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When Should My Children get their First Cell Phone?

How responsible a child is can help determine when it's time for her to have a cell phone.
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  • Written By: Lauren Romano
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2014
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It is not unusual to see people of every age carrying around a cell phone, whether it be for emergencies or every day use. Many children ask to get a cell phone, but it is up to the parents to decide if they believe their child deserves one. If your child has asked for their first cell phone of their very own, there are some points to reflect on that can help you decide if and when you should make that purchase.

The first point to think about when deciding when your child should get his or her first cell phone is to reflect on the amount of responsibility exhibited on a day-to-day basis. If he or she is constantly losing items, whether they are cheap or expensive, it may be in your best interest to wait until the level of responsibility increases. Should you spend your hard earned money on a cell phone only to have it lost within days, it could be a completely wasted purchase.

Many children have very hectic schedules. Between sports, friends and classes, it can be difficult to get in contact during the day without a cell phone. Should your child be involved in many activities, it may be best to consider providing him or her with a cell phone. For instance, if practice ends early, your child can give you a call to fill you in without having to find a landline or a pay phone.

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Children seem even more interested nowadays in how they can earn their own money. Instead of paying for your child’s first cell phone out of your pocket, you may want to consider having him or her pay for it with money from doing odd jobs or from allowance. A prepaid cell phone is a way where you can track minutes and it is less expensive than the cost of a monthly plan. If your child earns his or her own money and wants a cell phone, you may want to consider agreeing to the purchase.

There is no straightforward, set in stone answer for when children should get a cell phone. Children vary in their levels of responsibility and you should evaluate each as individuals to decide how ready they are for a phone. When you make the decision to buy your child his or her first cell phone, you should have more than a few conversations before the actual purchase to ensure that your child knows how much of a privilege it is to have that cell phone.

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anon327378
Post 4

I'm a kid 11 years of age and I have a cell phone and I'm perfectly fine. Sure, I use slang when I text to be able to text faster without using the whole word, but my point is you don't have to listen to me because I'm a kid. Te age I recommend giving your child a phone is at least 10 to 13, or within that time limit. Remember, this is my opinion,not fact. I hope you take this into consideration. I rest my case.

irontoenail
Post 3

@indigomoth - Another safety precaution is to get one of those kids phones which needs a parent to enter a code before a number can be put on it, and only a programmed number can be called.

That way, you can make sure they aren't calling, say, random people they've met online, or friends that you don't want them hanging out with or something like that.

Cell phones are wonderful for emergency situations and I wouldn't want my kids to be without one, but kids aren't mature enough to know who they should be calling on their phone or giving their number to.

These days you also need to let your kids learn how to use the technology when they are young. Cell phones are used in so many aspects of our lives, including schooling. I've heard of math teachers using them in class to demonstrate problems and so forth.

You don't want your kids to be left behind, but you need to make sure they're safe as well.

indigomoth
Post 2

If your kid is the type to constantly lose things, you might want to consider getting a phone that can be attached to their bag.

Even the most absent minded child isn't going to lose their school bag very often (although it can be done! I was absent minded myself at that age and I lost my bag once or twice) and if the phone is solidly attached to the bag, that means they won't lose that either.

And school aged kids don't really go anywhere without their bag, at least not during school hours and after school activities.

It means your kid won't be able to pull out the cell phone during class or other lessons, but they probably shouldn't be doing that anyway.

And you know they'll have it on them or nearby if there is an emergency and they need to call.

Just make sure they don't have a prohibition against cell phones in the classroom if they keep their bag under their desk or something like that.

anon178566
Post 1

Thanks for the information. it really helps.

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