Teen with Smart Phone!!!!!

Updated on August 21, 2013
Z.W. asks from Chicago, IL
19 answers

My dd is 13 years old and really wants a smart phone. She is very responsible and will look after it and help pay for two thirds of it.Should i let her get one? She does not have a phone and she walks to/from school. Also we have found a plan (including data) for $30 (optus prepaid social). I am happy for her to have internet on it. She has been saving up her pocket money and selling bracelets and sneakers. I live in Australia but my zip code wasn't accepted so i typed in random numbers.

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 Dallas on

She can have a phone, but she in no way needs a data plan. Unless you want her accessing things that are completely inappropriate. She may be a good girl, but she doesn't have adult decision making skills and you are asking for trouble by giving her unlimited internet access. If you get her a smart phone for the games, etc., fine, but don't get a data plan. She's 13 and she doesn't need it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I don't think I would let her have one w/access to the internet at that age.
They can lock their phone w/a password you don't know.
There are a lot of predators out there on sites even the likes of Facebook.

I would, however, buy her a regular phone w/o access to the internet to
call you on her way home in case of emergencies!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Grand Forks on

I don't know about Australia, but here in Canada a data plan for a smart phone cost something like $70/month! Does your 13 year old have a job? What source of income does she have that she can pay for two thirds of it? My kids walk to and from school fine without a phone, nevermind a smart phone. In fact I am 43 and I manage fine without a phone! My kids can get phones when they get jobs and can pay for their own phones, but if they are smart they will get cars instead of phones, because I will not be driving them to work or lending them my car so they can waste their money on a phone!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

My 15yo has a phone with a data plan from Virgin Mobile for $32/mo, so to answer some of the others, yes they are available. Our plans are $40/mo and we have 1200 minutes and unlimited data and texting. He only has 300 minutes, but data and texting is unlimited. We also check it regularly, I haven't seen anything alarming. He pays for it, he got a job as a dishwasher this summer and is all paid up through Christmas.

Continued communication and a little trust go a long way with teens.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think you have already made up your mind and want us to justify it.

Sorry, no can do. We don't let 13 yr olds drive because they don't have the judgement they need, not because they don't have the money.
With a smart phone they can do a lot of damage, to themselves and you and the people around her.

Regular flip phone till about 11th grade, if she keeps being responsible.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

"She's probably the only kid without one"... ? Umm.... no she isn't.
My 15 year old doesn't have a smart phone. In fact, he doesn't have ANY phone. He has no job and can't afford one. And even if he did, he has gotten by just fine without one for 15 years.

It is a "want" not a "need" and he doesn't "need" one. So I'm not paying for one. It is also a good way for them to get themselves into trouble. He can do that with an ipod, too, but at least he is limited by wi-fi requirements. No phone service, no ability to send/receive outside of a free wi-fi area. Which pretty much means at home, or at his karate school (where he is busy in class), or sitting somewhere with us and I let him use my phone as a hotspot.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

how is she going to pay 2/3?)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

She's probably the only one that doesn't have one....

I'd say the only worry is that she can already see her friends phones and go anywhere she wants to go online where you won't know.

Having a phone that you are in control of helps you to manage what she's doing.

Kids today have phones, they have an abundance of freedom that we didn't have when we were younger.

There's really no reason to not let her have one.



answers from Philadelphia on

Our 13 year old already has one and it has worked out fine. Yes, teens can do extraordinary damage with a computer whether it is hand held or not. We own it we control it. We check it regularly and check how it is being used. Most of her friends talk via text message, and I read through them (her texts go to my computer so no she can't erase them without me seeing them.) I love her pictures! Her pics also stream to my computer and she takes pics so I can "see her life". The phone is in her locker during school but lets me know if when I have to pick her up and there have been plenty of times when I was beyond grateful she had a phone - (missed the bus for a track meet once and got left at school - whole other story). Every family, every child every community is different. Make your choices based on what works for you and your family. It sounds like you're working hard at helping her be responsible so good for you.


answers from Los Angeles on

I say yes.

But only you know your kid & he responsible she is. If you do decide to get her one, if I were you & have been w/all my boys so far, I would just tell her you reserve the right to 'snoop' thru it whenever you'd like. That is what I did..randomly checked up on them, mainly just to keep them hinestv& to make sure they were being safe & responsible...then eventuly I just phased out checking up on them & everything was OK. We had no problems w/any of our boys.

Does your daughter have access to a computer at home? If she is used to having Internet access it is unlikely, IMO that she will just go crazy & get into trouble, ya know?!



answers from Chicago on

WHERE did you get a smartphone WITH a data plan for $30 a month???????



answers from Chicago on

My own experiences with my 14yo son changed my mind about how I handled electronic devices and the Internet. While with his friends and goofing around, another boy grabbed my son's iPhone and typed obscenities on Facebook to my son's "girlfriend". He said it happened so quickly. My son never expected his friend to do something like that. I was shocked. It was horrible. So many people saw the post that was from my son's account. It ruined his reputation to a degree. How can you explain what happened to other parents, especially without defaming the other boy involved. And of course the other boy denied it. Secondly, there are so many social media sites: Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest .... And believe me the list goes on and the kids a are much more aware of them than we are. I consider my son to be responsible also, however, peer pressure and group mentality kicks in. Your daughter can be communicating with strangers, not to mention that emails, phone numbers and accounts between family member can often be "linked" and kids inadvertently give ut their parents numbers and now others have a way in to other online accounts and financial information associated with your IP address etc. Since this all happened, we are like the Internet police in our house. There is limited and specific use! If you think this could not happen to you, you are being extremely naive.



answers from Boston on

Normally I would say yes at this age but based on your other approach, she's not as responsible as you thought. Delaying the purchase of a phone sounds to me like the perfect consequence for staying up all night on the computer and DS. Tell her that when she demonstrates that she can set reasonable limits for herself, you'll consider the phone again.

When she does get a phone, put on all the parental controls that you can and have her turn it in at night. We do not allow our teens to take their phones to school. We live half a mile from school so there's no need, but if we lived further away then I would consider it.


answers from Columbia on


Why? Simple: A 13 year old doesn't need a smartphone. Maybe a dumbphone with no camera and text limits. But considering your daughter's lack of self control with the computer, I don't think she's ready.



answers from Honolulu on

NO smart phone for a kid.
If you do, then be ready for all the issues/problems of it.
To me, a kid, even if they pay for it themselves, does not need a smart phone nor one that goes on the internet.
Just get a basic phone.

I work at my kids school, I have a daughter in middle school and I SEE firsthand what the kids do with and on their phones and my daughter also tells me of it. Some kids, have no filters. They have no sense of privacy or keeping to their parent's rules about it, and they HIDE things that they do on it. AND they give away.... their phone number to ANYONE who asks for it (and then that kid gives their phone number to other kids your kid may not even know and on and on) and they even give out their parent's phone number(s) to other kids, they take photos with it, they send it to others and text all sorts of things etc.

So its up to you.

Some kids/families do this: they get their kid/teen a regular basic phone. THEN, if the kid wants to be or is allowed to be nline or do games or text whatever the heck, then they do that AT HOME, only... via the family's computer or iTouch or iPad etc.



answers from Chicago on

My son is 18 and still has a regular flip phone. The rule in our house has been no smart phones til you get your own plan and can pay for it completely on your own. Does she havea computer in her bedroom? If not a smart phone will be handing that option to her. I would say no.



answers from Chicago on

Optus is an Australia plan provider... yet you say you are from Chicago... good catch from some of the responders

My 14 yr old is getting a phone now that she is starting high school, but we are paying only for the phone, not for the minutes/time. She is doing the virgin mobile plan that is $35 a month I think. She doesn't have the money, she doesn't talk on the phone. But she has been babysitting a lot so that isn't going to be a problem.



answers from Salinas on

You live in Australia?


answers from Norfolk on

Our 14 yr old son has a basic cell phone - he can text and call us (no one else).
His school does not allow phone use at school - they must stay powered down and in the locker else the principal confiscates them and holds them till a parent comes to pick it up.
Not only are smart phones expensive (and somewhat fragile (screens are cracking all the time)) , but it's easy to rack up more costs through the data plan, online games, shopping, etc.
How much does anyone NEED to be connected to the internet all the time?
I'd hold off on the smart phone for a few more years.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions