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Old 07-07-2008, 02:40 AM
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Cell phones and kids!

Okay, as the newest trend how old do you think is old enough for a cell phone.

My 13 1/2 y.o. has a cell phone. This is her main way of staying in touch with all her friends. She does have unlimited texting, along with talk time. The talk time is to be let alone, so that if DH and/or I need to get ahold of her we can easily contact her.

My oldest DD just purchased a new cell phone, and had one for the taking. Which was handed down to my 8 y.o. (She doesn't know yet that she is getting it) It is meant for the sole purpose of Me! In other words when I drop her off at soccer practice, she can call me when/if they were to get done early. Or if she were at a friend's house and I needed to get ahold of her.

We do also, let her roam our trailer court, very similar to a secluded campground(safe). But, there are times that I would like to get ahold of her or just check on her. So, I am considering letting her carry it with her for that purpose, and since she can't seem to keep a watch so she can check the time.

Going against my past theory of that no child under the age of 13 needs a cell phone. I am letting her have this cell phone. With the stipulation, that if she loses it, it is gone, and she is back to checking in every 1/2 hour. And this phone is not for her leisure, it is a caretaker/child tool. The only ones she may communicate with is Mom Dad, sisters, and in an emergency situation Gma and Gpa.

She isn't going to be walking through the grocery store, texting anyone and everyone!

What are you thoughts of kids and cell phones.
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Old 07-07-2008, 04:09 AM
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I personally wouldn't give a child a cell phone unless he/she was old enough to earn it and pay for it.

While we are on the subject, I see adults EVERY DAY having bad manners while using their cell phones (children too). I admit that I have been guilty of bad cell phone manners too. I have been invited out to lunch with friends only to have them answer their cell multiple times. I have seen people chat on the phone while checking out at the grocery store. I have even seen people talking on their cells while in the bathroom!!!

As soon as a child has been given the responsibility of a call, he/she should be taught the proper etiquette of cell phone use. Here is another version of proper etiquette. And, here is one more.

One other thing is that not all people have text-messaging services. We didn't pay extra for the text-messaging service since we rarely get them. So, if someone text-messages us, we my pay extra for it. We've had, what appeared to be some teens, TM my DH with a sexy message, obviously meant for a boy friend of theirs. I called the number and told the female that she just TM my husband!!! She said she got the wrong number. Wrong number or not, this cost us. Plus, if I had been a jealous person, this could have caused marital problems. This went on 2 more times. She claimed her cousin did it. I didn't care who. I finally had to tell the girl that if my DH got 1 more message that I would be going down to her phone company and file a complaint. The TMs stopped.

Another complaint I had was in the store. A man looked right at me and asked where such-and-such was. I told him and he gave me a dirty look and told me he was on the phone and he wasn't talking to me!!! He had an earpiece. I couldn't even see the phone. My point is that if you are in public, make sure the conversation isn't so loud that everyone hears your business and that they don't think you are talking to them. If you do make that mistake, please be nice and apologize and let the other person know that you were talking to someone on the phone.

I will get off my soapbox now.
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Old 07-07-2008, 04:39 AM
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I have one child in high school, 1 7th-grader and a first-grader.

Only my high-school student has a cell phone. We started him on prepaid (basically so he could arrange with me for rides home after track practices or club meetings) and that was great for a year and a half until he and his friends discovered the Joy of Text. Then we got him a plan with unlimited texting. We do require extra household chores in return for this privilege.

My 7th-grade daughter is dying for a cell phone and we have to keep telling her that she won't get one until high school. OH, the drama!

If you are going to give your little one a phone, then figure out a way that she can only call certain numbers with it (your home, your cell, certain other emergency contacts...) Personally I think a child that age is too young for the responsibility of a phone. As to soccer practice, if they are done early, the coach should offer his phone to the players to contact their parents (and should stay there until every child is picked up!!)
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:58 AM
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I say if the child can pay for it he can have it.
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:45 AM
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I have four kids (16, 14, 11, 9), three of them have cell phones. We give our kids a cell at the end of 5th grade, so our 11 yo just got his a couple weeks ago. The reason that we do this is because that's about the time that they are hanging out with their friends more, running around the neighborhood, riding their bikes into town, etc. I can't tell you how many times I have had to track down one of my kids because they forgot to call and check in or left one friend's and went to another without calling and telling me. It's much easier to get ahold of them when they have a cell.

We do have rules of course, they aren't supposed to just call anybody and everybody, especially if they are at home, use the home phone! We did get the unlimited texting for everyone and that works out great because all their friends text and out of necessity, my husband and I do as well now.

To each his own I always say. There will always be people that don't think kids should have cell phones and you will always hear "in my day we never had such things" etc. BUT if it works for your family, you shouldn't worry about what other people think.

On another note, they do have phones (can't recall the names of them right now) that are made just for kids. They are programmed where they can only have 3 numbers, usually Mom, Dad and one other, plus it has 911 of course. They also have phones that have GPS on them so you can keep track of where your kids are.

Again, if it works for your family, don't be concerned about what other people think.
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:04 PM
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Personally, you're old enough to have a mobile phone if you can pay for it and the prepaid charge cards, as that is the only way I think they will learn the responsibility of their own actions.
ds1 bought his own at 15 with his own money and usually bought $30 charge cards that lasted 3 months and still doing this at nearly 18. ds2 couldn't care less about having a phone, he is good with money and could afford one he's 13.5
I would not pay for a plan phone that has a sort of endless supply of phone calls to anyone.
.... but in the end it's up to the parents who know their kids best.
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:42 PM
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I just bought my 12yo a prepaid cell phone. He has one friend whose house phone doesn't work. I have no way of reaching him at his friends' without him carrying his own phone. I can't even go down there and knock on the door because they are not allowed to answer the door when it's only the boys and the older sister at the house.
I'm not worried about him overusing it. He's not a phone talker. He rarely talks on the phone at all. The phone stays in the pocket on the fridge unless he is out of the house without one of us. He will be taking it with him when he returns to school in the fall. It will sit in his locker untill he leaves the school. That way if he misses the bus, he can call me at work (so I can laugh at him and tell him to be careful walking home LOL).
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:45 AM
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I thought about getting one of those phones designed for kids for Miriam so that she could call me when the bus reaches a certain stop, that way I would know she was close and could watch for the bus, but they have bus rules. No cell phones allowed.

DH asked why I have texting on my phone. I said its b/c it is sometimes easier to text back and forth than call. (calls last a long time, texting a few minutes).
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:04 AM
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Here's my pro's and con's on the subject, as an AUNT of a 7, 8, 9, 12, 16, 23.5, and 26 year old. Yes those ages are very important, because like myself and my DS, the two oldest ones grew-up in a time when cell phones were "not" common household items, and definitely not as accessible as they are now.

The three oldest ones are relatively responsible about their needs. the 23.5 yo does not have a cell phone b/c he can't afford it. The 26 yo bought her first one 3 years ago when she lived in Georgia with her mom, her moms husband (father of the 9 & 12 yo's), and half-siblings while attending school out there - she's currently holding down two jobs and trying to get her own business up and running, and she pays for her own cell phone.

The 16 yo has had a cellphone for the past 3 years, however 2 of those years were basic usage - incoming and 9-1-1- capable only. The reason is parents added him to their phone plan is b/c he wasn't old enough to drive yet, but had to take a "public" bus to school 10 miles from his home, which required that he be out on the main street by 6 AM, and back by 3 PM. His younger siblings were taken to school later in the morning and picked-up by one of their grandparents, so he would need to know which house to go to after school.

The 9 & 12 yo's are my DS's youngest and they decided to inform their parents, that needed a cell phone so that when their parents are on the business phone and house cell phone, they had a phone to use to see if their friends were available to play. Then came the "what if I need to call for an emergency, or let you know that practice ran late, etc?" So they got them for their birthday's this past year and the 12 yo has already managed to destroy her's by dropping it in a toilet (nope they didn't put it over a warm dryer, nor a bag of rice). When I asked her how she managed to do that, my DS said "it fell out of her pocket at school." My DN is grinning from ear to ear, when she said "well, my friends and I were in the bathroom, when we were talking about where we got our phones, one thing led to another, and I fished my phone out of the toilet." My DN's phone was a new one, unfortunately for her, the one(s) we sent to my DS were about 5 years old and doesn't have all the extravagants today's phones do. My DS was very thankful and said so, my DN and DN are not so pleased, but they're stuck with them until their parents can upgrade to new ones.

The 7 & 8 yo are my in-laws (16 yo's parents) youngest ones. They don't have cell phones for the sheer fact that not only are they not in H.S. but they are irresponsible with their non-expensive toys (keeping them picked-up, all pieces are with each item, clothes hung/folded-up, etc), and the only reason they ask to use mom/dad, dama/papa, or aunt/uncle phones is to play games.

So there is my pro's and con's. Kids should not have cell phones, teens are a different story depending on what their daily challenges are and if they contribute to the use of their phones (chores /outside-home work), and pre -adults or young adults should be responsible for their own phones and usage.

Every parent/guardian is going to have their own thoughts and concerns about children and cell phones, and every child is responsible on different levels and different ages...also depending on how you raise your children to be responsible.
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Last edited by KSJEn6891; 12-23-2012 at 07:18 AM. Reason: forgot to include pertent info
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:20 PM
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I got my son his first one when he turned 15,he is always going off with the church in evenings to eat,so this is away for him to keep in touch if they are going to be late.
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