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.    #1  
    Ok, I know every kid is different and situations may or may not necessitate giving your kid a cell phone, but I'm thinking about giving our daughter a basic/inexpensive cell for her birthday this month. So I was wondering what do you guys think is a good age for giving your kid a cell phone, if ever.

    FYI, when I called Sprint to turn my service back on (due to a recent Lockline issue) they threw me a bone about a promotional going on right now that includes a free phone, 3 months free service and $20.00 a month afterwards for the addditional 3rd line. She would share the minutes of the lesser of our plan of 300 minutes a month (which goes virtually unused anyway since it's my hubby's phone).
    Last edited by GeekyMom; 01/15/2004 at 04:44 PM.
    "Everyday is a Gift, A Blessing, An Opportunity!" - GM

    Phone history: Treo 600, Treo 650, Treo Centro, Pixi, Centro again, 800w, Treo 755p, Palm Pre
  2. #2  
    IMHO, kids (under 16) don't need cell phones. At 16, if they can pay for it, perhaps, but we've not gotten that far yet!

    I realize each kid is different, as are the circumstances, but the first question that pops into my mind is "why do they NEED a cell phone?". Need and want are two very different things. In our case, cell phones are forbidden at school (they're confiscated when caught). The only time either of my kids might NEED a cell is when they're going out somewhere and will need to contact us for a ride home, etc. In those cases, my wife or I can usually give up one of ours for the few hours involved.

    Of course, someone else may have a different opinion.
    .
    .....
    MarkEagle
    .....<a href="http://discussion.treocentral.com/tcforum/index.php?s=">TreoCentral</a> | <a href="http://discussion.visorcentral.com/vcforum/index.php?s=">VisorCentral</a> Forum Moderator - Forum Guidelines
    .....Sprint PCS Treo 650
    .....God bless America, my home sweet home...
  3. #3  
    I'm in total agreement here with Mark. And cells are also outlawed on school campuses throughout the state of Alabama, so if we catch them with one, we have to take them and wait for Mom or Dad to come get them at their convenience. It's way too easy for a child to use a cell at an inappropriate time, or to just forget to turn it off, or play with it, or or or.....

    I would say when they start driving on their own they can get one to keep in the glove box for emergencies.
  4. #4  
    This is sort of similar to the "each child is different" response, but how about basing the answer on the child's interest in having a cellphone. If the child is asking about it, talk about the concept with her (we're talking about a girl here, aren't we?). If you feel that her interests are have merit and she underdtands the responsibility involved, then the two of you can look at what issues would exist if she had a cellphone -- a ban on phones at school, for instance, is something the two of you would need to consider.

    Basically, what I'm suggesting is that you engage this situation *with* your kid rather that from *above* her. (Err -- that sounds sort of pedantic. I don't mean to criticize you as a parent, here. This just seems like a great experience to share with your child since you both seem intered in the topic. ...That's assuming she *is* interested. Is she interested?)
  5. #5  
    Age isn't the determining factor, if you ask me. It's the need and ability to keep in touch. My 14 yr old got one for Christmas, because he's involved in a lot of activities that have him away from home. If he's out somewhere and the activity ends early, I want him to be able to contact someone to come get him. Conversely, if something runs late, he knows he'd better call and let us know.

    It's had the side benefit of freeing up our home phone, too, since we have free N/W starting at 7pm.

    If he hardly ever went out without his mom or I, he wouldn't have a phone.

    As far as school goes, where I live high school students are allowed to have them in school, but they must be turned off unless there's an emergency. (They used to ban them, and chanted the policy after Columbine.) He knows that if he gets caught using it during the school day he loses it.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  6. #6  
    As already stated, situations vary, but in my opinion, children don't need cell phones. Worse case is they can use a pay phone (or a school office phone) to call for a ride for after-school activities that end early. My parents always made sure I had 25-35 cents to make a phone call.

    In my opinion, no child's life is so "high-powered" that they need that kind of mobile communication.

    Maturity levels aside (because many adults aren't "mature" enough to handle the responsibility of a cell phone), I think ANYONE that has a personal cell phone should be paying the bill for it (with a REAL job...not an allowance). After all...one doesn't develop an appreciation for the consequences of their activities with that cell phone until they actually have to PAY for it.
    --Inspector Gadget

    "Go Go Gadget Pre!!"
    Palm Pre on Sprint

    Palm V--> Palm IIIc--> Visor Prism--> Visor Phone--> Treo 270--> Treo 600--> Treo 650-->
    Treo 700wx--> HTC Touch Diamond--> Palm Pre & HTC EVO 4G.
  7. #7  
    For the most part, I voted 16 and pay for it. However, each kid and situatuion is diferent. If they are a turn key kid, then the that would be a great asset to have at age10 or whatever age, for emergency use (or very limited) only.

    My my 2-cents
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by Insp_Gadget
    As already stated, situations vary, but in my opinion, children don't need cell phones. Worse case is they can use a pay phone (or a school office phone) to call for a ride for after-school activities that end early. My parents always made sure I had 25-35 cents to make a phone call.

    In my opinion, no child's life is so "high-powered" that they need that kind of mobile communication.
    Hmm, do you have a teenager? I'd guess not. I'd also guess you haven't tried to find a pay phone lately. They are disappearing rapidly, because so many people have cell phones that pay phones are now money losers for phone companies.

    My son's high school has a pay phone out front. But it's outgoing only--won't accept calls (some idiots at the school board decided that allowing incoming calls would lead to drug dealing or some such). My son called me from that phone once and left a message--I tried to to call him back and couldn't. He was sitting there wondering where I was, and of course only had enought change for one call.

    A few months ago he and a friend went to see a movie. They were going to call when the movie was over. Right--couldn't find a pay phone. Finally they begged some woman to let them borrow her cell phone.

    And it's not just so he can call me. It also enables me to figure out where he is. Like the time he was at a track meet that was expected to end at a certain time. That time came and went, and went, and went. His mom finally called him, found out the meet was still going on. (She had actually lent him her phone that time.) It greatly eased her mind.

    Trust me, when your kids start going out by themselves, to track meets or football games (either as spectators or players), parties with friends, movies, or just to hang out, you'll want a way to get a hold of them, and for them to get a hold of you. And when they start driving, or have friends who are driving, you'll definitely understand.

    But use your own judgement for your own kids. And don't question the judgment of other parents who reach a different decision.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by meyerweb


    ...snip...But use your own judgement for your own kids. And don't question the judgment of other parents who reach a different decision.
    Nice story...I don't believe I was talking to you, but...how is expressing MY opinion questioning ANYONE's judgement? I stated TWICE that it was only my opinion. I also stated that situations vary. And if I DO choose to question someone's judgement (even though I made no such comment), that is MY RIGHT to do so, just as it is your right to give your child a cell phone if you so choose.

    I stand by my opinion that I don't think CHILDREN need to own cell phones. The question was asked and I gave MY answer. I didn't question anyone's judgement, so I'd advise you to think about what you're saying and who you're saying it to before you jump on someone for expressing their opinion.
    Last edited by Insp_Gadget; 01/16/2004 at 02:09 PM.
    --Inspector Gadget

    "Go Go Gadget Pre!!"
    Palm Pre on Sprint

    Palm V--> Palm IIIc--> Visor Prism--> Visor Phone--> Treo 270--> Treo 600--> Treo 650-->
    Treo 700wx--> HTC Touch Diamond--> Palm Pre & HTC EVO 4G.
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by Insp_Gadget
    I don't believe I was talking to you
    Welcome to the Internet.
  11. #11  
    Yes, you meet all kinds don't you? Still, I don't appreciate being told to hold my opinion by someone who I wasn't even addressing and who speaks down to me as if he knows me. There is nothing that makes him any more qualified than me or anyone else to have an opinion on the subject of this thread. That "I'm wiser because I have a kid" attitude is insulting when thrown in the face of someone who's also a parent and shares the same concerns. Like I said, he doesn't know me, but acted like he does.

    "Welcome to the Internet" should be addressed to him. People (all kinds of people) have valid opinions and a right to express them in an open forum such as this.
    Last edited by Insp_Gadget; 01/16/2004 at 04:13 PM.
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by MarkEagle
    IMHO, kids (under 16) don't need cell phones. At 16, if they can pay for it, perhaps, but we've not gotten that far yet!

    I realize each kid is different, as are the circumstances, but the first question that pops into my mind is "why do they NEED a cell phone?". Need and want are two very different things. In our case, cell phones are forbidden at school (they're confiscated when caught). The only time either of my kids might NEED a cell is when they're going out somewhere and will need to contact us for a ride home, etc. In those cases, my wife or I can usually give up one of ours for the few hours involved.

    Of course, someone else may have a different opinion.
    When I got my first cell phone in 1987, I had a list of things that I thought I might use it for. None of them worked out. On the other hand, while it never quite became a necessity, it was soon so valuable that I have rarely gone out of the house without one.

    You are completely right. Kids do not need cell phones. Families need for kids to have cell phones. Ask any family where the kids have cell phones if they would do without them. I don't think so. As soon as the kids are old enough that they ever go out alone, it is cell phone time. In some communities that may be as young as 8.
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by Insp_Gadget
    "Welcome to the Internet" should be addressed to him.
    Hey, man -- everyone is welcome on the Internet.

    It's true that meyerweb was a bit snide in his response to your post (hi meyerweb, how's it going?) but your response was a little hot, too. You might want to think about just telling people they're jerks when they're being jerks, rather than getting yourself worked up. Try this: meyerweb, you're a jerk.

    Of course, meyerweb does have some fairly good points, even if they're kind of roughly presented.

    I don't have kids of my own (thank god) and, as such, I'd pretty much go with the "kids should be kept on a leash in the backyard" option (because your kids are incredibly annoying to me, a non-kid-having grumpy *******). On the other hand, having been a kid once, I remember becoming aware of all the fun activities available in the big outside world, and I remember how much resentment this kind of treatment engenders.

    Here we go:
    Kids will do what they want to do. If you tell them not to do that thing, they simply won't tell you (the parent) about it when they do it.

    So! Parents should be paying attention to the things their kids are interested in doing. I don't really care whether or not it's appropriate for a 13 year-old to have a cellphone (or whatever else 13 year-olds might find interesting -- I shudder to think). If the child is interested, you (the parent) had better be paying attention, be involved in discussing that topic with the kid, and you're most likely going to be better off by providing an environment for exploration of the topic that you are aware of rather than trying (and failing) to keep the kid from engaging that activity.

    As well, it's not all that big a deal -- if the kid is irresponsible with the phone, cancel the experiment until they're older (and, in theory, more responsible). We're just talking about a phone, here. It's not like you'd wind up having to raise the baby, y'know.

    P.S. I'm not saying this is an easy thing to do. In fact, I think this whole parenting thing is probably very, very hard. But then, this is exactly why I don't have one of those little critters. Or pets. Or plants. I mean, I can turn this computer off, y'know?
  14. #14  
    Thank you Snerdy. I'm not exactly "worked up". I'm merely standing up for what is right with regard to expressing my opinion. Since my comments were in response to the question posed by the original poster and not addressed to anyone in particular, I found it interesting that my comments brought about such a reply. I don't think I need to be chastised by someone and told that I shouldn't question some parent's judgement when that was the last thing I was doing.

    But be that as it may, thank you for your comments. They are well received.
  15. #15  
    This from someone who is a mother and a teacher....

    We all got through school, elementary, middle, and high school without cell phones. Our parents knew our schedules and if we needed rides, it was planned for in advance. Parents should STILL know what their children's schedules are and plan accordingly. You cannot send a child out with instructions to let you know. That's how you wind up a young grandparent.

    As I stated earlier in this thread, cell phones are outlawed on campuses in this state. I teach at an inner city school where nothing comes as a surprise. One of the biggest problems we have is when the news of a gun goes racing through the school, and every child with a phone hidden in his backpack calls Mom to let her know what's going on and every Mom shows up at school to protect her baby, causing more of a problem than we had with the original gun!

    Please, please, please. Be an active parent, know where your child is and what his schedule is, and save cell phones for after school, weekends if you feel they must have one. (All teenagers and most preteenagers feel they MUST have their own cell phone these days.)
  16. #16  
    If I had children, they would have a cellphone on them when they can first walk. I'm thinking, what if I'm in a store and they run off? I could call the phone and hear it ring. Or if someone finds them, they can call me. I can still vividly remember the first time I got lost and couldn't find my parents. I'm guessing I was around 5.
    And what if the child is kidnapped? Once E911 is established, they will be safer. I would want my child to be able to reach me 24/7.
    I would buy them a crappy phone. If they want a better phone, they can get a job to buy one.
    In Cali, phones and pagers were outlawed in schools in the early 90s, because mainly drug dealers used them. That law has since been recended. They can carry phones in school, but they can only be used in an emergency.
    I have the world in my Palm
  17. #17  
    Originally posted by thppfft
    If I had children, they would have a cellphone on them when they can first walk. I'm thinking, what if I'm in a store and they run off? I could call the phone and hear it ring. Or if someone finds them, they can call me. I can still vividly remember the first time I got lost and couldn't find my parents. I'm guessing I was around 5.
    And what if the child is kidnapped? Once E911 is established, they will be safer. I would want my child to be able to reach me 24/7.
    I would buy them a crappy phone. If they want a better phone, they can get a job to buy one.
    In Cali, phones and pagers were outlawed in schools in the early 90s, because mainly drug dealers used them. That law has since been recended. They can carry phones in school, but they can only be used in an emergency.
    The "If" in your first statement says it all. 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.
  18. #18  
    Originally posted by Alli
    you'll know better than to put a phone of any sort into their hands.
    Well, now -- this seems like an eminently flameable comment. Hm... I think I'll go with:

    It's a shame your kids are such morons.

    ...Or perhaps you'd care to explain yourself, rather than simply slinging insults?
  19. #19  
    I am glad this subject was brought up. My daughter is turning 13 next month and I have been considering this issue. She is getting more and more social and is out and about with friends every weekend. She also goes to the YMCA after school on the bus and hangs out there until I can pick her up after I get off work. There are times when I really wish I could contact her and tell her I am running late. And there are the times when she is out with friends and she needs to try to reach ME but can't unless she is with an adult who has a cell phone or can find a payphone. So ...

    One intermediary solution we have come up with is using those Motorola two-way radios. If I drop her someplace and plan to pick her up later we each take one. When we are within range (2 miles) I can beep her and tell her where I am and where to find me. These are great tools if you take your kids to a movie, for instance, and they can beep you when they get out of the movie. Or if you all go someplace (such as the mall or an amusement park) and they want to go off on their own. You are always in touch.

    Drawbacks:
    - 2 mile range is limiting.
    - Lots of feedback from other radios in the vicinity making it hard sometimes to get a clear signal. Jokers cutting in and interrupting your messages.
    - Hard to hear in crowded places.
    - No privacy - everybody can hear your conversation (this is the same reason why I can't fathom why anybody would want push-to-talk)


    Hence I am really considering the add-a-phone option with Sprint. She has the no cellphone rule at her school also but I think if she is responsible and keeps it in her backpack out of sight it won't be confiscated. Also she is a very good student, very mature and trust-worthy. I don't think she would use the phone to chat with her friends. But of course, I wouldn't know that until she had it and we had time to see how she follows the rules...

    But I am interested in hearing all comments. I do find this useful and appreaciate the original poster for bringing this subject up!

  20. #20  
    Originally posted by Alli


    The "If" in your first statement says it all. 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.
    Okay, I'll bite. What's the difference between a person talking on a cellphone and talking to someone next to them?

    Are you talking about the phone bill? I'd get MetroPCS. $35/month, unlimited minutes, 24/7.

    Prank calling? Being "too social"? I'd lock the phone so only the speed-dial buttons that I program will work.

    If I could, I'd put lojack on my kid.

    I can't believe I'm saying this, but I might also consider getting them chipped.

    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?
    Last edited by thppfft; 01/17/2004 at 10:04 AM.
    I have the world in my Palm
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