Give your child a cell phone when there is a real need. The child may need a cell phone under these conditions:
1. to call a parent to pick him/her up after some practice or other event.
2. to call parents in case of an emergency when on a date or out with friends anywhere.
3. in most situations that separate the child from a responsible adult.
Of course, you need rules in place. The phone should never be taken to school or church. Never let the child, especially a young one, keep the phone at all times. Retrieve it once they have returned home. Do not tell them that the phone is theirs; tell them that the phone is for their use in appropriate situations. Also, monitor the phone's call history. These are children, not adults.
Keep in mind that pay-as-you-go minute phones are inexpensive and can be purchased with allowance money, so children can purchase their own phones and buy minutes, especially the ones who have jobs. Rules concerning this ability need to be established and consequences of abusing phone privileges need to be discussed. A phone may not be for every child. The parents must decide based on their knowledge of their child.