At what age did you give your child their first mobile phone?

mobiles - mobile phones
@Humbug25 (12551)
August 27, 2008 5:51pm CST
I recently visited a friend and was surprised to hear that she had given her 8 year old son a mobile phone. Then she told me that he only has it when he goes out on his own to play at the park that is around the corner and down the street a bit. She can contact him whenever she likes and he too can call her if he has a change of plan and go to his friends. My eldest son is 7 but giving him a mobile phone right now, or even in January when he turns 8, is the furthest thing from my mind. At what age do you think is ok to give your child a mobile phone? When did you first give your child a mobile phone and for what reasons did you have for giving them it?
3 people like this
31 responses
• United States
28 Aug 08
This is something that I discuss with my Boyfriend often and we have totally different views. I do not like the idea of giving a child a cell phone. I understand the idea behind being able to contact your child whenever you want to see what he/she is doing, but what happened to the time before cell phones?? Shouldnt you know what your child is doing and where he/she is?? I did not get a cell phone till I was 18 and purchased it myself. I think that giving a child a cell phone when they are young could possibley create future problems.
2 people like this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hello andoalpha I would like to wait until my son can buy his own and pay for his own credit but I don't think that will ever happen, he earns pocket money for helping me and for good behaviour but at the moment he is neither earning much nor saving much for the things he wants!! Cheers
• United States
28 Aug 08
I didn't get one until I was 13, and actually, I didn't think it was worth spending the 40 dollars a month so I had my parents cancel it. Hah. Well, I would guess 10 would be good enough for a cheap cell phone, just in case of emergencies, and stuff.
2 people like this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hello emiilyiero Wow that was really responsible of you at that age and I bet your parents were very happy with you. Cheers
• United States
28 Aug 08
I can't imagine what a child would need a mobile phone at eight years old for... the only kind of phone I think would be acceptable would be the custom kiddie phone I've seen around. The child wouldn't be able to dial out for anything, as it would not have a number pad; instead, it would have two buttons you could program: one for Mom, and one for Dad (though I imagine you could make one the house and one your work, or any other variation you pleased). That way, you wouldn't have to worry about the child racking up bills that aren't necessary; you could give it to them only if you think they'd need it. For the record, I am not a parent. However, I was very recently a kid myself, and I did not want nor need a cell phone until I was fourteen, as a freshman in high school. I think that's about the right time for a kid to get one anyway.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hi there stagewhisper Yes I think this type of phone as a first time phone and for a younger child is definately a good idea. I take it you weren't bothered that all the other kids around you had phones then? Cheers
• United States
28 Aug 08
Haha, actually, no I wasn't bothered at all. Few of my friends had/used their cell phones all that often (most of us just left the things at home or turned off 90% of the time). Of course, this was about six years ago, so a lot has changed even in that short period of time. But the thing is, I refused to get myself a cell phone a) because I didn't see the point and b) because my parents said that if I wanted one I'd have to pay for it myself. Funny; because I showed no interest at all, they bought me a nifty cell phone and took care of most of the bill (all $5.00 of it for the first few months, lol).
1 person likes this
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
28 Aug 08
Our older two didn't have cell phones until they left home and purchased them on their own. We provided our youngest with a tracfone at age 13 when he became involved in extracurricular activities at school and we needed to be in touch with him about his schedule. We provided a limited amount of minutes and those were to be used to keep in touch with us and not for calling friends.
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hi ya newtondak Sorry but what is a tracfone? Did you check his mobile to make sure he had only spent the credit on the phone to only call you or was it on the bill or did you trust him not to bother checking? Cheers
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
28 Aug 08
A tracfone is a prepaid phone - you buy the phone and cards that activate a certain amount of minutes. We didn't check to see who he was calling, but we didn't provide a lot of minutes - he couldn't use them to call his friends or he wouldn't have enough to call us and for us to call him when necessary.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
28 Aug 08
Our daughter got hers when she was 13. She informed me that she was the first child ever to reach that great age never having had one! I pointed out that I was (then) 44 and didn't have one, but being born in the Stone Age I didn't count apparently!! The previous year or two had been a constant litany of "If you cared about my safety you'd let me have one" or "Jessicamelanissarahjasminejuliesophiemelanie have got one". When I enquired what they did with theirs is became clear that calling each other across the playground was a favourite. Call me old fashioned, but I am of the view that if I want to talk to my friend and they are in the same room (or playground) as me; then I will walk up to them and ask my question or whatever. This daring and radical thought had clearly not penetrated the space that she likes to call her head, or her friends heads either it would appear. Personally I think that children at primary school don't need one. But don't let yourself be undermined by the peer pressure on him. These things are expensive toys at that age in my opinion. If he really needs one for some reason; why not have a family mobile that you control and that he can take with him if necessary. Good luck.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hi p1kef1sh If my son is gonna be anything like your daughter then it sounds like I am gonna need all the luck I can get cheers!! . He told me he wanted one the other week but it fell on deaf ears and he hasn't mentioned it since. Having said that he also wants a DS, PSP, PS3, and a Wii! I think a family phone sounds like a good idea, his brothers are only 2 and 4 years younger than him so I would imagine they will all hang out together at some point. I know I must be strong and not give in! Cheers
@p1kef1sh (45640)
28 Aug 08
I must make her sound awful. She's not really. Just has her moments. But then she's a girl!!! Thank you for the BR. Good luck with whatever decision that you come to.
• United States
28 Aug 08
I was around sixteen or seventeen when my mom gave me my first cell phone, but I had to prove that I could handle a cell phone first before I got one. I had to show that I could be responsible. I do not think that parents should give their children cell phones until they can prove that they are ready to handle one. Make you children work for what they want people!
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hi there rogue13men13 That's a good idea, thanks!! Cheers
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Aug 08
Yes, this goes to all parents, if you want your children to be responsible, hardworking, adults, then teach them to work for everything that they get, do not just give things to them, make them really work for it. This teaches them that not everything in life is NOT FREE, and it forces them to be better people. Make your children responsible. When they are 16, they have good grades in school, they are doing some kind of work, and they have not gotten into any trouble, then they may have that cell phone.
• United States
29 Aug 08
my daughter is almost 8 and i dont let her go to playground alone at all yet.nor would i get her a cell phone.. maybe 13 plus is a good age.but i think now is way to young.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
1 Sep 08
Hi there dementia88 I think, like other people have said, it depends on the child, your location and the need for a mobile. Cheers
@GemmaR (8526)
28 Aug 08
Well I got my first mobile phone when I was 10, and I begged my parents for it for ages. I wouldn't say I particularly *needed* a mobile phone until I was about 12 and started secondary school though. My younger brother got one when he was 8, but that was only because my Mum was getting a new one, and she saw no reason why he couldn't have her old one.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hi there GemmaR Thank you so much for your response. Cheers
• United States
28 Aug 08
i think that if you let your kids roam around unwatched, then they should have a quick and easy way to get ahold of you. paying for the monthly phone bill is alot cheaper then paying for private detectives to find them when their missing. As my dads a detective i hear about it alot, kids who where only a few blocks away from their homes, taken...and had a cell phone...where able to secretly call authorities when they had a chance, resulting in them being found, as the police can track down a cell phone's where abouts. i dunno. i would want them to get ahold of me 24/7.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hi ya playmateshorty Well my son isn't really going out on his own yet though he does pop over to his friends house just around the corner from our house but there is always an adult there so I don't worry. It is when he wants to spread his wings a little bit further I think I shall have to think about getting him a mobile. Cheers
@trixyteddy (1072)
• India
28 Aug 08
I gave my sons mobile phones at the ages of 20 and 16 respectively. It was more a necessity for me to reach them, than luxury.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hi there trixyteddy Did they not hastle you before then for one? Cheers
@fatragu (349)
• United States
28 Aug 08
I got my first cellphone at 18. I do think that having one for in the car is a good idea that way if the car breaks down there is a phone for people to call for help on. Same concept as if you are driving and something happens to one of your passengers and you need help. If there is a phone there you can call and get the help you need.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hi ya fatragu Oh yes a mobile is always good to have in case of an emergency. I didn't get my first mobile until I was about 35, I didn't really need one up until then. Cheers
@cher913 (25891)
• Canada
28 Aug 08
my daughter got one at the end of grade 8 (she had turned 14) but even that was too early. all she did was text and run up the bill. (she is 15 and still doesnt have one!) our younger daughter, however, is much more responsible than her older sister but is only 11...we will wait for a few more years yet with her.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hello cher913 You see when I started this discussion I hadn't even thought about my child running up a bill or anything like that but now that worries me too with all the other things!! Cheers
@kalav56 (11503)
• India
28 Aug 08
You would probably think I am an outdated imbecile; My son got his first moble after he finished his first year of his Mangement Degree [as such he is highly qualified and this Management Post graduation from the most prestigious institute in India was only his secondary qualification. He finished his first year of Internship and after that he got his first mobile.Till then he did not ask for it. During his internship he missed this facility because getting in touch with home became slightly difficult for him .Otherwise even in his hostel he had a landline phone in his room.He managed to do without a mobile till his first year of summer internship.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hello kalav56 I think that is the idea for me to do is to actually wait until my son really, really needs one or hastles me so much that I can't possible stand it anymore and I finally give in! Cheers
@chatcat (51)
• United States
28 Aug 08
my aunt gave her son a mobile phone in primary shool though mobile phone was not popular at that time.her purpose is showing off but not communicating with her son. she thought the classmates would not to bully her son if they knew their richness.
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hi there chatcat Welcome to you too to myLot. I think you need to have the correct reasons for supplying a mobile phone to a child and that certainly isn't one of them in my book!! Cheers
• China
28 Aug 08
if i was a child,i don't think a mobile phone is cool.they don't think about it.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hi NeverBreath Welcome to myLot and thankyou for your response
• United States
28 Aug 08
I got my granddaughter a Net10 prepaid phone when she was 8. I got it for her because she lives in an abusive family and needed it for her protection. Illinois doesn't have grandparents rights or she would be living with me. Until I can make that happen, I will do whatever I can to keep her safe. She knows it is for emergencies only and is very good about not using it for anything other than calling me. I make sure she always has minutes on it because I never know when her stepdad is going to go on a tirade.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hey there ldybgsgma99 Awww that really is sad. I would advise you though, that everytime she calls you to try and record her call if you can so that it can be used for evidence should the need be. In England (where I live) if a woman has children and doesn't leave the abusive partner she can have her children taken from her because she is putting the childs life at risk. This must be such a horrible and anxious time for you, you are in my thoughts - take care of yourself and the ones you love! Cheers
@sonusd (1548)
• India
28 Aug 08
Providing mobile phone is at age of 7-8 may be now days become a fashion for parents but in my personal opinion it should not happen as we know that mobile gives a radiation which is harmfull to child very much
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hi there sonusd Yeah that is what I think. Cheers
@iyah10 (4116)
• Kuwait
28 Aug 08
I also post a discussion about this matter friend and was looking for an advice with our friend in here and so I also decide to give a cellphone/mobile to my son which is 13 and a daughter that are living with my Mother in the Philippines and I would surely give it on the time of my vacation and I also think of this matter for a 100 times either I have to give it to them in their age but so sure for now that they will be responsible on it and one thing for sure......
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hi ya iyah10 Sorry I missed your discussion, I might have been on holiday when you started it! So you are able to speak son and daughter in the Philippines then whenever and wherever you like eh? That's nice. Cheers
• China
28 Aug 08
i do think the child need a mobile phone for there are so many things needing mobile phones to do for them
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hello iambaiyunlvshui Yes but you have to still make the decision as what is too young to have one! Cheers
@carl1105 (114)
• China
28 Aug 08
today is my daughter 's 2 years birthday,i have bought a cell phone for her one years ago,but that is only a toy :).in my opinion,if the children can use it and you can afford to it ,then why not to give he one.it is a good way to communicat and contact with child anytime and anywhere.in our country,most family only can have one child,they have really become our center.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
28 Aug 08
Hi carl1105 Hahaha yeah my kids have all had toy mobile phones at some point! Cheers