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What age should a child get a phone?

Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
You see preteens and young teens with cell phones all of the time. I can understand letting a teen have a limited phone for contact with parents or texting with friends but I've seen 12-13 year old kids with full access smartphones. I don't think that kind of technology should be available to a child of that age. They don't normally posses the maturity to use the device for the purpose intended by their parents.

I'd let my kid have a basic phone around 13 and a full featured phone at 16-18 depending on my level of trust. I don't see a need for any younger kids to have a phone.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
Seeing little kids with cell phones has always kind of bothered me, especially when they're carrying around smartphones. I pretty much agree with you Steve. I wouldn't want my child to have a phone of any kind before middle school, when it's probably necessary at that point just to be accepted socially.
 

Misdoubt

Registered Member
I say about 13-14, probably because that is when I did.

I mean I've seen like elementary kids with iPads and iPhones running around and I'm like, "Dude, wtf is this cooooome oooon reeeaaaaaaaaaaalllyy?". Like it doesn't even make me angry, it makes me pure straight up disappointed.

I think a phone for just calling and texting would okay thought for kids a lot younger than that though, just for the sake of communication with friends and probably myself, more for friends though, not looking to limit the kid or isolate them.
 

Konshentz

Konshentz
No earlier than 15. Kids are terribly irresponsible. Giving them a phone too early is a huge mistake. I don't think I had one until I was 16. More so because I just didn't want one.
 
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Bliss

Sally Twit
I think when a kid goes away for the first time on a school trip should be when they're given a phone. I think it should only be a basic phone and it should be used for emergencies. Might relax kids a little to know they can text home if they feel homesick.
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
I know a lot of young kids right now, aged about 4-5 who can navigate an ipad better than I can. Times have changed a lot even from when I was a kid and that wasn't too long ago. Right now I think ages 9-10 could be a good age for a first phone. Especially for security reasons, it's good to be able to always call your parents. Obviously a child of that age wouldn't need it all the time, but for any time they are away from their parents it could be useful.
 

Zenheizer

needs practice
I know a lot of young kids right now, aged about 4-5 who can navigate an ipad better than I can. Times have changed a lot even from when I was a kid and that wasn't too long ago. Right now I think ages 9-10 could be a good age for a first phone. Especially for security reasons, it's good to be able to always call your parents. Obviously a child of that age wouldn't need it all the time, but for any time they are away from their parents it could be useful.

I once saw a 14 mont old baby switching apps on her parents iPhone.

What I want to hear is from parents who have 5-15 year old kids who are stuck in this dilemma. Crouton is correct times have definitely changed even since we were kids. I got my cell phone at age 15 but I know technological education has exponentially grown in schools and younger kids can do way more than ever imagined. I get the irresponsibility aspect, but these kids will be way better with technology when they reach adulthood, just like we greatly surpass our parents.

Parents with young adolescents comments?
 

sunrise

aka ginger warlock
V.I.P.
I read on the BBC news the other day that 1 in 10 children will have a mobile phone by the time they are five years old. I struggle to understand why any child of that age could possibly need a mobile. I remember growing up (oh god I am turning into someone who will soon start saying "back in my day...!") I was not allowed a mobile phone but back then they were very new (I am now 30) and phone boxes were still a staple. I remember asking my mum for a phone and she would give me 20p, I would ask her what it was for and she would reply "for the phone box if you need to reach me".

Now things have changed and we are in a world where communication is seemingly more important than blood but I do not think there should ever be a situation where a parent does not know where their child is and must rely on a mobile phone to know, to me that is bad parenting.
 

Barbara

Ess Tii Eph Yu
V.I.P.
I guess it depends on how active my child will be and what my work schedule is like.

Ideally I wouldn't want my child to have a phone until they start driving. I would worry to much if they didn't have one in case their car broke down but it would be a basic phone. Anything more than that they would have to pay for with their own money and the additional coverage would also be covered by them.

Realistically if I was a single parent trying to keep track of little Jimmy my ideals would go out the window. It's a different age we live in and I would want to make sure that my child would always be able to call me in case of an emergency or if I was running late to pick him up I would want to be able to let them know.

In the end I guess it depends on how well I am able to work my schedule around parenting.
 
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