Kids and Cell Phones


photo by Peajewel

It's funny to think about the "emergency quarters" my mother insisted I had when I went out as a kid so that if I needed to make a quick call, I could. Then things changed overnight. Instead of an emergency quarter, now kids have emergency cell phones.

It makes sense to arm your kid with a phone for emergency purposes, except that we all know that once a kid has a cell, chances are it's being used for everything but emergencies.

What's your take on giving kids cell phones? Does yours have one? How old is old enough for a cell?

elementary school, independence, middle school


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Norah... NorahSethsMommy

My kids are way too little and there wont be a time anytime soon that they will be out of my sight except at school, but they do make those cells for kids that only have a couple buttons and the kids can only push those buttons to make emergency calls. I would consider something like that when my kids are a bit older. Regular phones, not until they are teenagers most likely, and even then, with strict rules.

LuvsM... LuvsMimi4ever

My 7yr old has one but with alot of restrictions. she only is allowed to call me, my husband, the babysitter and my sister who doesnt live too far away . she has one incase she misses the bus or has to stay after school. its for emergencys only though. my 3yr old will probly get one when she is 9 or 10.

RanaA... RanaAurora

If I feel my kiddo needs one, I'll get the special kind like the other ladies are talking about that call me, his daddy, and an emergency number.  When he's a teenager, maybe he can have a real phone then, but that will be based on him and his situation, not age.

Chris... Chrissy629

They should have one as soon as they are allowed to leave your home alone and can work the phone.

Orion... Orionsgirl

We gave our oldest a cell phone when he was 11. It has proven to be extremely useful for helping us navigate pick up areas since he is at a much larger junior high now. He is also able to use it if the evil school nurse refuses to call us if he is ill. (that happened once already!) I just feel safer that he has his phone.

We also have 7 & 4 yr olds who will not get phones until they are at least 10.

Jessi... Jessi1212

my 10 and 11  they have one, but they only use it when they go to their friends house so I can get ahold of them

kelly371 kelly371

My DD is 10 and just got a cell phone for Christmas.  Mainly because every other weekend she visits her dad 4 hrs away and I want to be able to get in touch with her.  It has really worked out well.  The service is $30 a month (she has an iphone) so she works it off in chores.  So far we have had no problems and I am more relaxed knowing I can get in touch with her at all times.

tyfry... tyfry7496

My son is almost 13 and has had a phone for about 1 year. He uses it when I am not home and when he is with his friends. He is, so far, responsible with his usage. He knows that he cannot abuse it or he will lose the phone. He texts myself and his stepdad (my ex bf that has taken over where his father never was). I think at the time that the child is able to stay home alone or be out with friends with minimal supervision is the time for a phone.

jess_... jess_buckley

My kids will get cell phones when they're old enough to have jobs to pay for them. I didn't get one until I was 18 and did just fine without it.

tikig... tikigoddess

My oldest DD is 9 and we're thinking of getting her one because we do not have land lines.  I had an appointment this week and wasn't sure either DH or I would be home in time to see her and her sister off the bus after school.  We taught her how to use a key and let themselves in when they got home, but we had no way after that to make sure they were actually there - and it's not a good idea to rely on neighbors (what if THEY have to run out in an emergency)?  So we are in a serious discussion now over it.


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