I don't see the point of giving kids cell phones. I don't plan on getting them for my kids at least until the teen years. Thoughts?
kid cell phones
Depends on the age. I will admit my dd has an iPod touch. With that she can "call" me or her dad via Skype, or FaceTime. For now, that is sufficient. And messaging her is helping her reading funnily enough. LOL But and actual cell phone? Not for a while. DD is only 6 and we homeschool, so she isn't away from us enough for me to feel like it is necessary. When she is, we will reevaluate.
My 9 year old has a cell and has for about 2 years now. DD1 will probably be getting one after she turns 6 this fall. No smart phones at this age. There are many reasons why DD1 has a phone, #1 being she is able to contact us when we are not around which is often. She is on multiple sports teams, she is dropped off at practices where they may not be a phone available to her at all. She is also allowed to have more freedom because of the phone, as in, I allow her to ride her bike to the park alone but she must call before leaving. Sadly, that is a reality in today's world. There are no games on her phone, and she just learned how to text me last month, it is strictly for communication only.
I can think of several times where it would of a disaster had she not of had a cell. She snowboards and we originally bought the phone to keep in her jacket if she got separated from her team or DH. Which she did one day, the team accidentally left her on a narrow tree trail that is not widely used. She was able to call for help. She has also been able to call for help when a neighbor child was injured at the park. Or when our sitter's phone died on the same night that the car died while she was driving DD1 home from a late night practice in the rain on rural roads. On and on. I did have to nix her calling me from school to complain about her lunch but the good vastly outweighs the bad.
Like meemee said, DD1 is in 4th grade as well, many of the kids have cell phones now.
actually a few of them even have iphones. because its so much beyond a phone.
and yes many families are making the decision that they need to have cell phones too. why is that wrong? what is your fear around it.
this is the electronic age. have you ever seen a 9 or 10 year old handle a cell phone? you'd be amazed at all they know. my friends 9 year old taught her mom how to use the iphone. how cool is that.
when dd was younger yeah i thought like you too. now that she is older i can see why cell phones are looked at necessary by many families.
We're a split family. XP has no landline and his cell is unreliable (it's pay as you go and often has no money on it, plus it's always a crappy old busted phone so the signal drops in and out, sometimes he can't hear you, you can't hear him etc.).
ATM we plan carefully and DD is only 6 and i'm able to be a SAHM so we've never had any sort of need for a phone for her. Having said that as she gets older we do plan to have a "family cell" which will be a cheap phone with only phone and text functions (no camera/video/not a smartphone) and with number restrictions (so you can dial our cells, our landline, the G'parents cells, XP's cell and emergency services only) which anyone (admittedly it will be usually DD1) can take if they're going somewhere where having a cell might be a good idea.
I don't really buy the "safety" theory. None of my childhood friends had mobile phones and we all survived, and there are plenty of horrible stories nowadays where a child did have a cell and it made no difference. In fact i think cell phones can be dangerous because they give a feeling of security without offering any which can lead to people being complacent and LESS safe than they would have been without it. And when i was in Primary 5 (8yo) there were plenty of kids with fancy gadgets in my class, my parents didn't seem to think that meant i needed them!
I would plan on getting them a cell phone when they are away from me regularly , say for daily sports practices etc. and need to communicate pick up times, etc, may . I think around 13ish would be how long I am planning on holding out for ideally :) I think younger in a divorced family situation is also appropriate for keeping in touch without the parents having to be in the middle of it. Dsd's mom got her a cell phone last year when she was 10 and it seems like most of her friends have them now, though I have no idea if they have smart phones or not (dsd does not, just a basic phone with no internet). She does, however, also have an ipod touch and a new laptop at her mom's, which seems to be the norm.
I got a cell phone when I got my license for safety reasons and I got my own computer when I graduated high school to take to college. I am tempted to say that if they want these things before those ages, they can buy it themselves (or at least pay half, part? who knows) but my kids are a little too young to make set plans for that now, KWIM?
We have had a 3rd cell phone (which was $10 a month) for a few years. It was my old phone before I switched to the smart phones (DH and I both have one). It was given to my then 3rd and then 4th grader for out of town trips, field trips or sleep overs. It was more of a 911 type thing. Now, for summer camp she carried it to get in touch with our sitter or us. She is wanting to use the texting but mainly uses it to call her cousins and I hear them gabbing it up. Another SIL/BIL broke down and gave their daughter a phone on their plan as well after she complained my daughter had one. It actually was for the better, her father is out of town a lot and now he calls her directly on "her phone" and she talks to him. Then he calls his wife/SIL on her phone and the daughter is not hanging on to talk to him and they can actaully talk like grown ups.
All the phones have unlimited voice and text and we pay for a combined data plan on our smart phones.
This fall she will carry it to school. All the cell phone carriers have to drop it off in the front office before the first bell. Both of my kids are at the same school one in 1st and my older in 5th. Next year, I will have the second grader carry one since she will be at the elementary while her sister is at the middle school. I am working again and there will be a sitter after school so yes the kids need to be in touch with her.
Both my kids can operate the smart phones better than the adults. My 18 yr nephew and another 17 yr niece gave my ILs a few lessons on using their iphones. My BIL has them both on refurbished iphones that he has on his bill. I might add they are 81. Its a sign of the times. My nephew has been as I lovingly call him my "cell phone bitch" for several years. He is a techie nut and has always programed all his parents stuff etc and mine since about age 12. I mentioned it to an out of town relative and she started the same after she bought an ipad. She came back to me and said how wonderful this nephew is!! He walked her thru this and that etc.
The point? Easy and efficient communication.
I like being able to communicate (voice or text) directly with my children. Third parties are unreliable. Messages get delayed or lost or misunderstood. I spent a bad afternoon trying to track down my DD because a school secretary failed to pass on a message. We missed an important appointment that had been set up months in advance. After that, I bought phones for both kids, who were 10 and 13 at the time (or maybe 9 and 12, I don't recall exactly). Then I wondered why I hadn't done it sooner. They were involved in many extra-curricular activities and I was working and traveling in a large city with lots of heavy traffic. It was so much easier when I could speak directly to them about plans, pick up and drop offs, alterations in schedules etc. It's also nice just to exchange a quick text during the course of the day to say hello and have a bit of contact. Kind of like a wave in passing. When you have a bunch of busy people in a family, it can be a nice little reminder that you are thinking about someone.
If an adult finds it useful to have a phone for communication purposes, why wouldn't a kid also find it useful? Of course it isn't necessary for anyone, adult or child, to have a cell phone. Humans also lived for millenia without phones of any kind. Or computers. Or motorized vehicles. Or airplanes. Or sanitation systems. Yet many today have found these items to be pretty useful. If you and your children don't need the kind of communication tool offered by cell phones, then that's fine. Many find it helpful though.
DD1 is 13 .... probably the only one in her class NOT to have a cell phone
i do hope it's not going to damage her psychologically ... i don't see the point really, her school is about 15 min to 20 min's walk from home (& she has a bus pass) , i'm a SAHM so when the kids are not at school, i'm around
DH and I used to have cell phones, we haven't had for the past 4 years
i did worry last skiing holiday... that i wouldn't be able to register DD1 and DS for a 2 hours ski lesson since we do not own a cell phone// nor let DD2 at daycare for 3hours per morning for the same reason .... we definitely ARE given funny looks !
+ at middle school i was the only parent to raise hand and ask what was their policy to report absentee kids to parents without a cell phone = not by texting ...
i don't think owning a cell phone is a REAL need,
i agree it can be very convenient at times
but i also think that it's a big distraction from school work (and other past times)
My 12 yo has an iPhone. I gave her my old one when I got the newer version. I'm a bit of a technology whore like that. She loves music, so it's her iPod too. :) She was asking for an mp3 player, so I figured why not? I feel good that she has a phone, because she normally goes with her two younger siblings to the corner store and to the park and other such neighbourhood excursions, where I feel better knowing that they can get in touch, and that I can reach them. I don't think she NEEDS one, but she sure does love it.
I guess I see your points, although what did parents do back in the day before cell phones?? Why are we so reliant on them now? I'm a SAHM and we don't have any extracurricular activities and I plan on keeping it that way for as long as possible so my kids won't be needing them. If they have to talk to me on the phone at school or a friends house they can have the parent or adult hand them there own phone.
I was a sahmom for 10 years. And believe me, they come in handy.
What did parents do before cell phones? Missed things or spent gas driving around and around looking for someone's house or child whatever. And very late a lot of times.
I didn't get my first cell phone until I was 17! So no, I do not plan on getting my young child a phone any time soon. My oldest is 7. The earliest will probably be 12/13 and it will be a cheapy pay as you go that is just a phone. No need to surf the internet. I AM a parent that has 3 children that NEVER use the computer. They use my ipad for youtube videos, but I could care less if it is the technology age and will NOT be buying a 400$ phone for a young child.
We had a third phone that my kids shared when they were in elementary school. Who ever needed it, had it. When they entered 7th grade they each got their own cell phones. They were on our plan and we share minutes and had unlimited texts. We live close to both middle and high schools so they had them so we could communicate. If they were staying after school and the office was closed they had no way of getting to a phone. There are no pay phones any more. My ds1 just got a data package 3 weeks ago. He is on 2 highly competitive teams that communicate via e mail and I want him to be more responsible for his own scheduling. But, since dd is 18 and just got a new laptop that's attached to her at all times she has phone and text.
Umph! I didn't get a cell phone until I was 40 years old. Why? Because they hadn't been invented yet! (at least for mass consumption).
My family lives in a city of almost 9 million people. We rely on public transport to get around the city and there are times during the day when we are not in an areas where we can use landlines. We've had a history of black-outs, terrorists attacks, inability to get places because of things beyond our control. The potential of getting separated in large crowds is not funny to me. DD's only almost six right now, but I imagine that we will get her a phone between the 8 - 10 range. None, I mean none, of the pay phones work anymore in my town...in fact, you would be hard pressed to find even the broken ones.
Having cell phones in the family is a safety issue for us. I would feel better knowing that DD could get in touch with me and I with her. It's not about being a spoiled brat or being ridiculous or any of those things. It is about setting up a system in our family that works for us. If not having a cell phone for your kid works for you and your family, then that's awesome! I find them to be a great option given my circumstances. Some people might argue that it is simply a convenience. To me, it rises way above that level. It is about peace of mind and safety.