January 26, 2015 at 3:15 pm #3888
My son is 11 years old (6th grade) and I’ve noticed that a lot of his friends are starting to get cell phones and he has started asking when he’s going to get one. Most of them have new iPhones and I’m not sure if I really want my son getting sucked into the smart phone craze just yet. He already has an iPod and I feel like that’s good enough for now.
My question is, at what age is it appropriate for him to get a cell phone? And do you have any suggestions for age appropriate phones that aren’t smart phones?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
February 2, 2015 at 8:33 pm #3930
We got our girls one when they hit 5th grade and would be walking to and from school. We however didn’t start with iPhones or smart phones. They had to prove they could handle the responsibility of one. I guess it’s not of when everyone else is getting a phone it’s more of when you feel they need it and are capable of the responsibility of one. They have all options available not just the smart phones and iPhones and the prepaid.
The only benefits to smart phones are you are able to have more control over their phone with parental controls and tracking.
February 3, 2015 at 9:44 pm #3944
We also went through something similar to this recently. I have an 11 year old daughter and we really debated on whether it was time to get her a cellphone or not. Ultimately we caved, mostly because she is pretty active in sports and if we’re dropping her off for practice or something, we want her to be able to have a way to reach us for whatever reason. We ended up getting her some sliding phone (not a smart phone!) for her to use when she’s at practice or at her friend’s house. I can’t remember the name of her phone, but I did find a good link for some non smart phones: http://www.greatschools.org/back-to-school/slideshows/6877-best-cell-phones-for-kids.gs
Hope it helps!
February 20, 2015 at 3:08 pm #4051
We got my oldest son a cellphone when he was 12. He traveled a lot for sports so we wanted to make sure he was able to contact us while he was away for games or at practice. We started off by just giving it to him when we thought he would need it, but it pretty quickly turned into him just keeping it all the time. Luckily he’s been responsible about it (i.e. not using it at school, not losing it, etc.), although it worked really well to keep him focused because he hated getting his phone taken away!
I’m in the same boat now with my 13 year old daughter. We got her an iPhone last year, mostly because her brother got one at the same age and I wanted to make sure I was able to get ahold of her whenever. We got an iPhone because it made sense with our plan, but now i’m wishing we had’t because she’s always on it! Most cell phone providers have phones that are touch screens, but don’t require data plans like the iPhones. They’re technically smart phones, but you have the option not to set up all the smart features.
In a long winded way I guess I’m saying..I think that 11 isn’t too young to have a cellphone, as long as he’s prepared to take some responsibility over it.
May 12, 2015 at 3:25 pm #4320
I think the key to giving a child a cellphone (and I’ve been through it) is to draft a very clear contract that spells out the entire agreement. That way when something comes up, there is no dispute or “You didn’t tell me that.” Everything is in black and white. Where does the cell phone live at night? Will it be replaced if it is lost or destroyed? And who will pay for the replacement? Be clear that you have the right, at any time, to review the text messages and other content on the phone. This is your child. Your responsibility to protect them is more important than any privacy issues you may be considering. Go online and google cell phone contacts for teens. You’ll find some great ideas and you can customize your teen’s contract based on your personal sensibilities.
December 13, 2016 at 1:43 am #5775
11 years is too young for cell phones. My sister’s son is 6 years old and he already started asking for a cell phone. Online sites and games will totally make them addicted to cell phones. Even adults are addicted to it. This is the age for them to gain knowledge and explore new things. If we buy them cell phone now, then their world will completely shrink within the small cell phone screen. Let him grow up. iPod is more than enough for him in this age.
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