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When Do You Get Your Child a Cell Phone?

Mobile phone have a growing presence in our lives. When is the right time for a child to have his or her own phone?

Cell phones have changed the way we live our lives and our children are no exception to this.

Mobile phones are small and becoming more affordable.

They provide a good way for you to get in touch with your child or for your child to get in touch with you at any time, but does that mean they should have one?

My son is a toddler, but he already lights up every time I pull out my iPhone and gets upset when I won’t let him play with it. The only phone he’s gotten so far have been toys, but I know the day will come all too soon when I’ll have to make the decision.

A Pew study found that,

As of September 2009, 75% of American teens ages 12-17 have a cell phone, a number that has steadily increased from 45% of teens in November 2004. Fully 90% of parents of teens ages 12-17 have a cell phone, a percentage that has remained steady since 2006.

What’s the right age to get a mobile phone for a child? Do you set limits in terms of talk/text time? For younger children, do you get the special restrictive plans and phones? Do you monitor your child’s phone, texting and Internet use? Do you worry about sexting? Share your opinions in the comments below.

BANKER0917 September 03, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Loving tony's comments about theparty line. I grew up in the very earl 60s a nd we still had a party line andHO di we ever get along with all the gizmos the kids have today. Really ?? I remember our first color tv and being sent to yout room really was a punishment as there was no TV, computer, or cell phone to bide your time. Remember when you had to hide/keep a dime in case you DID have to call home via a payphone ?? What's that ?? the kids say today !! Still like the more simpler times and lifestyles !!
Paula K September 03, 2012 at 03:03 AM
ah memories, thanks Tony! Remember when "644" phone exchange was called "niagara 4"--and then so many more numbers we had to add the "647" exchange-they were the new folks in town. Agree on the kid specific phone for limited numbers and no texting, internet etc. Its a phone for emergencies and communication, not entertainment. We kept the computer in a family location so mom and dad could walk by and see the screen. Way too many dangerous people online trolling for vulnerable kids via their smart phone or a computer in their rooms. Seconding Sean's comments about new technology and learning as we go--can be scary!-
Kelly Phillips Erb September 03, 2012 at 03:08 PM
We got our daughter (age 10) a cell phone when she went away to her first sleep over camp. She was staying in a dorm and we were concerned that she might get scared or lonely so we put a phone on our plan. I programmed all of the numbers she was allowed to call myself and checked her texts and call lists to make sure that she followed the rules (she did). Post camp, she had to give the phone back to me. On some day trips and vacations, she is allowed to have it back but then again, it gets returned. We have already discussed that she will not take it to school. Re the question about FB and other social media, I would suggest that parents be guided by the terms and conditions already established by those sites - they're there for a reason. ;) It is against the terms and conditions of FB, for example, for a user to be under the age of 13.
Nitewolf Novels September 03, 2012 at 07:34 PM
My daughter is 9 - we have discussed her having a cell phone - ok let me re-phrase that - she has talked about getting a cell phone. Right now I see no need in her having one since she does not go anywhere with a family member around. Now when she her sports activities keep her after school - and she starts move towards more Independence, then the time will be there - not just for her to use - but for our personal mind as well. When the time comes - LIMITS will be huge. No texting without our approval of the other person. No Internet service - that's what our computer are for at home where we can approve the content. As for facebook - She will be 13 if she wants it - and we will have her password to check her pages. Children should not get privacy until they are 18 - it is privilege to have privacy - not a right.... And facebook and text messaging and other social media are so very dangerous to children that do not understand the ramifications of posting one thing.

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