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When is it ok to let your kids have a cell phone?

22 votes
I have a 12 year old daughter begging me for a cell phone.  When is it ok to let the little one get a cell?
asked in Teens by Brenda (193 points)
When they are old enough to pay for it.
Love it - You go girl!

12 Answers

1 vote
I think that 12 seems suitable
answered by Roxy (380 points)
13 votes
I think that they should pay for it, as soon as they can pay then they can play. If you need them to have a phone for emergencies then let them borrow yours.  We were able to survive before the cell phone and I think we can still survive without it for a night here and there for our childrens safety
answered by Nadine (183 points)
7 votes
Our son was 13 & he got one because we both worked full time.  I felt he needed it,  to get in contact with me whenever he felt the need.  There were also days at school, when he'd decide to stay & play sports, he'd always call to inform me.

He wasn't allowed to use it to chit chat to friends... there was a phone at home for that!
answered by bcpotts (7,692 points)
6 votes
I think wisteriagirl is right.....

Please keep "comunication in person"....where are we going???
answered by Marca (344 points)
8 votes
None of our kids have one yet, but I'm all for "when they can pay for it themselves deal." Here here!
answered by karlisss (3,585 points)
Good suggestion, K'.
4 votes
That's a very good question given the climate/culture we're in nowadays. I've seen kids youngest as grade school age-aged and far from pre-teen with phones already. Not quite sure how beneficial that is. Some might say it's for safety/emergency contact, but as we all know ... temptation is there with kids to abuse the privilege and eventually run up a big bill via texting or data consumption, if it isn't already covered.

I'd suggest them chipping in to cover the cost of the monthly rate ... just not quite sure at which age would be appropriate.

I got a pager when I was 22yo as I had started working in the health care field and needed it to pick up shifts. Got my first cellphone at age 24 and I've been with the plan since as I formerly worked in PT and oncall positions for 3 organizations, and it was helpful in picking up additional work. I've kept the phone over the years for the occasional oncall work, for emergency contact and general friends/family, plus I have a minimal plan and affordable grandfathered-along rate.
answered by Evan (1,400 points)
3 votes
Has she explained exactly why she so needs the phone? Are her friends starting to get phones at this point, etc?
answered by Evan (1,400 points)
6 votes
I agree with Wisteriagirl.  You get the toys when you can buy the toys, unless you are a baby...then mommy buys the toys.
answered by 2012amy (239 points)
4 votes

I never got one for my daughter when she was a teen - no justifiable reason to. I was at home fulltime and she could call from school/her friends if needed. When she was older and could sign and pay for her own she got one.

I suspect my view may be the same with my son. But if I were to start working out of the home and he was a teen, I may get him one just for check-ins and emergencies. Payphones are few and far between around here and if he wasnt at home and we needed to be in contact, thats the only reason Id agree to one. I would send/receive texts at work but possibly not calls.

answered by Guppy (6,009 points)
3 votes
My mom I believe got me my first phone when I was 15 for my birthday and it was pay as you go which was my responsibility. I found this fair and will probably do the same with my children. Her reasoning behind the phone was in case an emergency came up. She knew I was going to be starting to drive and she felt safer knowing that I would never be stranded without any source of communication. I don't think children need phones at a younger age than that but that's my opinion.
answered by Angelbaby12000 (1,243 points)