Kids and Cell Phones?

  1. I would just like an idea of what's out all you parents, do your kids has cell phones, and if so, how old are they and how old were they when they got their phones. Also, what kinds of rules, if any do they have regarding the phone.

    Thanks in advance!!!
  2. My 13 year old sister just got a cell phone. My dad bought it for her so he can keep in touch with her since he is separating from my mom and moving out of our house.
    There aren't many rules she has to obey for her phone. My mom just requests that she use the phone only when it is truly necessary because my mom is a worry wart and fears the idea of getting brain tumours from accumulated use.
  3. My little niece just got a cell phone for Xmas, she's 7! I think thats a little too young, but, whatever floats your boat!
  4. My cousin is nine and has one. It is only be be used for emergencies and my aunt is very STRICT about that.
  5. My brother is 12 (large age gap here!). He has a pay as you go phone to control usage. He only uses it for calling my parents or other kids/parents in regards to rides or emergencies. However, he is on my parent's home line non stop. That's another story though!
  6. T got one when he was 10. Thats when I started leaving him alone for short stints while I ran up to the store or something along those lines and I wanted him to have a way to get in touch with me (I don't have a landline). We have 700 shared anytime minutes, so we rarely go over..with the rollover minutes and such, so it's not a big deal how much he uses it. I just tell him to keep his text msgs to a minimum. So far he's only lost it once in 2 years, but I had a back up to replace it. I think that's pretty good for being in school and outside playing..basically being a kid.
  7. I don't have any children of my own, but if I did I'd get the kid a cell phone as soon as he or she was old enough to work it properly. I remember getting separated from my mom at the mall as a kid, and it would give me great reassurance knowing that I could just call my child up and arrange for somewhere to meet, should that happen. I'd just feel safer, is all.
  8. From USA Today:

    Disney Mobile family cellphone service helps parents keep track of kids
    Updated 7/26/2006 11:15 PM ET

    Your kids would love a cellphone. In exchange, they promise to clean their room and do their homework. You're happy to give them one — especially for safety reasons, provided they don't rack up excess text messaging and other charges.
    But do youngsters want a phone letting you tightly control how many minutes they use — plus, who they call and when they call? Do they want a phone letting you track their location via GPS?
    These are the main questions surrounding the recently launched Disney Mobile family cellphone service I've been testing with two LG DM-L200 handsets. While such location tracking and other features exist in other family-oriented cellphones, Disney is nicely putting the various elements together. Walt Disney may seem an unlikely wireless carrier, but Disney Mobile is no Mickey Mouse operation.
    The LG phones are one of two handsets that work with the new service; Pantech supplies the other. Disney Mobile is a prime example of a company selling phone service under its own brand. Sprint is the underlying carrier.
    Disney marketers say these are cellphones that "parents and teens can agree on." We'll see. I suspect Mom and Dad will appreciate the phones more than the kids.
    Disney resisted phones with, say, mouse-shaped ears, lest it turn off the 11-to-15-year olds the company has in mind. The red and silver LG handsets aren't half-bad looking; Disney hopes the design will appeal to both parents and kids.
    Not all features are working yet; you cannot access Radio Disney from the phones, for instance. But most others are in place:
    •Controlling purse strings. You buy two or more phones when you sign up for service. One parent with the "parent" phone becomes the designated "family manager," setting monthly spending allowances for the "child" handset. The parent sets voice minutes, text messaging, picture messaging and downloads. This is easily accomplished by accessing a Family Center menu on the phone. The parent receives alerts when a child is bumping up against spending limits and can adjust allowances accordingly on the fly. Quibble: While you can change the allowance amounts via the parent phone, from a minimum sum to "unlimited," you cannot choose "zero" to prevent a kid, say, from doing any text messages.
    •Alerts. You can dash off text alerts to the kid's phones, tapping out your own messages or choosing among a dozen pre-written messages ("Running late — be there soon!" "Can U get a ride?").
    •Restricting numbers. At the Disney Mobile website, you can enter up to 20 phone numbers your kid can never access; 900 numbers are already prohibited. You can also enter phone numbers that will always be on, regardless of other calling restrictions, such as your office number or a relative's numbers. By default, your child can always dial 911 and reach other numbers that are part of the family plan.
    You can also restrict the days and times your kid can call. Disney says parents will be able to set those directly from the handsets, and not just the Web, next year.
    •Shopping. You can buy ring tones and images on the phone from the Vault Disney archives. But the menu is buried. Meanwhile, an easier-to-find menu dubbed Shop Family doesn't actually let you shop for anything. Instead, it's a repository, Disney says, for such things as system updates.
    •Locate me. The Disney GPS service worked quite well. It takes up to a minute or so. Based on tests in Northern New Jersey and Manhattan, the service seemed reasonably accurate — generally within 50 yards.
    On Sprint location phones I've tested, youngsters receive text alerts each time they are being tracked; they don't know they're being tracked on the Disney phone. Parents cannot set up "safety checks," as with Sprint, that let them know when a child has arrived at a designated location.
    As part of the basic service, a parent gets five free location requests per month, after which they pay 49 cents each. That seems high.
    At $110 each, the LG phones aren't cheap, either. (Pantech's phones are $60.) A monthly family plan with two lines and 450 daytime minutes starts at $60. Additional lines cost $10 a month (on top of the cost of an extra phone).
    The Disney Mobile phones mostly perform as advertised. Let the negotiations with your kids begin.

  9. my nephew is turning 9 in a few months, and he wants one. however, his parents feel he is still too young... he is rarely allowed anywhere unsupervised, so it's not too much of an issue when it comes to emergencies. i think once he's around 12-13 years old, they'll give him one.
  10. I knew a girl whose brother got a cell when he was in grade 4. Personally, I feel that kids do not need cell phones at that age- what could be so urgent at their age that they need to text their friends in the middle of class... "omg this class is so boring?" lol. I think that I will give my kids cells when they start needing it. Like when they start going out with their friends a lot more, and they would need a cell to call me, and I can check up on them :p
  11. So many young kids have cell phones these days. I didn't have one until I was around 17 and I was fine!
  12. I'll admit that I always said that my kids wouldn't get one until they started driving.

    Well....we upgraded our phones in October and decided to get one for our kids (12 and 9). It's mostly for the 12 year old as he has started going places without us. He even takes it snowboarding so if he and DH get separated on the slopes, they can find each other. My 9 year old likes to use it when we go shopping...although she's never alone. The only calls she gets are from her Daddy;) She carries it in her (like her Mommy!)

    It stays at home unless we give it to them and they definitely don't take it to school.
  13. I got my first cell phone when I was 11. I never asked for it and I was never a kid that always hung out with friends. Dad just brought one home one day and it just sorta stuck.
  14. Wow, I am really surprised how many people here support cell phones for young children. I can see the pros and cons of both sides. Thanks everyone for your feedback!
  15. I'm not a parent, but I didn't get one until I was 15 1/2. I got it a few months before I turned 16, so I could figure out how to use it, my dad wasn't going to let me drive without one.

    Like you said I can see the pros and cons to letting younger kids have them. I teach 12 and 13 year olds and I would say damn near EVERY kid has a phone.