I don't think kids should have cell phones. I think we should start a trend of not giving phones to anyone, this way we can go back to the rotary dial phone. Which has more character than any other phone in the history of phones.
And to better answer your question it would depend on the kid. Overall, this is a hard one. As a person I say they don't need one until sixteen or so. As a parent, I then ask - but what if something happens to them? So my wife and I need to talk more on this one. But our oldest is 4 and she has 4 phones. The toy ones and my old ones. And she does use them all, sometimes at the same time.
My son was 8 I think when we bought one for him & the reason for that, he loves being home & so on the odd occasion we have managed to get him to stay over somewhere else he likes to be able to contact us if gets stressed or worried or if he wanted to get picked up earlier the next day. He never rang every 5 minutes or anything like that, it was the comfort of being able to contact us if he chose to that he liked the idea of.
In the end its completely up to the parent, I'm sure you will know if your child is responsible enough to take care of it etc. My son has to use money he earns to get credit for the phone as it is a pre paid phone but he very rarely uses it anyway. Its just peace of mind for him if he is away from home.
I gave my daughter my old cell phone last year when she was 10 years old. She only takes it with her if she is playing over at a friends house. Mainly its so that I can keep in touch with her. When I'm working at the weekends, I send her a little text to tell her I miss her. She doesn't use it very often.
Well as creative as CJ's proposition is, I am leaning more to the side of giving the child a phone for emergency purposes. My parents gave me my first cell phone when I was 12. It was for emergencies, and I did use it. However, this was before today's smart phones. I had a very basic Nokia phone, no special features, no music, no video, no camera. I think something like that is more appropriate for a young child. I personally plan on giving my son a phone when he goes to school. It would be very basic phone that can only dial either of us, his grandparents, and 911. When he gets older, and more responsible we will give him a smart phone.
Atleast not until his/her brain is fully developed/grown. They have been blamed for increase of brain cancer, brain tumours and tumours in the neck due to radiation. My cousin got a brain tumour and they blamed it on overuse of her cell. luckily surgery was successful and she's made a full recovery. It's scary! I won't get my daughter a phone until she's atleast ten and for a couple years it will be monitored and used for texting only or confiscated. I know it sounds strict, but i would never forgive myself if the unthinkable happened.
That depends on individual situations and the maturity of the child. The term "child" is thrown away around, some would think 5 and others 12... but I think it's something the parents should decide on their own because they know their child better than anyone else.
I am still up in the air on this one. All good arguments and I agree the child's maturity level should play into it. I also like the comments about child safety being a reason to give a child a phone. How did our parents keep track of us and theirs of them without cell phones though? I guess if we were at a friends and wanted to call we used the house phone. Then again most people don't have house phones though. This is a tough parenting decision.
I believe my youngest son had access to a cell phone when he was 8 or 9. The reason he used the extra line phone we had was because we did not want to go looking for him in our neighborhood when we needed him to come home. At that time, it was not HIS phone just an extra. Eventually we got rid of the land line we had and he started riding the bus home rather than going to after school care so it then became his phone because we wanted to make sure he got home everyday without incident. He is 13 now and has his own phone. He is fairly responsible with it and is not really a big texter or talker. I attribute this to the fact that he was exposed to it gradually and on our terms. In my opinion, whether or not a child needs a cell phone depends on the child and how responsible they can be.
I believe they should not have a phone till they are actually able to be responsible whatever age that might be is kind of hard to tell.Some kids are responsible when they are real little,but most don't show their first signs of responsibility till they hit high school.
My children had cell phones when I couldn't make sure I could stay with them, like if I had to leave one at town soccer practice while dropping another at some other activity. If they are being left at non-school activities, they need to be able to reach you in an emergency, it's a more direct line, than hoping some coordinator has your number on some piece of paper somewhere...
So, in my case, it had to do with the situations in which they would need a cell phone, rather than age. I believe my daughter was 7 and my son was 10 when our schedules had enough complications to make this necessary.
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