Mr. fargonefarm has a niece who is in the third grade. He told me this morning that her parents will be giving her a cellphone for Easter this year. I expressed my dismay (which started an argument) about the niece getting a cellphone when she is so young. At her age it is highly unlikely (I hope) that she would be anywhere without adult supervision. I just think that she is waaaayyy too young to have a cellphone. I think any kid that age is. What on earth do kids that age need cellphones for any way? IMHO, this whole cellphone thing has gotten way out of hand when you're buying them for kids.
Anyone agree/disagree? And at what age do you think kids should have them? I'm honestly curious!
My son got a prepaid, pre-programmed, very restricted cell phone when he was about 12. This was primarily because we didn't have a home phone and he needed something for when he got home from school before us. No camera, no texting, only able to call the numbers (and receive calls from the numbers) that we allowed. He's now 15 and his phone is still very restricted.
It's amazing how many people think we're cruel or harsh for not letting him have "freedom". As though having a cell phone somehow has anything to do with "freedom". It boggles the mind....
My DD did get a cell phone for her 15th birthday as a freshman in HS. I discovered much to my annoyance that my provider charges per text regardless of whether you open it or not, so a basic plan was not so basic as you might think. The minute the number got out to friends somebody was bound to text "by accident". Our family plan also doesn't offer VM to any but the primary account so texting is a great way to leave a message to be picked up later.
I don't know how you would control use during school hours. I hope that my DD turns hers off, which is the deal we had.
I think that's way too young. There is no reason for a 3rd grader to have a cell phone. I didn't get mine until I was a sophomore in high school. Sure, I wanted one before then, but honestly I didn't really need it. When my dad dropped me off at football games or whatever freshman year, he would leave me with his so that I could call the home phone when the game was almost over. I didn't have unlimited texting (to Verizon only, and 250 to outside Verizon) until college when I needed because of communications in the IHSA team were exceeding my previous plan.
My DBF's daughter got a cell phone from her aunt this year and neither her father or I were too thrilled about it. She is going to be 14. We gave her a prepaid phone last year for her to make emergency calls with. She did not like it and begged for a regular cell phone. We said, "No". I do not think a young child should be carrying around an expensive cell phone. MAAAAYBE when they are in high school, but middle school and elementary school. NO!
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Grade three would be what...eight years old? Or close to it, anyway. That is far too young to have a cell phone.
My four year old grand-daughter announced last November that she wanted a Nintendo DS for Christmas. Her mother informed her that she could earn an allowance by doing simple chores, and when she had saved up enough, she was welcome to buy one.
Neither of our kids got cellphones until they were freshmen in highschool - then they ended up having sports and away games, and needed to let us know when or where to pick them up. We didn't get them texting until they were sophomores. Neither phone has web access, either. We will get DD a iphone or a droid as a go-to-college present - son doesn't want one.
I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry
I had a cell phone when I started highschool (grade 9, I was 13), but it was for emergencies only. I *could* have made any calls I wanted, but my parents explained to me that they gave it to me because I was commuting 2.5 hours each way and they wanted me to be able to call if anything happened on the roads. I had a calling card to call home from a pay phone at school if necessary, and the phone was in my bag.
Any earlier than that, especially with no reason? Not going to happen in my house.....
I got mine when I got my drivers liscence. That way I could call parents or AAA in case of emergency. As long as kids are young enought to be under adult supervision then the adults around them have cell phones in case of emergency.
My third grader has one. It is "locked", for the most part. No texts at all, and can only call out or receive calls from us and the grandparents. Consider this:
My son is in the Spring production at the high school. The HS is approx 20 minutes from our house ... a fairly long drive to just "pop over" to. So, rather than hubby or I trying to re-arrange our schedules to be home when he gets off the bus, wait 20 minutes, then cart him over the hs, we just had him ride the bus from the elementary school to the high school. No big deal, right? Well, he is still a 9 year old on the high school campus (which is HUGE) all alone. Also, even though he is supposed to be finished at a certain time, practices have been running over. It's nice for him to be able to communicate with us, and us know he's fine rather than worrying and wondering, and making unnecessary drives.
I dont have kids, so take it for what its worth. I would give a pre-programmed phone to a young child, if it had a long cord that attached to a school bag (point being to not lose the phone). If all they can call is home/mom cell/dad cell and office numbers I don't see what the problem is. In emergencies, or say when lost it would be very helpful. I don't see the downside if its a restricted phone.
I will avoid getting my daughter a cell phone as long as possible.
That said, there are valid reasons for getting one. Many of her friends have them.
#1 reason is because the parents are divorced... and it's the only way they can be reliably reached, by friends or by parents, because they don't live in the same house all week.
#2 reason is because the parents both work and sometimes need to be able to make last minute alternate arrangements for after school pickup and the like. This is especially true if the parents don't work locally and may get hung up due to traffic or weather or mechanical failure.
If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket
Kids in 30's and 40's so not really applicable BUT I can see a very limited phone for emergency contact only. I don't have a cell phone and see very little reason to be attached to the world 24/7. I MAY consider a prepaid Trac phone for emergency calls if my work involves long travel or night hours on the roads. Otherwise my land line works fine...leave a message and I'll get back when I choose to.
I got mine in fifth grade and only because I was an only child. My parents worked ALOT and had a hard time finding reliable help. One time my nanny forgot to pick me up from practice after school and I was there until nearly 9. I had just been sitting on the curb waiting for someone to come get me and a police officer pulled up.
I've had a cellphone since then. But, I clearly understood that it was not a toy and I could call 5 people--parents, grandparents, and a neighbor. That was it.
My niece got her cellphone when she was about 9 or so, a cheesy one with no features, prepaid...(after upgrades from the adults in the family)
My kid had one, but lost it. one of the cheap prepaid ones, limited features etc...
I saw kids at a school function a couple of years back (for elementary and middle school kids) that had iPhones and all such things. (granted a DS is about as expensive as an iPhone or razor or whatever... I was flabberghasted)
However, while it is not likely they are going to be without adult supervision, these days you perry much have to have a cellphone.
For one thing, in case of emergency, since payphones are slowly going by way of dodo bird...
and then you don't want to have your kid being singled out. Bad enough when they only get a cheap prepaid number...
But I am not a fan of cellphones.
NOT AT ALL....hate them.
My son is 10 and my daughter is 8. They both have a cell phone. BUT, it is limited, no internet and they can only carry it when I tell them to. If there is a chance we will be seperated, yes, I have them take them. At horse shows, big events and when things might get confusing with school activities. They have our numbers and another adult for emergency contacts. I do think they are to young to have the phone except for certain circumstances.