My Rant on Cell Phones for Kids

Updated on August 19, 2015
K.C. asks from Solon, OH
40 answers

I have an 11 year old that has been begging me for a phone for 2 years now. Although I am not sure what the right age is I am amazed how many 10/11 year olds have a cell phone and not just a phone, but an iphone 6! My son has an ipod that he uses to text his friends using our WiFi. I can't figure out why the majority of these kids have a phone at this age especially because nobody calls anymore just text messages.

A good friend of mine bought her son an iphone 6 just so she can reach him when he is playing in the neighborhood. What is wrong with giving him a watch and telling him to be home whenever you need him home. I know I sound like a dinosaur, but I think this world is getting out of hand!! These kids should not be any place in public without an adult and most adults have phones now.

So what is the "right" age for a phone? I am thinking when they are able to drive, but my son thinks that is ridiculous! LOL By the way, I am not bashing anyone that allows their kids to have phone at this young age, but just curious why they do? Maybe I am missing something! Is it just peer pressure?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

I think a big issue you are missing is that there are no more pay phones. Most towns don't have them at all and even in cities they have gotten very hard to find. So once a kid will be out on their own, especially beyond the distance they can walk easily a phone is pretty close to necessary. My son may be flying to his grandparents alone by the time he is 11-13. What is he supposed to do if his flight is delayed or worse changed or cancelled. What should we do if we are delayed picking him up at the airport? He will certainly be out in town with friends by that age. When I was that age I could find a payphone and call my parents to let them know if my ride home cancelled, or if I would be late. The only way kids can do that now is with their own phone.

My son is 9-1/2 and does not have a phone yet. But I am guessing by about age 11-12 he will. I strongly disagree that children 11 years old should not be out in public alone. My son rides his bike around the neighborhood now. I assume that when he is 11 he will be riding to friend's houses several miles away. I would like to be able to reach him if I need to change my plans or his.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

The "right" age is when the parent wants to pay for it. For me that wasn't until they were in 6th grade, when they spent more time not directly under adult supervision, when they were on the bus and out in public, etc.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

My kid got her first flip phone for her fifteenth birthday, with specific rules as to its use.
She got a smart phone when she had a job and could pay the bill.

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Reading on

My opinion is that when a family decides they want their child to have a phone, it is their business, not yours. You kind of ARE bashing, since you are "ranting" about it, even if you follow it with "I'm not bashing." And no, it's not just peer pressure. In fact, my daughter was reluctant to have a phone and couldn't care less what her peers do - she's an extremely shy wallflower who doesn't really connect with friends much. It was a very well contemplated and conscious decision of her parents to provide one, and here's why:

We decided when my daughter started participating in activities downtown at night without us, it was time to get a phone. She was 11, and she got my crappy old flip phone. When she turned 13, we got her a free iPhone 5C because her middle school peers were all using the phone for research during class, taking pictures of assignments on the board, and teachers were expecting and telling the kids to use their phones in these ways. It was far more capable than the phone we had given her and it was an excellent and appropriate tool to use for schoolwork. Once she had it, we discovered we could also track her location from our phone and by including her on our plan, it was actually cheaper than the previous arrangement. She has no social media and doesn't want it, and other than academic things, she texts her cousins and takes pictures. We monitor her usage constantly. Her having the phone was a convenience for us as much as for her. She also uses it for apps, like the NASA app, so she knows when to look for the ISS passing overhead.

Now, for the first time, she and her brother will start riding the bus to school. Her brother is 11. I will not start him on a flip phone because I like that I can track an iPhone. Plus, there are no free flip phones, but there are free 5Cs (and my old phone is pink, so I'm not going to give him that). Yes, he will be with an adult on the bus, the driver, but honestly, if he were in trouble, I would not trust the adult to take the time from his driving and the other 40 students to let me know that. I would expect my son to do it. Same with school shootings and other threats - that wasn't part of the common culture back in our day, but it is now. You say "most adults have phones," but not all do, and if they are supervising a group of kids, do you really expect them to call each kid's parents in an emergency? Think of all the school shootings and bus accidents where the police were notified by students? Parents were called by students. If I can empower him to contact me in an emergency, why wouldn't I? And since both kids may start staying for after school activities on different days in their new school, I want them each to be able to contact me when necessary. I do not trust the adults to have the time or attention necessary to contact me during a disaster, and yes, we managed, but if you can do better, why not do better?

Kids don't "need" phones any more than they "need" computers, which is to say in today's society, it actually IS becoming more of a need than a want. Kids who don't have the technology are starting to be left behind. Our middle school teachers often tell the kids to use their phones for assignments and to communicate with each other for projects. My daughter didn't have her iPhone until half way through middle school, and the lack was becoming a recurring problem. The ones who don't have it have a harder time. And honestly, I would prefer that my kids learn responsibility on this technology that will become an essential part of their adult life now, while they are under my supervision. You can fight society, but it's not going back to a phone free world as much as you would like it to, so your kid is going to continue to be left out the older he gets. Socializing among middle schoolers is almost all done instantaneously via social media and texting, and there is a right way and a wrong way to do it - kids don't call and pass notes anymore the way we did. We didn't need phones because nobody had them. Their world is not what we had. But today, that is how kids interact, like it or not. They can get in a lot of trouble with technology, which is why I can't see waiting until they are too old for our supervision.

ETA: I will say, if your child is prone to abusing electronics or if you're too lazy to monitor, then don't do it. But then, that's your failing, not the kid's.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think you and I are the last two people alive who feel this way! My GD is 13 and she is probably the ONLY 13 year old I know that doesn't have a phone. And yeah, what's up with these kids having $500 - $600 phones! The kids at my GD's church youth group were "held hostage" the other night because one of the kids' $500 phones came up missing. My first comment was "what is a 13 year old doing with a phone that costs that much money!" Ridiculous.

Generation after generation grew up without a phone glued to their fingers/ears and we all survived just fine. I wll not be getting GD a phone until she has an income sufficient to pay the bill. Cell phones are luxuries, not necessities.

I agree with you - get them a watch and teach them to be responsible to get themselves home on time! But, wait, I don't think we teach personal responsibility anymore, do we?

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Danville on

My kids (now 26 to 18) got phones around middle school ish I think. Mostly because pay phones had been becoming a thing of the past.

I do remember seeing my eldest son texting in church some years ago. I excused myself with whomever the baby was at that time...and texted "no texting in church" and signed it 'god'.

I do not allow phones at the dinner table. EVER.

It is a new tool. It is an evolving one at that. I try to see it in that light.

It seems to me that good manners never go out of style. And all I ask is that electronics are used in a manner considerate of others.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

It wasn't related to peer pressure in our case.

I didn't want my daughter relying on someone else if she needed something. Have you seen a pay phone lately? It's called teaching her to be self sufficient!!

She was in cheer for years and bused to/from games and events and she had a phone ( yes IPhone because that's what we all use in my family) to keep me updated in a change of plans, breakdown, lockdown , etc

In HS she used a $5 app for a special calculator for class instead of buying a $150 calculator.

I understand some people don't like for teens to have phones and that's fine, no judgy here. I will do what's right for my family and everyone else can do what is right for their family.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Never. Never seems good.

In all seriousness though, I understand your rant. 10 year old kids don't need smartphones. My boys are 12 and 14 and still don't have phones. They have a ipod touch and a tablet, but no phone. They are not allowed to bring their devices to school. I feel that it's a distraction that they just don't need.

Heck, *I* don't really even need a phone. I have a smart phone, but in all reality, I use it as my interwebz and Facebook machine. If we had wifi everywhere...I'd get rid of it and just have a tablet.

ETA: How did parents ever survive in the past without using an electronic leash on their kids? ;-P I hate phones.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I still don't have a phone and I'm 45! I don't think my kids will get phones until they have jobs and can pay for them.

I have to disagree with your statement that 10 and 11 year olds shouldn't be out in public without an adult. 10 and 11 year olds are perfectly capable of doing all sorts of things without an adult, such as going to the park, library, bike rides, corner store, church, community pool, rec center, YMCA, school etc, all without an adult.

My kids do have ipods and ipads that work on wifi, however they usually aren't allowed to take them with them when they go out.

The places my kids go without me either have telephones, or are close enough to home for them to just come home if they need to talk to me.

When my kids were little and started going to the park alone I gave them a walkie talkie.

ETA: Things may be different here. Pretty near all schools, churches, pools and community places have free courtesy phones, and public places like malls and airports and gas stations all have payphones.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

My son and other children in our area seem to get a cell phone around 5th or 6th grade. There are plenty of reasons why I feel that this is a good age. There are no more pay phones available for my son to even make a call to me if he needed to get ahold of me. I do not see anything wrong with children having technology if they learn how to use it correctly, take care of the device, and know the rules surrounding the device.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My kids are 11 & 13, both have iPhones. They were hand me down or purchased used - only people in my house getting new iPhones are the adults. My husband travels. My kids play competitive sports. That means I frequently have to drop a kid off or send them with a teammate to practices, games, tournaments. They need the phones to let us know if practice is cut short (weather), or games rescheduled or moved, or just to let us know they did great! I can't physically be two places at once, but them having a phone allows them the comfort of knowing they can reach me if they need me.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter's got their iPhones when they were going into 5th grade. My youngest is on the bus over 2 hours a day and I like the fact she can call me if the bus is delayed or broken down etc. She was also able to record the bus driver texting and driving. Unbelievable but since she was caught I don't think she will do it again!!!

I also love being able to text. My oldest daughter is in HS and we send text back and forth throughout the day. She is a distinguished honor role student so it is not negatively impacting her school work but it has strengthened our relationship. kids having phones have nothing to do with peer pressure. My husband is a tech guy and typically has the latest toys. Also, I definelty would not like my kids having to rely on someone else to provide them with a phone if they need to get in touch with us. I like my daughters to be self sufficient and having a phone helps them do that.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I could care less what others opinions are. My 12 year old is out often enough that we want her to have one, the 10 year old still hasn't gone out with friends as often - he doesn't have one. You have to do what works for you.

And about the newness of devices? Our neighbors have an 8 year old with an iPhone 6, they also just had their SUV repossessed. Don't always look at people and think they have it better....

For what it's worth too, all of my daughter's friends have phones. The last one got one as her 5th grade promotion gift. So she was 10.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I felt much like you a few years ago. My kids are (now) 14 and 17 and my eldest got his first phone (and iphone 5s) at 15, for Christmas. Daughter got hers (same phone) on her 13th birthday.

Here's what I think it boils down to. Yes, some parents just want their kids to have everything and the best of everything or they enjoy the ease of communication with their kids --maybe b/c they (and I hate using the term, but) are helicopter parents who want to know every moment what their kids are doing.

But, outside of that group, there are families split by divorce who need the ability to communicate with their kid when they are at the other parent's house (and not all parents are equally good at the split parenting thing, so yes, it can be needed in some cases).
There are also kids who are heavily involved in extra curricular activities, and it can be helpful to be able to communicate directly with your child to ensure they've arrived safely or if they are ready for pick up, etc.

My son got his when he was on the wrestling team. The school bus dropped the athletic kids off at a GAS STATION 2 miles from our home, as late as 7:30 pm at night, in the winter. Daughter got hers b/c everyone else had them (in our family) and we were dumping our land line, so she needed phone access if she was the only one home.

Why the high end devices? Well, if you're buying one, why not buy something that will last them a long time? I've never been one to just buy the cheapest item. If I'm spending money, I will spend it judiciously, and when the higher quality, more useful device is virtually the same price as the cheap one with limited features, I won't try "save" $25 on principle when in a couple years time the cheaper item will no longer be sufficient.

My son, now, works a parttime job at a garage. The staff texts each other about what cars to pull in, what is finished, which car is due for detailing and delivery to the front, etc. Who'd have thought, right?

For whatever it's worth, both our kids also had ipods for a while before getting a phone. I started trying to text with them on those (wifi only) and it was annoying, b/c they didn't always have wifi access at the karate studio. They'd randomly change the access code or it would be out with a problem. So it was unreliable.
They were very responsible with their ipods. My daughter still has hers, no damage (4 years later). She also has a tablet.

Yes, you have to monitor their internet access with them, but you have to monitor that no matter if they have a phone or not. The school issues them Chromebooks of their own. They have laptops (yes plural, a very generous great aunt builds them as a hobby).

Every family has to do what is best for them. I *try* to refrain from judging when I don't know the circumstances. The kid with an iphone 6 whose parents car was repo-ed? Sombebody's priorities were out of whack there. But you just don't know. My kids take care of their phones. They know if they break, they won't have one.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Funny as we just bought our almost 11 year old an iphone yesterday. It's a 5c or something like that. Less memory etc than a 6. With a service contract, it wasn't that much. AT&T pays. Why did we get it for her? Because she is starting middle school a few towns away and I want to be able to reach her. She is going to private school but our public junior high is a very long bus ride so almost everyone gets their child a cell phone when they start too. The kids in elementary who had one seemed to be kids who were on their own a lot and/or have divorced parents. And honestly, it's not a big financial deal to us so I'd much rather spend the $40/month (includes payment for phone) to know I can text her when I'm stuck in traffic to pick her up or something like that. Otherwise, my kids use electronics way less than most kids I think. So just bc a kid has a phone doesn't mean they're on it all day. And kids that age shouldn't be without an adult?? My kids play around the neighborhood on their own all the time. I bet you were out at that age as a kid without an adult.

Also - we bought an iphone vs a cheaper phone bc her school is very tied to Apple and honestly it's just easier. We know Apple etc. The work to figure out what other company to buy isn't worth it to us to save a little money. Time is money to us.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think it's sad to see toddlers (and babies!) on tablets. It seems in that case the parents just use it as a babysitter.

My kids have cells and have had them for maybe 4-5 years now. They are almost 13 and 16. We got them because their dad wasn't letting them call me when he had them.

They are not allowed to just have them when they want. They don't take them to school until freshman year, then only if grades are C's or better. They also don't take them to church or if they are going out after, I keep them in my purse. They also have limits on electronics after school and weekends but I am pretty lax with that because it's what the kids do now days.

We do NOT get top of the line anything for the kids. They did have the iPhone 4 at one point but that's because the newer ones were out already and they were free. Since then when my husband and I get new phones, the kids get our old ones.

If I were you I would get him a phone, there are parental guides you can put on it. We use Covenant Eyes. Give him rules. Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We get our kids phones when they turn 13. In order to get their phone, they have to be on honor or high honor roll all of 6th and 7th grade. After they get their phone, they have to stay on honor or high honor roll. If they don't make it for a quarter, they lose the phone until the next report card.

The older two have never not been on at least honor roll and the youngest is the same so far. She'll get her phone in October.

It's what has worked for us.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

i think it depends on the kid and his or her activities. My son plays on an 8 year old travel team for baseball. He doesn't have a phone yet because I've made it to all the games. But I'm guessing the day when I want him to have one is not far off - he's got to be able to call me to come and get him when he's on his way home on the sports bus. It's not like the bus has WiFi Maybe your daughter's frienda are in these types of activities.

And do the kids really have iPhone 6s or does 1 kid have one and your daughter is giving you the age-old "but EVERYBODY else has one" line? Cause most kids I've seen have their parents old phones or inexpensive androids.

(discussion of the craziness of 8 year old travel sports teams can come next, LOL)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

In middle school, so 6th grade for my area. And only because they were involved in many afterschool activities and they could let me know if they were staying and needed a ride.
But honestly, my son hardly ever remembered his so he'd call or text from a friend's phone or use the school office phone. So it's not a necessity. And no one shamed him for not having his phone with him 24/7 lol.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I don't think there is a "right" age. It depends to me on circumstances. A cell phone can be an impt tool or a way for kids to have more screen time. If it's a tool, I think as young as 7 or 8 is fine. If I was divorced and not on good terms with my ex, I'd want my child to have a phone that young. If my child went to an aftercare that used a bus, I'd want them to have one. So it just depends. And the fanciness of the phone isn't a big deal to me. I almost never buy shoes for my kids anywhere but Payless. Their feet grow so fast and Payless shoes are fine. I also buy almost all their clothes at Old Navy and Target while I know some people who spend way more at stores like Nordstoms. But when it comes to electronics, I may choose to buy a nice phone. We're very well off financially so none of anyone's business. We pick our spots to buy nice things for our kids. We don't spoil like we could. So if you see my kid with an iPhone 6, reserve judgement. You have no idea how we spend otherwise. And we never bought them a Wii or Xbox.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I never thought there was a certain age that should have or shouldn't have a phone. I was of the mind that a cell phone comes with a certain level of maturity.

My son got his first cell phone from a relative before I thought he was mature enough to handle that level of responsibility. The relative didn't ask me. I figured both my son and the relative would learn a valuable lesson. My son did what I knew he would do which is get a ton of "free" for the first 30 day games and then there would be a bill for after the 30 day mark. The first bill was over $100.00 the second bill was over $500.00. That's when I got the call from the relative letting me know what darling son had done. I told the relative that the reason I hadn't gotten son a phone was because I knew he wasn't mature enough to handle the responsibility yet. He was 10 at the time and after that all extravagant purchases by that relative went through my momma good sense filter.

I've always been the type of parent that doesn't yield to peer pressure or what is going on in the times. We haven't had cable in about 8 years. He made it through most of grammer school and all of high school without cable and doesn't seen bad off for it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My husband is an engineer in the cell phone industry so we have a bunch of these hanging around the house for his testing purposes. The cleans them up and gives them to the kids to play games on. They are 6 and 10. They do not have service and can not call or text friends. They can use Hangouts with our home WiFi to contact us if they want.

I have a problem with them because you can not put parental controls on the internet access (that I have found). My daughter had a 10th birthday party sleepover very recently and of the 7 girls, 5 had phones. They downloaded an adult truth or dare app and I had to take the phones away from all the girls because I was not going to have them up all night searching the internet for whatever they were curious about.

I think they (as well as all the internet) opens a world up we do not want our kids to see. Too much too soon. Our computers are locked to a hilt and parental controls everywhere, but the cell phones are more risky. If you give your kids phones for safety you may be opening a Panora's box, and they are certainly not going to tell you what they have been looking at on the internet.

It's risky is all and as a parent you have to be SUPER diligent. If you are not, Google is educating your child.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Way back in the day, my Mom would stand on the front step and hollar "<Our names> Time to COME HOME!".
Other families rang loud bells or triangles to signal meal times.

As far as the phones go - people are getting them for toddlers - it's freaking ridiculous.
Presumably is so they can play 'educational' games but mostly because it's an instant baby sitter and kids will shut up if they are zoned out playing a game.

When they are in middle school and might have to stay after for clubs or after school activities - THAT'S when they 'NEED' a phone - and a basic phone so they can call you or text you is plenty - no need for a smart phone with internet access 24/7.
We got a basic phone for our son when he was in 8th grade.
He uses it to call/text us parents - AND he used it for group coordination on a band performance trip to Disney World this last year (in 10th grade).

Elementary schools around here ban phones.
Kids are not permitted to bring them onto school property and the principal will take devices and hold them until parents come to pick them up.
Middle schools permit them powered off in lockers (so kids can use them after school).
SOME high schools (not all of them) are experimenting with Bring Your Own Device policies - where there are Red Zones (use forbidden like in bathrooms and locker rooms) and Green Zones (in classes with teacher permission and at lunch).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

my kids are 11. they have been begging for phones since they were 8. almost all their friends have them. i don't think 11 year olds need phones, unless they are without adults for hours at a time. they're not. i know i will have to get them one day i just don't know when.
ps if i do get phones for them, i would get what they wanted. i am not offended to them having iPhone 6-es or whatever, i just don't understand the concept of a child needing a phone.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

We did not buy our kids phones. In middle school when they wanted them they had to buy them themselves and they pay the bill. So we gave money at birthday as did both sets of grandparents and that's what they decided to buy with it.

I think it's nuts so that's the only way it happened here. They mow laws, shovel, babysit, even sell old xbox games, pay the bill each month.

Mine have talk and text. They only get internet at home or at school on Wi-Fi.

Yes - it's very much about peer pressure. It is convenient to be able to touch base with your kids whenever, and I will admit, I like that part - but we managed ok before of course.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think a lot of parents give in to the pressure, but I think that puts inordinate pressure on other families, particularly those of limited incomes. If you're struggling to pay the school activity fees so your kid can do basketball or the school play, a high end phone is the last thing you need.

I think a lot of parents talk about "convenience" and it's not so easy to find a real pay phone these days for kids to call when they are done with practice and ready to be picked up. But a 9 year old in the neighborhood? You either get a $7 watch with an alarm, or you do what my neighbor did when she had a bunch of kids running around - she rang a big old school bell when it was time to come home for dinner.

My problems with cell phones relate to internet access, texting instead of real conversations with peers (no emotions, no nuance, no inflection, no eye contact), and the fact that kids lose them! We have a whole generation of kids who cannot have a relationship or a conversation with a peer or a teacher. They go to the movies, and they text each other during it. They (and many adults) go to restaurants and theaters and are on their phones - Patti LuPone stopped her show and took a phone out of a theater-goer's hands and put it backstage due to constant interruptions. Brava to her!

But I think the best thing with kids is to have them articulate WHY they want a phone and how they would use it, and to talk about the level of responsibility it involves. I don't think most of them have a sense of how much things cost and how much work it takes to earn that amount of money. So if they can demonstrate, over a period of time, that they understand family responsibility and basic economics, I'd be more inclined to relent and get a phone. How you define that would be up to you, but being able to do odd jobs for neighbors (shovel snow, walk dogs, collect mail and water plants during a vacation) would be a start. Doing a few weeks worth of grocery shopping would be another. Taking a look at family bills (not income) to see what phone bills, car insurance, medical coverage, groceries, clothes and entertainment run a family every month helps ground a kid. If they aren't interested, if they want everything done for them (including cooking, cleaning, laundry), then they aren't ready for the adult responsibility of a phone. And if they don't have enough social maturity to look an adult in the eye, have good manners, and articulate an argument, then they aren't ready.

And if they are, I'd start with a low-end phone without internet and with constant monitoring of texts and photos.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My son is 12 and just started doing more, on his own, where I want him to be able to reach me, if he needs me. He sometimes walks home from school with the guys (2miles) and is getting dropped off at places without parents, like the golf course and riding his bike to the store for me, etc. I recently decided it's time for him to have an inexpensive phone for my piece of mind. Some of his friends have iPhones, but that's not going to happen until he can help pay for it!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

There is no right age that everyone will agree on. I hate phones for kids too, and luckily most of my friends agree and very few of the school kids have them here in a working class town. The one kid we know who has one (iPhone6) is always using it for evil...

Just be at peace with your own choice. I know it's hard, my 9 year old begs too, but I know it's in her best interest not to have one for a long time. My frinends in NYC have a son who is 11 and starting school further from home and will be taking subway.They considered it, but decided it was safer for him not to have one, as he needs his full concentration for busy NYC streets and can't be wandering around texting. They are OK with him using a friend's phone in an emergency.

Tough call, but don't do it for peer pressure's sake! Definitely only when NEEDED and not a smart phone. Flip phone call and text is sufficient for survival.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

my opinion isn't really relevant since i was (in this case fortunately) parenting before the cell phone explosion. my older son paid for his first cell phone at 15 (prior to smartphones.) we did get my younger a simple one at about the same age.
that kid always got it easier than my older did<G>.
if your son is texting with an ipod, i don't know why he'd need more than that.
but i'm a dinosaur too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New Orleans on

I didn't get a cell phone til I started working and i was driving 45 minutes to work and mom gave me one under her phone plan. It wasn't a nice expensive one but not a old one either. I was 16 1/2 years old and since I was working I pay my part of share of the phone bill each month. If we wanted the latest new phone "WE" had to pay for it. My daughter is 9 and wants a phone but I see no need for it now. She's always with us or at school. When I was in middle school I walked with my friend from our junior high school about 2 miles to the middle school where her dad was a teacher and my mom would pick me up with my sister who went there. I didn't have a cell phone which I dont know if they had any at the time. I understand ALOT has change between technology and how we look at the world today. I see giving my kids a phone maybe 13-16 years

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

My husband thinks it would be a good idea to get our almost 10 year old a phone. Another parent did it because his son was getting rides over the summer to and from camp with my husband and daughter. So since he said it, of course it sounded right for us.

I said no. Because summer is over and she cannot use the phone in school. Yes, she takes rides from the same boys parents, but I trust that she is in good hands when she is with them.

I am sure by next summer, she will have a phone in her hand.

When my older daughter was younger, it was the housekey. Parents couldn't afford the expense of after school care, so they put a housekey on a chain and the kid walked home and let themsevles in. They were called latchkey kids. Other parents couldn't believe how another parent could do that. I guess there is always something.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I have noticed that a lot of parents pass down their iphone when they get themselves a new one. I think that is one reason so many kids have one. I's too much! My son is 11 and gets soo jealous of the kids that have smart phones. He is always begging us for one. I am thinking when he is 15 or older he can use his own money at that time to buy himself one if he really wants one. That way he will really value it since he had to save up for it himself.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I have no problem with kids having phones when they need them but in my area, a lot of kids have them and do not have any need at all. It is more status quo. One neighbor got her 7 yr old a smart phone. The child i not allowed to leave the front of the house or yard unless at a neighbor's house playing with one of the kids--and mom has to be told first. Or if riding her bike or roller skating, she can go corner to corner. No activities and mom takes her to and frm school. That I do not get. M older kids just got phones last Christmas just before turning 16. Only one really needs it but like others have said, pay phones are gone. You can only use the school phone in an emergency.

I think one of the biggest problems we have is that the schools expect the kids to have smart phones with data plans. Even in middle school, they tell the kids to make sure they check their schedules on their phones to see if there is an assignment due. I don't even have a smart phone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

There are some legitimate reasons for 5th and 6th graders to have phones...sports, latch-key, moms house/dads house, etc. But, I agree, a lot of kids have them for no reason--cool thing or just because. It makes it harder for the rest of us to say no. And, yes, kids want the Iphone 6 because it's the latest and greatest--and parents, sadly, are willing to give in.

Our oldest is in 5th. He does not need a phone, therefore he does not have a phone. If he did have a phone, it would not be a brand-new iPhone 6.

Fast forward a few years. Just because I can afford to buy my son a brand new BMW when he turns 16 does not mean he's getting a brand new BMW!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

We bought one phone that the kids had to share. We bought the flip phone when our daughter got her license. She was 16 and the boy was 12. I will be honest, very rarely did he have the phone. =) We got him one when he was round 14. I went back to work and he had to ride his bike to school and home every day.

We didn't get text until she was in college and had to because that is how sorority contacted the members. Strange.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I think waiting until a person is almost an adult to have a phone is silly, sorry. We can't afford to add my grand kids or they'd already have phones. They are 8 and 11. I wanted to get the older one a phone when she turned 10 but she didn't meet the criteria I set for her to get one. She can have one when she shows me she can take care of living pets and is able to care for inanimate objects as well. I certainly don't want to spend much on her a phone and am not giving a phone to a kid who forgets that her pets need her to feed them.

Our phones, through U S Cellular are usually a dollar or less with bonus points. Our first phones were $99 and my last one, an S4, was 99 cents. So the phones aren't expensive at all.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

IMO, more like 13 or 14 if the child is mature enough and/or needs it (afterschool activities and no pay phone available). My sk's mom bought them phones when SD was 10 and SS a little older. SD trashed hers, left it uncharged, stuffed it under the bed, dropped it in the was not my money so I said little, but IMO she was just not ready for it. SS was much better and used his phone til it legitimately needed replacement (or repair). If my 7 yr old is somewhere other than with a parent, she should be somewhere nearby that I know about or with an adult with a phone. She doesn't need one yet. I allow her to go ask neighbors to play and those neighbors have our contact information. Per local laws, she can't be left alone til she's 8 and then only for a couple of hours.

Also, I think for a 6 yr old a jitterbug or other kid-phone is better than an iphone. Something with minimal access to being online unfettered and with built-in buttons to call home/mom/dad/grandma.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

oh my you express my feelings exactly! just saying...sorry I have no answer



answers from Savannah on

Both of my boys got a very basic flip phone by the age of 10, but I waited until they actually needed them. As for smartphones, I think that it is better to wait until the child is responsible enough. For my oldest son, that age was 18.



answers from Chicago on

when they will be places that you need them to be able to get in touch with you, or you them, and there is no other method to do that but using a private cell phone
In our case the kids walked to school until 8th grade so there was no reason to have a cell phone till they went to high school where they are not allowed to use the school phones and they were not a 10 minute walk from home.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions