View Poll Results: What Age is Good for giving Kid Cell Phone

Voters
91. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10 and over (with limited usage; basically for emergencies, no Chatter)

    20 21.98%
  • 13 and over (give them something to look forward too. Kids get too much too soon).

    23 25.27%
  • 16 and over (and they have to get a job to pay for it)

    29 31.87%
  • Kids do not need cell phones (too many stupid people with them already)

    10 10.99%
  • Other, please list

    9 9.89%
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  1. #21  
    Originally posted by thppfft
    MetroPCS.
    OMG! That rocks!! ...I wish they had that in New York. Wow.

    Originally posted by thppfft
    Am I being overly protective?
    Yes.

    This is funny -- two non-kid-having dorks discussing the details of equiping a child with a cellphone. Why do I find this thread so interesting? Anyway...

    I love the false security inherant in the concept of putting GPS tracking in a kid's cellphone. I mean, it seems like the kind of thing that could turn on you (the evil kid-tracking parent) pretty badly. If I was a kid who was being tracked in this way, I would figure out a way to set up call forwarding on the trackable phone, get a junk cheap-o cell, and just leave the bugged phone at the "safe" location. "Yeah, dad -- I'm just hanging out at Bill's house." What you don't know can't hurt you ...but it can hurt your kids. Haha!

    I still think the best way to deal with this situation is by judging the child's interest and your needs, and then working with the kid to meet those desires and needs.
  2. #22  
    This is funny -- two non-kid-having dorks discussing the details of equiping a child with a cellphone. Why do I find this thread so interesting? Anyway...
    I can't think of the correct word right now, so I will agree with you by saying this is "ironic".

    Anyway, I was half joking about the tracking stuff. My concern is not being nosy, but in case the kid wonders off in the mall (say, under 7 years old) or gets kidnapped.

    I figure, when the kid's old enough to not want to be tracked, they're old enough to not need tracking. I'd stop the tracking and start trusting that they would know how to use the phone.

    I think I understand were the people are coming from that think childred shouldn't have cellphones. This poll is a mild version of, "What age is Right for Giving Kid a Condom?"
    Last edited by thppfft; 01/17/2004 at 10:39 AM.
    I have the world in my Palm
  3. #23  
    Very interesting topic. Since we are fixed on "opinion" here is mine.

    A kid should have a cell phone whenever you as the bill paying parent feel it is the right time. You are the parent, so you decide.
    There are alot of factors to consider though.

    I personally see a cell phone for my child as a kind of insurance. As with insurance it would be a purchase for peace of mind. If it made me feel better about letting my child be on their own at whatever age knowing I could contact them at will that would have great value. It would kind of like always being with them.

    Alli made the comment about we all made it without cell phones as teenagers. Were there cell phones when we were teenagers? Not in my case. So really one can't make that statement with any kind of validity. That would be the same as our grandparents saying they got along fine without tv. The world has changed and with it we change.

    If a child of any age is to have a cell phone they should display the responsibility for it's use. If they abuse it, remove it. If it was of value to them (and what kid wont want his/her phone back) they will do what you require to get it.

    Bottom line with kids is giving them choices and making each choice have consequences. You must hold them to the outcome they chose. The only way they will learn responsibility.

    If a cell phone gives you peace of mind when it's in your child's hands, do it. Just make sure you have rules and make damn sure you enforce them.

    I will give my son a phone when I think it will be helpful in making sure he is safe. Regardless fo age.

    Quote by Alli "If you ever do have children, by the time they can walk, you'll know better than to put a phone of any sort into their hands."

    I know this is still my opinion but I think your head is deep in the sand on this one. Have you never heard of the toddler who called 911 because mommy or daddy needed help or the house was on fire or those many other examples? Don't your children like to talk to grandpa or grandma on the phone? What is it you are afraid of?


    Woof
    Last edited by Woof; 01/17/2004 at 12:00 PM.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
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    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  4. #24  
    Originally posted by thppfft
    The last thing I'd want is for my 13 year old daughter to be alone with a boy with no way to dial 911.

    Am I being overly protective?
    On this last bit, I'd say no. I don't want my daughter to be alone with a boy period when she's thirteen. There really isn't any reason for it.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  5. #25  
    Originally posted by Woof


    Alli made the comment about we all made it without cell phones as teenagers. Were there cell phones when we were teenagers?
    The idea that "I made it without, they can too," simply ignores the facts. When I was in the second grade, I walked to school with my little sister (four miles (blocks?) in the snow, up hill in both directions). In high school, I took public transit.

    I had a cell phone when many of today's parents were teenagers. It cost me $1500-, $1/minute airtime, plus tolls, plus $1/minute roaming. My bill averaged $200- per month and $400- was not unheard of. That was when $1- was still worth a dime rather than a penny. People did not take incoming calls, did not tell anyone their cell phone numbers and saved up calls to make on the land-line. (All young adults have cell phones but few can afford land lines. My 26 year-old godson is still free-loading on my cell phone account but I leave him on it because I cannot measure the cost.)

    My seven year old nephew reads the sports page of the New York times, has his own e-mail account, is on AIM daily, can navigate the NYC subway and direct taxi drivers but, of course, is not allowed out alone. My 2 1/2 year old great nephew has his own mouse (no buttons, he squeezes it) keyboard and TV remote control (programmed to go only to "his" channels). My eleven year old nephew has had a Visa card for two years. He travels on airplanes by himself but is not allowed to go to the mall by himself. His cousin, the same age, who read at four and at 9th grade level in the 2nd grade, is not allowed to use a public restroom by himself, may have his drivers license first. His sixteen year old brother refused to use a cell phone until he got his drivers license and was told he could not drive without one.

    Recently a movie star was asked if he new the gender of his expected child. He said that he did not know now and did not want to know until the child was 18.

    A hundred years ago, a man grew up in the same world as his father; your children do not live in the world in which you grew up, and you can just barely appreciate where they live. What you did and had is a very poor guide for them.

    Get over it and get with it.
    Last edited by whmurray; 01/17/2004 at 02:01 PM.
  6. #26  
    speaking as both a father, teacher, and resident of nyc that recently experienced a black out last summer and 9/11 before that...i think here at least, kids need a phone.

    i have a high minute plan (2000 monthly with sprint) and added my 14 year old to my plan for free. but i am concerend...


    i asked him to lock his phone before he brought it to school. i wanted him to figure out things himself. so i gave him that task. turns out he didn't and brought the phone to school anyway. nothing happened. but to me that wasn't the point. he agreed to do it and should have done it.

    maybe he is being rebellious. i don't know. 14 is a tough age for anyone i think. having a phone is a real responsibilty. but if if he doesn't have a little room to move around and screw up when will he learn?

    on balance...given the situation we live in here in nyc...i want him to have the phone.
    Sprint Treo 700p, Sony UX/TX, u720,
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  7. KBS
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    #27  
    I have three "children", 17,19 and 21 (today!) We got the last two cell phones when they started driving. The first one, interestingly enough, we didn't feel the need until he started driving 250 miles to college. We have a T-Mobile family plan and it works great for us. We can call Atlanta (son # 2), Houston (son #1) and can reach our daughter (#3) when she is out. For us, obtaining a driver's license was the key to the decision.
  8. #28  
    ....The first one, interestingly enough, we didn't feel the need until he started driving 250 miles to college....
    Since you were sending him to college with a car, may we assume that it was never about the money?

    For us, obtaining a driver's license was the key to the decision.
    I was talking to my sister-in-law when she had to take a call from her daughter, my niece. Seems she was on her way to the airport to pick up her boyfriend, was lost, and needed directions. It seems that because they do not ride their bicycles for transportation, they do not learn to navigate until after they learn to drive. Surely we should not turn them loose with a car and no cell phone.
    Last edited by whmurray; 01/17/2004 at 03:17 PM.
  9. #29  
    16 and over (and they have to get a job to pay for it)
    I was the oldest of twelve children, three generations ago. My siblings and I were expected to earn our lunch money, bus fare, and clothes money. When I used a family car, I was expected to return it full of gas. I sometimes took up a collection from friends whose parents paid for their gas when they drove.

    I understand the ethic and the idea. However, I bet that most of those who identified with that idea do not expect their kids to pay for their land-line phones. Remember those. We got them that phone for our own convenience and we did not ask them to pay and we did not say "emergencies only, no chatter." Most of us do not expect our kids to pay for their own gas, much less their cars.

    This is about us, not about spoiling our kids. We can afford it. Loosen up and enjoy your kids and their phones.
    Last edited by whmurray; 01/17/2004 at 03:35 PM.
  10. KBS
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    #30  
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by whmurray
    [B]

    Since you were sending him to college with a car, may we assume that it was never about the money?

    It came down to not being able to go to Atlanta and Houston(from Fort Worth) to pick up both kids in the same week several times a semester. Money is why we are on the family plan - $110 for 5 phones. Most of our calls fall in the family to family class. Money is why we are in the "starter" home we moved into 24 years ago- kids and three college tuitions will do that!

    (Obviously didn't do that quote right!)
    Last edited by KBS; 01/17/2004 at 04:14 PM.
  11. #31  
    Originally posted by snerdy
    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by thppfft
    MetroPCS.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    OMG! That rocks!! ...I wish they had that in New York. Wow.
    Forgot to mention, you don't sign a contract with MetroPCS.
    If that wasn't available, then I'd get Virgin Mobile which is pay-as-you-go, and again, no contract.

    I'd then lock the phone to the speed dials that I program. If the kid wants an "unlocked" phone, they can get a job.


    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by thppfft
    The last thing I'd want is for my 13 year old daughter to be alone with a boy with no way to dial 911.

    Am I being overly protective?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On this last bit, I'd say no. I don't want my daughter to be alone with a boy period when she's thirteen. There really isn't any reason for it.
    I hear you. But the only way to guarantee she won't be alone with a boy is to lock her in the closet.

    whmurray mentioned a TV remote for kids. That got me thinking... I'd like to see a cellphone geard twords childred. It would have, say, six buttons on it. The buttons have removable transparent faceplates so you could put pictures under them. I could tell my child, "If you need to talk to daddy, push my face then push the mouth."
    Last edited by thppfft; 01/17/2004 at 11:02 PM.
    I have the world in my Palm
  12. #32  
    Dang....go away for a day and you miss a lot!

    Too much to quote each individual message I'd like to reply to, so I'll just give it my best shot this way....

    First of all, we made it without cells and our grandparents made it without televisions. Guess what? Our children could make it without televisions too. Neither cell phones nor televisions are necessities. They are both luxury items. Not having them may put you in a different social circle, but it won't change your standard of living a whole lot.

    Next...yes you can let your toddler talk to gramma and grampa on the phone. When my kids were little they used to hold all sorts of bizarre objects pretending they were phones and have imaginary phone conversations with all sorts of people. Could they actually answer a phone and have a sensible phone conversation with a non-family member at the age of two? Don't be ridiculous. And both my children began talking (well!) early. Not that my area of expertise is child language or anything, but at the age of two (well past when they first start walking, fyi) the average child is holding conversations using sentences with three whole words.

    And yes, both my children have cell phones. Mind you, one is 17 and the other is 21 and both have jobs and are driving...and paying for their own phones.

    The most common reason I've heard from parents of my students who insist their children need their cell phones: Dad/Mom/Grandmom/Grandad/Sister/Brother/insert other family member here is having surgery and we need to get in contact with child. Excuse me - you are the parent. You are the adult. Let your child go to school and do not burden him with the health problems of the adults in his life.

    Yes and No, you're not being too overprotective not wanting your 13 year old to be alone with a boy without a cell phone. Why would you allow her to be alone with one in the first place? A cell phone is no replacement for parental care.

    Nuff said.
    Last edited by Alli; 01/17/2004 at 11:53 PM.
  13. #33  
    Untill 100 years ago, nobody had electricity. At one time, we all lived in caves. School didn't exist. We communicated with grunts and gestures. We had no civilization or laws. Evidently, those times were good enough for children and families, evidenced by our existence today. Everything beyond wild game, fur, a cave, and fire is a luxury.

    The rationale for giving a todder a cellphone is for when they run off. I can call the phone and hear it ring, or if someone finds the child, I can be called. And I'm not talking just about in public. I'm also talking about at home. One day they will figure out how to unlock the barricade, and you won't know where they went. And no, when a child runs off it's not bad parenting. I remember purposely trying to hide from my parents because I thought it was fun.

    As I said, the only way to keep boys and girls from being alone with each other is to lock them in a closet, SEPARATELY! There is nothing any parent can do to keep them from eventually being alone together. I know. I was there. Been there, done that!
    I consider giving her a cellphone to be parental care, because it will give her another way out if she would somehow find herself in an uncomfortable situation. It would pay for itself many times over if only once she needed to dial 911, or call me and say, "Daddy, I need you."

    The only other option is to give her a gun. Come to think of it...
    I have the world in my Palm
  14. #34  
    Here's a teens perspective:

    I got my phone for my 16th birthday. My parents paid for it. My brother the year before had gotten one for his 19th birthday and I was feeling left out, but there were many other factors of why I needed my own phone. A year and a half later, I'm paying for my own bill. It's an interesting mix, about half of my friends have phoens paid for by parents, and half of them have phones paid for by themselves.

    We had one landline, and I was starting to use it at odd hours for conference calls for TC, and for other random phone calls. Also, it was becoming a fact that for me to be able to do any future work on TC, I needed a phone myself. (that whole combination treo/cellphone thing)

    More importantly my high school swimming habit was showing the need for a cellphone because I would constantly need to call my parents to ok me to go out for dinner, or go out with friends after a meet. The more independant I became, the more important it was to my parents and myself that we had a line of communication between us.

    I think that both my family has found cellphones to be very helpful tools. I use it as my own line, my own voicemail, for work, for whatever. They use it to be able to contact me when I am on one of my normal 7 am to 7 pm school/sports days. My mom has a phone, my dad has a phone, and if I need to contact them when they are at work, doing parental duties whatever - I can. It's a nice arrangement.

    Speaking of cars, I think that any teenager who drives should have some type of cellphone on them. We don't know what to do when we get in trouble, we're still teenagers, and it's a godsend to be able to call our parents when something happens and be like mom! help, what do I do in this situation... (in a good way). I know many teenagers who have a prepaid cellphone sitting in their glove compartment just for that purpose.

    In terms of general age, the general trend amoung students at my highschool is that when they reach a certain amount of maturity, independance, normally aroudn the age of 16 they get cellphones. I know 13 year olds who have them, but I think that is too young (whats the point), but I don't see how you could be in college without a cell phone - it's just such as useful tool.

    I must admit I don't feel teathered to my parents through the phone (even if I'm teathered to the damned treo- stupid thing having 4 years of my life in it). If I don't want to talk to my parents I can turn off wireless/ignore their calls. I think the thing about the phone is that it lets me have better communication, without forcing me to do it.

    And phones in my public highschool are no problem. I would venture to say that at least 50% of the people have them, and they ring in class about once a year per class. There is a social standerd that you just don't let your phone ring in class. You see people using them during passing time, sending sms's during class, but there is a certain amount of respect that I see in how they are used in school. The only phones I have seen taken away are from ruthless administrators - teachers either don't care, or dont' care to be bothered by them.

    My last opinion is for tracking. If my parents were able to track me I would drop the phone instantly. There is a certain amoutn of trust a parents has to give a teenager at a certain age for them to be content (and safe). Tracking would negate any trust a parents would give to their kids. My parents trust me to tell them the truth about what I'm doing, and generally that is the case - if they didn't trust me, I would feel no reason to tell them ANYTHING about my life at all (and as a teenager I don't tell them much as it is). To all the parents on this board, I can only ask for them to trust their kids. If you trust us, we'll trust you back and tell you more about what we are doing/have done. If getting your child a cellphone will enable you to feel that you can trust your kid more, while letting them grow indepednantly and find theirselves, go for it.
    -Michael Ducker
    TreoCentral Staff
  15. #35  
    Originally posted by thppfft
    I hear you. But the only way to guarantee she won't be alone with a boy is to lock her in the closet.
    And what makes you think that even if she had the phone that she'd use it?
    whmurray mentioned a TV remote for kids. That got me thinking... I'd like to see a cellphone geard twords childred. It would have, say, six buttons on it. The buttons have removable transparent faceplates so you could put pictures under them. I could tell my child, "If you need to talk to daddy, push my face then push the mouth."
    There are at least emergency devices along those lines. Not sure how far they've gotten.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  16. #36  
    miradu: good post

    Toby (and others): My position sums up as: There are many dangerous situations that a person may find themself in, wantonly or not, regardless of sex or age. It is natural human instinct to search for safety when one is in danger, or has experienced danger. The phone is merly one way for safety to be found. I also beleive that it is the most practical and most easily implemented way. The dynamics of any given situation, and the persons response to it, will dictate whether the phone is utilized or not. That, nobody has any control over. It matters not if the phone is not used. Only that the phone is there when it is needed.

    As for emergency phones, if I remember correctly, all telcos are required to connect every 911 call they receive, regardless of the contractual situation of the phone. So, if you want, you can keep your old, disconnced, phone in your glovebox and use it at anytime to dial 911.
    I have the world in my Palm
  17. #37  
    Originally posted by Alli
    First of all, we made it without cells and our grandparents made it without televisions. Guess what? Our children could make it without televisions too. Neither cell phones nor televisions are necessities. They are both luxury items. Not having them may put you in a different social circle, but it won't change your standard of living a whole lot.

    Damn glad I don't live in "lower Alabama" where tv and phone are considered luxury items. I'm not sure I want to hear how you feel about window glass and indoor plumbing.

    What is the point of technology if we don't take advantage of it? As stated above in a previous post (thanks thppfft), using your logic anything we have developed to enrich our lives or make them easier is a luxury item that someone lived without before it was developed. Well of course we lived without all that stuff before. One has to remember, however that as we progress our lives change. Once luxury items are now commonplace everyday items. I didn't buy my tv or my car or my phone to change my "social circle". I got them for the convenience they offered.

    Back to the topic. If I want my kids, regardless of age to have a cell phone they will. I'll make them pay for it when I feel that is appropriate too. If my 10 year old comes to me and says he wants to buy a phone with his lawnmowing money, I am gonna let him. If he can't handle it, he'll get rid of it. How else will he learn responsibility?

    For you that think tv and cell phones are luxuries, I implore you to toss your computer in the trash. After a couple of weeks go to a friend who is obviously in a higher social circle and see if they will let you post an update for us here. I am sure we'd all like to hear how little your standard of living was changed. Oh and you have to walk to the friends house because your car has to go too.


    Woof
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  18. #38  
    HI, my 15 year old nephew got his on his 15th b'day. The phone was a free bee and he gets to use it, for local calls only, (which are more or less unlimited in his area), but long distance calls must be made with permission of an adult even though there is not extra fee for the calls. This b/c my sister and brother in law want to know who e is speaking to, a local freind ok or to call me in Fla is also fine, but to call his friends in London, UK, not fine! LOL, take care, Jay

    ps it is basicly honor system for him. Frankly I trust him, he is a A+ student who frankly is too timid to do anything bad! (Just like I was at his age, after all at age 48 I still never tried to smoke, never did pot or drugs...ok I was boring, LOL), Take care, Jay
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  19. #39  
    Originally posted by Woof
    Damn glad I don't live in "lower Alabama" where tv and phone are considered luxury items. I'm not sure I want to hear how you feel about window glass and indoor plumbing.
    Gimme a break, guys. Were not talking TV and cell phones. We are talking computers, HDTV, and Treos.


    What is the point of technology if we don't take advantage of it? As stated above in a previous post (thanks thppfft), using your logic anything we have developed to enrich our lives or make them easier is a luxury item that someone lived without before it was developed. Well of course we lived without all that stuff before. One has to remember, however that as we progress our lives change. Once luxury items are now commonplace everyday items. I didn't buy my tv or my car or my phone to change my "social circle". I got them for the convenience they offered.
    Yes, but we are not talkiing about us, we are only talking about "kids." Luxury is for us. If it was good enough for grandpa, it is good enough for "kids."

    Back to the topic. If I want my kids, regardless of age to have a cell phone they will. I'll make them pay for it when I feel that is appropriate too. If my 10 year old comes to me and says he wants to buy a phone with his lawnmowing money, I am gonna let him. If he can't handle it, he'll get rid of it. How else will he learn responsibility?
    You don't get it, do you? This is not about responsibility. It is about "old time religion." It is about imposed poverty. It is about deprivation. It is about hair shirts. It is about ensuring that our kids do not enjoy anything that they did not earn. It is about depriving ourselves of things lest we might "spoil" our kids.

    For you that think tv and cell phones are luxuries, I implore you to toss your computer in the trash. After a couple of weeks go to a friend who is obviously in a higher social circle and see if they will let you post an update for us here. I am sure we'd all like to hear how little your standard of living was changed. Oh and you have to walk to the friends house because your car has to go too.
    I cannot believe this discussion is taking place on a forum dedicated to elite big-boy toys. I cannot believe that we have all forgotten how stupid we thought these arguments were when our parents used them on us.

    Lighten up guys. This is only about toys, not morality. What have we worked for if we have to justify giving it to our kids?
    Last edited by whmurray; 01/18/2004 at 04:48 PM.
  20. #40  
    to whmurray

    Touche



    Woof
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
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