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Go Back Forums > Parenting > Ages & Stages > Adolescence

Adolescence That fiery time prior to your child becoming a teenager. Their bodies are filled with hormones and turmoil. How are you coping?

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Old 10-03-2006, 01:06 PM
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shocking Cell phone for kids

My 12 years old sister has phoned me today with her new cell phone. It seems she has bought it with her own money (70$ line included) and has placed a limit so she can pay the bill. I was astonished when she told me, because my father is quite an strict person. I feel like I was born on the jurassic period, but I don't think that's appropriate, even if she can afford it. Since when kids need a cell phone? I've heard of families having a "family-matters" cell phone, that kids may use if, for example, are going to the cinema with friends, in case anything happens, but its not their phone, just one they can use if needed. What do you think about it?
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:14 PM
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I used to think it was totally wrong too but now that my son is getting older, I am starting to rethink it.

This year, he has to walk to the bus stop that is nowhere in my sight from our apartment. It does worry me that something could happen and I wouldn't even know it.

I don't think that kids need cell phones at his age, almost 9, to just talk to other kids.

I would be in aggreeance now to one of those family phones that can be loaded with minutes from the parents--or something along those lines.

If the kids are teenagers and can pay for the phone bill or pay for minutes on the phone, I guess that it would be ok but in my opinion, there would still have to be rules for it too. I do not see the need for anyone to be on the phone 24/7. And stay off of the phone while driving!!

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Old 10-03-2006, 01:29 PM
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DD2 is begging for a cell phone (she is 14). DD1 use to borrow mine if she had to drive at night for school things. DD2 is the last one at home and goes to high school 10 miles from home (we live in rural IA) I can see that a cell phone would come in handy sometimes, especially when activity schedules get changed at the last min. and rides home have to be changed. So far I haven't given in, but if I do it will be a prepaid phone so DD2 can't talk to her hearts delight.
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:12 PM
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When DS started high school this year we got him a prepaid phone. It is bare-bones cheap--$25 every 3 months buys 100 minutes. That's enough for him to call me when he's done with sports practice and tell me where he's waiting for his ride. DH and I pay for those minutes. He can't always get to a pay phone for this purpose so this was our solution.

If he runs out of minutes before 3 months are up, this means he's using his phone "socially" and he will have to pay to refill it.
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Old 10-13-2006, 08:25 AM
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It took me a while to "warm up" to the idea of kids and cell phones too. However, I have changed my tune. My older two (DD - 12, DS - 14) both have phones. My husband and I both have cell phones so we just included them in our plans and we share the minutes. The older kids like to hang out with their friends and go to the movies, etc, it's nice to be able to get a hold of them and find out exactly where they are at all times. When I was a kid we had to depend on pay phones (which seem to be non-existent these days) or using a friend's home phone. A lot of people don't even have a home phone anymore, they use their cell phones only. We are almost in that boat ourselves. I do still have a home phone, but for incoming calls it's connected to my fax machine, and we have it at bare bones minimum in case we need it for anything.

I agree that kids don't need to be yacking on the phone all the time. We have limits set on our kids too. We don't let them download ringers or buy games. My daughter uses text messaging more than calling so I made sure I bought the unlimited texting for her, she rarely talks on the phone. We also have the free weekends and free after 7 PM plan, so she and he both have permission to yack all they want at that time. We also have it set up for PCS to PCS calls are free (Sprint to Sprint). Therefore, all calls between my kids, my husband and I are all free.

I like them having the phones now. There's no hiding from me I can find them anywhere LOL
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Old 10-13-2006, 08:31 AM
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We got our son a cell phone when he started high school last year. It has helped tremendously to keep track of him, and he uses it to call when the school bus breaks down or he misses the bus in the afternoon. He is VERY responsible, has NEVER gone over on our minutes. My husband and I also have cell phones, and we actually dropped our land line. We love them!!!
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Old 10-13-2006, 12:14 PM
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Like you I question the validity of children having cell phones. On the other hand it can be a safety device.
There is a tracking device in most phone now, If the child is lost--it can be used to find the location of the phone and hopefully the child.
I have notice the availability of public phones is on the decline, the cell phone is nice to call home for help or just a ride home.
It is also convenient for the parents that are working, they may need to contact the child to change scheduled plans. (Where to go after school if they work late, etc.)
As a grandparent it is nice, because most phone calls are not classed as long distance. Even though I live 3 miles from my grandchildren it is long-distance for them to call me. With the cell phone they can call anytime they want--no long-distance charge. (they are to young to have their own phone, they use their parents)
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Old 10-13-2006, 01:09 PM
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I didn't read all replies completely... so pardon me if I repeat anyone.

We don't own cell phones and never will. I also have a 12yr old. She may decide to get one when she is out on her own.

I was just listening to public radio today and they came across this topic briefly. From certain school staff members' points of view, kids having cell phones is contributing to their irresponsibility. For examples: When they forget their homework at home, they're not learning by experiencing consequences if they just ring Mom up and have her run it in. They're not learning to be punctual if they know they can just call and say they're "running late". Additionally, cell phones also offer an additional opportunity for bullying by other students or adults even, be it text messaging (or whatever it's called) or crank calling.

As far as safety issues go... I know where my children are at all times. Though for some parents I can see why they came to the decision to equip their child with a phone. I have a nephew that runs amuk around town (and he's only 9!) that certainly could use one. That is not how I allow my children to behave though. I certainly would rather see his parents behave more responsibly than they are rather than just making it easier for him to do his own thing.
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Old 10-13-2006, 03:04 PM
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I think every set of circumstances is different. ds2 is 12 in Feb he does not have one and won't need one for a while. ds1 got one in gr10, (15 ish) he bought it out of his own pocket money he works for, he pays for recharge cards, when they have to pay themselves they learn how quickly the money goes, he learnt this VERY quickly.
I know where my kids are ALL the time also but when he is in school band practice up to 2hours after school finishes it is wonderful for him to be able to text/ring me up and say, mum band is finished early or the teacher did not show. I much rather have a phone call than him hanging around a place for extra hours on his own, even if now he's 16.
When he goes on music camp he travels up to a 1000miles away for a week it's great to have that contact.
On many occassions his phone contact has worked wonderfully.

Each circumstance is different.

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Old 10-13-2006, 07:20 PM
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I don't really think kids need cell phones,
unless they have a medical condition in which they may need to call for help.
My son was 18 and had a job when he got his.
I didn't need one when I was growing up.
I think alot of parents today wished they had all this stuff when they were kids so they compensate by giving into thier kids.
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