused her phone privileges, in fact she gets in more trouble for NOT answering texts and messages than she does using it.
If you think she will overuse hers set rules as soon as she gets it. Then trust her and have an immediate consequence if she abuses her new toy.


answers from Minneapolis on

Well mine is 16, has had one since she was 11 and has moslty always had the same one my hubby and I do. For us its just been easier to have all of us have the same or similar (maybe the lower grade one for one of us, etc. Dh always had the best..then I ulled ahead etc...now we all 3 have the fanciest-schmanciest).

Thsi way we could troubleshoot for each other and such. Just what worked for us, and generally, at the beginning anyway, there was often the BOGO deals and such when we got them, so thats just how we started off with hers.

We all have Sprint EVO 4G's BTW. We ahve had Sprint for..well..loads of years......

Good luck!


answers from Dallas on

This is one of those touch topics where you will be lectured, judged, and ridiculed. Don't let anyone guilt you. You do what is right for your family.

My almost 16 yr old daughter is on my plan (AT&T). We both have IPhones. She has the one that is 1 step under the newest 4g. At upgrade time, she'll probably get the 4g. A lot of her friends have the IPhones.

She had a Motorola Razor until the IPhones came out and loved it.

We have all unlimited texting, internet, etc and our bill is around $191 a month by the time you add the costs for all the data plans and unlimited texting.

At 13, she probably doesn't need a phone quite as fancy... I'd let her pick it out. Of course, go into detail on the texting, minutes, and overages charges. We've never had an issue with that.

I think my daughter was around 10 when she got her first cell. I like the safety of her contacting me (of me contacting her) whenever needed. Her school lifted the restrictions and they can not use them in the classroom however, they can use them at lunch, in hallway, etc.

Best wishes!!



answers from Phoenix on

My daughter is 10 1/2yr. but is mature for her age (most think she is 13) She has a PREPAID cell phone and only because there is times her and her brother walk to the school bus and I made her call me as soon as they get there. Our rule she can ONLY use it to call mom,dad,grandma or911 any others the phone is mine. She has had it for about 1 year and has never misused it. We would only go prepaid because of the bill. My son now wants one but isnt getting one because I dont feel he is ready (mature) and anywhere he would need one someone would be with him.. good luck.. I think cell phones are good for kids but only with limits and if they are mature enough to have the responsibility.

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