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Cell phones at what age?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Our niece turned ten today, and I sent her birthday wishes in a text message transmitted to her 15-year-old brother, as her family is on vacation.
A few minutes later she sent me a message, telling me that she got a cell phone for her birthday, and asking me to send her a text message or call. I naturally responded with both. My question is: Isn't ten a bit too young to have a cell phone?
I've had a cell phone ever since my mother-in-law accidently let both our cats have access to each other when she came over to use my dryer, and spent six hours trying to keep them apart because she couldn't get a hold of me or my husband for advice. One cat, since deceased, was a feral for eight years and a bit difficult to deal with. As a teacher, I'm all for teenagers having a cell phone (Mom, I missed the last train, can you pick me up? This strange guy is hanging around me!) In your opinion, from what age should kids have a cell phone?
post #2 of 9
I think it is dependent on the maturity level of the child. I know some kids that should never get a phone! Some kids need the phone for just the reason you stated! If they have a lot of after school activities and want to ride home with someone else they can call. If there is an emergency you can call them!
post #3 of 9
Hmm, I survived my youth, teenage years and most of my 20's without a cell phone. So did many generations of human beings. I think maybe people should have cell phones only when their jobs require them to be accessible outside of the office! (I know that's extreme, but, sometimes I really feel that way.)
post #4 of 9
I don't think intill highschool.
post #5 of 9
Well, my kids are 14 and 15, and I got them phones this past Christmas. They are at the age where they are out on their own, malls, movies, late at school.... and in this day and age I like to be able to be in touch. Their phones are linked to my account, so they know they are not to be used for chit-chat, lest I go broke with the bill.
post #6 of 9
Coming from a non-parent, I think it really depends on the child. Some can handle that responsibility and others can't. Personally, if I had a kid and wanted to try out the cell phone thing, I would get one with the re-fillable minutes, and tell him/her "you have X minutes per month, if you use them all in one day you still won't get more". Kind of a lesson in responsibility.

I'll tell you this much, though. Those kids with cell phones were the ones who actually called the police when the Columbine shootings happened. The people in the Office, you know the "responsible adults", were waiting for "confirmation" before they would call. There were also a lot of very relieved parents whose children called on their cell phones after it was over to say they were OK. There was a run on cell phones for teens after that.
post #7 of 9
I would have to agree that cell phones are no longer a "luxury" item for a lot of people, more of a necessity. And they can be much, much cheaper than using your home phone, if you're on a plan that includes free long distance!

Given that fact, when I was 10 yrs old, I don't know that I would have had a lot of use for a cel phone. By the time I got to high school, though, it would have been a godsend.
post #8 of 9
when kids start driving, and girls for sure, i think they should have a cell phone. I feel so much better knowing I can call for help if i need it. 10 does seem alittle young for one, i would think when they start highschool would be a good age.
post #9 of 9
I got mine for Christmas when I was 14. It's a Pay As You Go one, so I don't use it for chit chat of any kind. It's only for emergencies, and I only put $10 on it every three months (so they account doesn't close). I've had it for three years, so it doesn't have any fancy stuff on it, but it does what it has to. But boy, do I feel more comfortable having it with me! It also feels better to know that my friends can reach me anytime they need to, and they respect that it's only for emergencies (i.e, the person that was supposed to drive them home is drunk).

I guess, if ten years olds are responsible enough, it's a good idea... as long as they can take care of it.
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