View Poll Results: Under what circumstances would you give your 11-15 year old a cell phone

Voters
48. You may not vote on this poll
  • To carry, while they are out, but it comes back to me or goes in a special place, when at home

    10 20.83%
  • It is for emergencies only, not to be tethered to their friends

    7 14.58%
  • They will NOT be allowed to text, tweet, email and the like.

    3 6.25%
  • They can carry/use it whenever/however they want, it's their phone.

    23 47.92%
  • I don't believe in cell phones for under work/driving age kids

    9 18.75%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1.    #1  
    One of the other posts brought back a strong view point for me, and I understand this is a very personal and individual perspective.

    As a working person and a member of a household, I find giving a device to a young kid, that just a few years ago, I had to work really hard for, and cost-justify for myself, to be insulting. I will always see these as $300-$500 devices, even if we don't pay that upfront anymore. And, anyone who breaks one with no insurance, gets a very rude awakening when it costs them full price to replace it.

    As a parent, I would definitely give my young child a cell phone. But, it would only be handed out under specific circumstances, and either taken back afterward, or put in a special place. It would never be carried full time or used as a regular tether to their friends (or ME during a school day). It would never be for texting, tweeting, emailing or the like. I might even just lend them one of ours, where needed, and not get a separate one.

    As a teacher, I have lost track of the times I have taken phones away from kids in class (they are supposed to be in lockers). The best, brightest, most attentive kids still text, tweet, email, etc. It's the modern version of passing notes. Worst of all, the parents, who understood until the late 20th century, that school was a parent-free zone unless absolutely necessary, contact their kids during class. I could retire on what I would make, betting against the parents who say "not my kid!".

    Which leads me to this poll. I hope you will all receive it positively and vote your conscience (and I do mean yours, not mine).

    Thanks for participating!
    Last edited by pelikan3; 10/11/2010 at 10:26 AM.
    "If you can't view and manage multiple apps, via multiple open windows, side-by-side, it's not multi-tasking, PERIOD." - Me
  2. #2  
    My daughter (13) has had a phone since she started secondary school (11), it's her phone to use as she pleases (within the rules layed down by the school) but she has to buy the credit for it.

    The main reason for having it is so she can contact us, she spends 13 hours a day at school and frequently needs to let us know changes to pick up arrangements in the evenings. It's also her responsibility to keep it charged up and let us know if she runs out of credit, something she is failing at regularly and having to borrow a friend's phone but I think she is beginning to learn.

    Needless to say she does not call/text her friends on it as she is with her friends until 8pm anyway. It has to be switched off during the core school day (9-4) and she goes though about 20 a year in credit so it's not something I worry about her useage levels.

    Oh, and the phone she uses, whilst trendy with her friends, only cost 50 off contract. She would like an iPhone but realises that the extra 30 a month for a contract is not something she/we could afford.
  3. #3  
    My daughter is 15 and has had a cell phone for a couple of years now. She actually doesn't use it that much, but has no restrictions and she usually takes it whenever she goes somewhere without us. Maybe we're just lucky, but so far no problems with losing/breaking the phone. We're on a Sprint family/unlimited plan, so monthly cost really isn't an issue. If we had needed to replace a phone or two at full cost, I might have a different POV . But so far, not an issue.
  4. #4  
    I don't have a child in this age braket (yet), but my general thought is that it would be used for emergencies only or to contact Mom/Dad or vice versa. I might consider a limited texting plan, but would cut it off if they ever went over the limit.

    I would also be checking the bill each month to see when it was being used (ie. during class time), which would be a definite no-no.

    I've always thought boundaries were the best in situations like this. I try to keep in mind that moderation is best, not draconian limits or a free-for-all smorgasbord. Cause it still comes back to how involved the parent is in raising, teachnig and monitoring their kids.
  5. #5  
    I don't believe there is any harm to giving a child a personal cell phone. As long as you detail the things you expect them not to do, such as sexting if they are old enough, and you've raised them right there is no harm.

    Of course if I ever heard from my teacher that my child was caught texting or talking in class it'd be taken away for a long period of time, but otherwise what harm could texting friends, updating facebook, and calling relatives do?
  6. #6  
    The best, brightest, most attentive kids still text, tweet, email, etc.
    So what's the problem? Obviously it's not a distraction for them, so what's the point, really? Nothing was ever more annoying that some overzealous teacher imposing idiotic rules on me like I existed at the level of some juvenile delinquent.

    As always, it depends on the maturity of your child. If you raised an immature child that's going to go around sending or receiving pictures of boobs or a child that's going to text your phone bill through the roof or a child that's going to bully someone through text messaging, then don't give them a phone. Or a laptop. Or web browers without a crapton of filters or videogames with M ratings.

    For everyone else whose child is not immature (or at least, prone to doing idiotic things), I don't see a problem. I've found with my mom that my upbringing was about trust....she trusted me to the company of myself and I respected that by getting good grades and not getting into trouble, because I liked being left to the company of myself. Of course, back then I didn't have a super awesome smartphone, I had a cheap prepaid cellphone. But I did have access to any website, television show, and videogame I wanted and got to stay up as late as I wanted, my mom didn't really care. And I thank her for it.
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  7. #7  
    I do not have children, but i am a teen at age 17. I was told by both my parents and older siblings that once i could afford to pay for a cellphone and the monthly plan i would receive the cellphone of my choice. Luckly, my sister had left Bell to go to rogers for a blackerry (8310, now 9700). Her bell phone still had another year left on it for the contract and she would have rathered me have it then pay the cancellation fee. So i received a free phone (Samsung SPH-A900) but had to pay the $30 a month fee, which wasn't much as i was working at the age of 15.

    Fast forward a year from there when the contract had come to an end and the pre was out. I wanted the pre, so i paid for it as per the agreement. I am now at the year mark with my pre.

    I would say, once the teen has enough responsiblity to have a job and do well in school then they can have the luxury of a cell phone, not always a smartphone tho. I am sorry, but i do not see a need for a 11 year old to have a smartphone of anykind.
  8.    #8  
    No, nothing was ever so annoying as some student who thought he/she shouldn't have to play by the same rules and pay attention in class.

    The problem is that they ARE doing it IN class. And parents are using it as a means to contact them, IN class. Not between classes. IN class. NOT for emergencies, just to remind them of things or touch base. How can we expect the students to understand boundaries if the parents don't either? This shows a disrespect on both the part of the students and the parents. School is exclusively for school. Not for chatting it up with your friends or touching base with your parents during class. These are NOT the "delinquents" you don't like being associated with, these are the "good kids" who are doing this.



    On a professional level, I have had colleagues and friends called on the carpet for such behavior, in meetings and boardrooms. MOST businesses have rules about personal calls, even at a mid or upper level management level, and will address abuses of private cell phone use, where needed. Why should we not hold our children, who are supposedly not as mature or developed as we are, to the same standards that our employers hold us to?

    I'm not even going down the path of inappropriate content.

    The reality is, when a kid leaves the house in the morning, their bus driver has a radio and a cell phone if needed. The school and all the teachers have phones, if needed. After school programs are monitored by adults with phones or phone access, if needed.

    Kids don't really need phones at school today, anymore than they did 30 years ago, when I was a kid and there were NO cell phones. And, until that day, which I'm sure is coming, when homework assignments are given, completed and returned via smartphone, they are a luxury AND a distraction, regardless of how smart, mature, or good your kid is, and their use should be monitored.





    Quote Originally Posted by malpha View Post
    So what's the problem? Obviously it's not a distraction for them, so what's the point, really? Nothing was ever more annoying that some overzealous teacher imposing idiotic rules on me like I existed at the level of some juvenile delinquent.

    As always, it depends on the maturity of your child. If you raised an immature child that's going to go around sending or receiving pictures of boobs or a child that's going to text your phone bill through the roof or a child that's going to bully someone through text messaging, then don't give them a phone. Or a laptop. Or web browers without a crapton of filters or videogames with M ratings.

    For everyone else whose child is not immature (or at least, prone to doing idiotic things), I don't see a problem. I've found with my mom that my upbringing was about trust....she trusted me to the company of myself and I respected that by getting good grades and not getting into trouble, because I liked being left to the company of myself. Of course, back then I didn't have a super awesome smartphone, I had a cheap prepaid cellphone. But I did have access to any website, television show, and videogame I wanted and got to stay up as late as I wanted, my mom didn't really care. And I thank her for it.
    "If you can't view and manage multiple apps, via multiple open windows, side-by-side, it's not multi-tasking, PERIOD." - Me
  9.    #9  
    I was you when I was your age. I worked for everything of value that I owned, and understood that there were certain things that you didn't get until you reached a certain age or maturity level (often when you could afford to do it for yourself).

    I respect your perspective more because you speak for people of your age and younger, even more than I do that of the more conservative parents chiming in (though I appreciate you all as well).

    I also appreciate your speaking up because, we are in the minority now, as most folks don't see the cell phone as any big deal to just hand out, when it really is a big responsibility and right of passage, and always should be.

    Here here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Krab19 View Post
    I do not have children, but i am a teen at age 17. I was told by both my parents and older siblings that once i could afford to pay for a cellphone and the monthly plan i would receive the cellphone of my choice. Luckly, my sister had left Bell to go to rogers for a blackerry (8310, now 9700). Her bell phone still had another year left on it for the contract and she would have rathered me have it then pay the cancellation fee. So i received a free phone (Samsung SPH-A900) but had to pay the $30 a month fee, which wasn't much as i was working at the age of 15.

    Fast forward a year from there when the contract had come to an end and the pre was out. I wanted the pre, so i paid for it as per the agreement. I am now at the year mark with my pre.

    I would say, once the teen has enough responsiblity to have a job and do well in school then they can have the luxury of a cell phone, not always a smartphone tho. I am sorry, but i do not see a need for a 11 year old to have a smartphone of anykind.
    "If you can't view and manage multiple apps, via multiple open windows, side-by-side, it's not multi-tasking, PERIOD." - Me
  10. #10  
    When I did stuff in class that had zip to do with the class (including notes or having private conversations or doodling or daydreaming or any other thing that was also not paying attention to school but not as noticeable as a phone), it was because the class was boring and recycling crap I already knew. No one likes to sit in class bored to death. So make your classes less boring. Or just...get over it. If the productivity is there, the other stuff is of little consequence and we can all avoid Draconian laws meant to get productivity out of those who will hardly ever be capable of it.

    It's really just a fundamental sense of disagreement. Someone people like rules and think everyone should abide by the same rules, even if they aren't exhibiting the problems that lead to the rules. Others don't think everyone should be handheld because others need to be. And really, the parents contacting children in class...also don't see a problem, but then I'm one of those people who detest public schools insistence that they have more ownership over children than their parents. They are secondary to parents, always. School hours or no.

    Edit:
    It's great if your school is filled with awesome teachers and administrators, but many of my teachers were purposefully antagonistic and our administrators would forget to pass on messages (they do have other things to do). So we bypassed the middle men, it was just more efficient that way. But like I said, whatever works for you and your child. This worked better for my mother and I and I never got in trouble (read: never got in trouble, not "never broke the rules"). If your child's cellphone (or iPod/mp3 use...that was a big one for us, too, I used mine during lunch all the time) is getting them into trouble, then take it away.
    Last edited by malpha; 10/11/2010 at 12:05 PM.
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  11. #11  
    As much as I love phones, I don't see the purpose in a young child having a phone. But with that said, each circumstance is different. You have to evaluate the need for it. If your son/daughter is always out and on the go, then some kind of phone would be something to consider. This is such a difficult choice...


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  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeisnowonfire View Post
    As much as I love phones, I don't see the purpose in a young child having a phone. But with that said, each circumstance is different. You have to evaluate the need for it. If your son/daughter is always out and on the go, then some kind of phone would be something to consider. This is such a difficult choice...
    Exactly. I mean, I had orchestra that would sometimes need to be held over (or my mother would flat out forget and 20-30 minutes late picking me up), out of town meets that came back at unpredictable times, days where I dropped my fellow students off back at their house because their parents weren't answering their phones and they forgot they were staying over that day, days where I had to stay after school unexpectedly to do extra work on the school magazine, days where I was driving around town fundraising for the school magazines, all kinds of crap that was more efficient to contact my mom with my own phone, but due to school rules, I wasn't allowed to have on the premises at all. I used it responsibly and it wasn't a problem, so...it wasn't a problem. If your child is letting it become a problem, then that's that. So it really depends on you and your child.
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  13. #13  
    My 15 year-old has a phone to use as he pleases. He's had one fr awhile now and I've never had a problem with him. He knows when he can and can't use it and understands the rules that if he starts getting in trouble with it, it can be turned off.
    Sent from my favorite gadget!
  14. #14  
    For the most part... I dont see younger teens needing a real cell phone at all... but I do believe they need to have some means of contact in an emergency. There are phones that you can restrict what numbers can be called or receive a call from, and I think those are a boon to anyone who wants to make sure their child has a means of calling the police or family if there is a need, but would rather they not be calling little johnny during class.
  15. #15  
    I'm going to require my kids to have a phone. Then I can track them on GPS and know if they show up where they're supposed to be and I should always be able to get a hold of them. And they can call for help wheneverthey need it and snap a picture of anybody that tries to hurt them. Plus I'm enlightened enough to know there's a lot of ways their phone can help them with school.
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    #16  
    For the most part, agree with you pelikan3, except the part about there being no cell phones 30 years ago.

    They weren't ubiquitous like they are now, but the first really commercially available mobile phone in the US was the early 70s. (thank Motorola engineer Martin Cooper). I believe Sweden had a mobile network in place for car phones in the early 60s. But that is a whole 'nother can of worms (kids, cars, AND phones!)

    FWIW, I hear "Not my son/daughter" from nearly every parent. I'm just barely smart enough to not say that about mine. Barely.
  17.    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMacs View Post
    For the most part, agree with you pelikan3, except the part about there being no cell phones 30 years ago.

    They weren't ubiquitous like they are now, but the first really commercially available mobile phone in the US was the early 70s. (thank Motorola engineer Martin Cooper). I believe Sweden had a mobile network in place for car phones in the early 60s. But that is a whole 'nother can of worms (kids, cars, AND phones!)

    FWIW, I hear "Not my son/daughter" from nearly every parent. I'm just barely smart enough to not say that about mine. Barely.
    I appreciate the nod of support. And, I do understand O.K., I know there were some kinds of networks and wireless phones 30 years ago. My best friend came from money and had a phone in his Mercedes. In the late '80's I had friends with bag phones. So, I do know some homage to the technology did exist.

    The trouble with the "not my son/daughter" mind set, one I will never fall into, is that it assumes psychological individuality. We are all individuals. Right up to the point where we are subjected to specific stimulus, then we are all the same. Or mostly the same enough that we have to err on the side of a majority response to stimulus. It's why a majority in a riot will succumb to the "mob mentality", or a majority of soldiers in war suffer from PTSD. The majority of good kids will text their friends or tweet in class, given the opportunity, so we take that opportunity away. And, you know what? The majority of parents will contact their kids with little consideration for their being in class, because, hey, it's a text right? It's not disruptive.
    "If you can't view and manage multiple apps, via multiple open windows, side-by-side, it's not multi-tasking, PERIOD." - Me
  18. #18  
    my kids have cell phones when they have a job to pay the monthly charges. period.
  19. #19  
    I am 17 and I have been having a cell phone since I was 13. I have been raised right and plan on raising my kids right when I have them. I know when It is appropriate to use a phone and when it is inappropriate. I say why not let your child have a phone. I know people like to do sexting. I used to (to old for that lame mess now). But if you raise your child right and teach them right from wrong, then you have nothing to worry about.
  20. #20  
    I 'let' my kids have necessities, they work to buy nice-to-haves. I'm sure they will use them properly, it's about them undertanding how to handle money, not how to handle a phone.
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