When You Should Get Your Child a Cell Phone

by Emma W.R. on July 6, 2016

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What age is too young when talking cell phone?  For as long as cell phones have been around, this seems to be an ongoing debate amongst parents.  So, in my opinion, when you should get your child a cell phone is a personal decision that needs to be made on an individual basis. 

Having a cell phone is a huge responsibilities and not all children at the same age are ready to take on that responsibility.  In my house, it was important for me to give my fourth grader a cell phone.  She holds herself on a high level and was going to be walking home (just two quiet blocks) from school alone and would be there for about fifteen to thirty minutes alone.  I wanted to know she could reach me in case any type of situation can up.  Cell phones are a great way to stay in touch anytime, anywhere.

Her having a cell phone has become a great convenience to both of us.  We can connect with each other to inform each other about plans and schedules.  It has also given both of us a sense of safety that I never expected.  I know she is always just a call or text away and she knows the same about me.

“Look for the developmental signs,” says Lori Evans, MD, director of training in psychology at the NYU Child Study Center. “Does your child lose his belongings? Is he generally a responsible kid? Can you trust him? Will he understand how to use the phone safely? The rate at which kids mature varies—it will even be different among siblings.”

You need to consider many issues when deciding when you should give your child a cell phone.  Whatever decision you make, be sure to discuss the pros and cons with your child and review the rules they need to adhere to in order to keep this luxury.  That’s right.  I said luxury.  A cell phone is a privilege and your child should appreciate it.  If you feel comfortable in your decision, don’t worry about what others are doing.

 

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Priscilla January 29, 2018 at 1:59 pm

My daughter is 7 years old and has a cell phone. I am a single mom and she sees her dad three times a week. So I got her a cell phone only for emergencies. She takes it with her when she goes out with her dad in case she needs me for anything. When she is with me she doesn’t use her phone. I also wanted her to take her cellphone to school in case of an emergency but it is not allowed. Nowadays not even schools are safe so I think children should have a way to communicate with their parents in case of emergencies.

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Cheryl January 17, 2017 at 10:15 am

My children get their phone for the 16th birthday. The phone comes with the driver’s permit.

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Shelly Smith September 21, 2016 at 10:13 am

I think when a child starts to walk by themselves to school, would be a good time to give them a cell phone. In the beginning, using it for emergency purposes would make the child feel safe. If anything happens, they can call their parents to let them know.

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Patty Wright September 21, 2016 at 10:08 am

I really believe that a child should get a cell phone when they are fully responsible. With the prices of phones these days, and without responsibility, they will end up cracked, lost, or broke. It’s really up to the parents to make that decision.

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Netta September 1, 2016 at 9:43 am

I wasn’t allowed to have a phone until I could drive. With social media and games and so much on the phones I’m especially hesitant to give one to my kids when they are young, but there is so much pressure with all their friends getting them.

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Jessie P August 4, 2016 at 3:31 pm

I have twins, now 21. When they entered middle school, age 12 or 13, they SHARED a cell phone! I don’t think if we were faced with this decision again now that we would have been able to convince them to share one! It worked surprisingly well at the time though! I think parents want kids to have a cell phone these days at an increasingly younger age for safety reasons, more than anything else.

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Marc July 28, 2016 at 1:11 pm

Once my kids start high school they can have phones. Not necessary yet.

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Shelby July 25, 2016 at 1:08 pm

My children are not allowed to have a phone until they are driving, unless they go to schools in another town. There is no need.

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Lindsey July 22, 2016 at 3:44 pm

I got a cellphone when I started middle school. When is a child younger than that going to be on their own without an adult present? I really don’t agree with a young child having their own cell phone.

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Diana July 19, 2016 at 12:53 pm

I didnt get one until I was 19! Now I see 8 year olds walking around with an iPhone. Nuts!

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