Would you buy your 11 year old a cell phone?

Mother and child - Mother and child standing together with the child still holding on to the apron strings.
United States
January 19, 2007 9:44pm CST
I'm the most horrible person in the world right now because I won't shell out for a cell phone. I think 11 is way to young for that kind of responsibility. Her biggest argument is that all her friends have them, and she is right, I've seen 8 and 9 year olds with them outside the school when I'm picking the kids up. We also get calls from her friends after 8p.m. and sometimes as late as 11 p.m. So that tells me that either parents don't know they are using the phones that late, or they just don't care.
17 people like this
148 responses
@chertsy (3804)
• United States
20 Jan 07
Where would a 11 year old go that would need a cell phone. I don't let my 10 year old go anywhere alone without me taking her there. Cell phones are the least of my worries. Kids today don't know the dangers. Look on the news, a boy was found after being taken from his family of four years. 3 years ago, a young girl was taken from her home, she was waiting for the school bus. When my 10 year old waits for the bus, I watch til she steps on the bus. With the friends calling around 8, is because with most plans it's free to call and receive calls after 8. At 11 my kids are asleep even on weekends. Just tell her to write out a list of reasons why she has to have one. Then you give a list of reasons why you think she shouldn't. And see which out weighs the other. They have those phones now that's just for kids. That you can program yourself. Good Luck.
• United States
20 Jan 07
I'm the same way, I watch till both my kids get into the school before I drive off.
1 person likes this
@mansha (6301)
• India
20 Jan 07
why do kids need cellphones at all. look at us we survived without them fine and we could always pop in to a phone booth to cal,l our parents in case of emergency and even scholl used to ring up parents about anything untoward. I think few people with plenty of money are out to spoil kids, if your son gets kidnap first thing kidnappers will do is throw away the cellphone and if kisd is ill school will infornm you what other emergency are parents talking about while givi9ng cellphones to the kids. I think you are right let her use the landline to call and recieve phone calls from her friemds and if I were in your place I woul have refused to call her to the phone aftwer bed time. She should be clear about rules in her house. it can not be becuase other person has a thing so she should have it too. if yuou relent then it will laways be friends have plasma TV why can't we type stuff. just because all kids have something it need not be tht you have to buy her one too. explain that to her.
3 people like this
• Pakistan
20 Jan 07
childern dont ask for cell phone so they can use them in case of emergency so i think there is no solid reason why u should buy ur childern cell phones at such a early age
@jenbatres (800)
• United States
20 Jan 07
My oldest got a cell phone at 8, I think she was ready for it and she takes care of her cell phone. She has cheerleading at the park next to our development, and I like the idea that she has her phone because sometimes she rides her bike to practice with her best friend. It is a good way to always know where your child is when they are with friends. I use a prepaid verizon phone for my daughter, but she will be going on to my verizon family share plan soon and we will be passing the prepaid down to the next child. Best of luck
2 people like this
• United States
20 Jan 07
I agree if your child is in some after school sports or programs the cell phone might be a good idea.
@rsmith512 (1561)
• United States
21 Jan 07
I totally agree 100 percent with everything that you said. I walk home(sometimes when the weather permits) with my mom and my four other sibings in elementary. And, I will see lttle bitty kids talking on a cell phone and I am thinking..."Aren't you a little younger to be caring around a cell phone calling everybody?". But, I guess what do their parents care. They are the ones that gave it to them! I think that even in middle school you are still a little young. And, you don't need to be calling your friends at 11 pm. That is just way to late. And this is what I would be thinking in my head..."Umm, why are you calling this late? Does your parents know that you are on the phone? If you wanted to call you should have called sooner. What time did you get off school? You had plenty of time to call..." And so on. I would be mad if I a little child called that late! But, still I think that an 11 year old is toooo young to have a cell phone, along with the responsibility, and understanding how much money it is! :D WOW!
2 people like this
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
21 Jan 07
I agree with you there too! That is way too late for a child to be calling anyone. And I would hope that the parents would have enough sense to check the phone log/details of the bills to see that the child is on the phone so late. Kids need their sleep for school! It is bad enough that as adults we are sleep deprived....children should be asleep by that time so they are more alert in school! And as for a child calling my house that late...I have told the child that there are no phone calls to my house after 9 pm!!! If they want to talk to my child, it will wait until a more appropriate time or tomorrow at school. That seems to stop them from calling. :)
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jan 07
There is no need for a kid to have a cell phone before there at least 15 or 16. And that is only to avoid all the problems of why didn,t you call if you were going to be late and situations like that or for emergancys.
2 people like this
@shatman (727)
20 Jan 07
i think people should have a mobile phone before they are 15 or 16. i mean im 16 and use my phone all the time, and have done for many years. i think you should have a phone for secondary school so about 13 years old
• United States
21 Jan 07
I agree with you. I think 11 is way too young for that kind of responsibility. Besides my gosh...we lived without a phone strapped to our sides and we did ok. I can't imagine why or what could be so important that she would need it on her. Cell phones are not cheap and hey, my 24 year old has a hard time keeping track of it. LOL Cell phones are pretty much banned at schools and that's where they are most of the time. I can see maybe 15 or 16 if they do after school stuff and need picking up or rides home. I also had a rule about no calls after 9pm (in or OUT). We (and other parents) like down time too after a long day.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jan 07
The teenagers at work joke about how they sit in class text messaging each other and the teachers do not know about it. So I imagine the Jr. High classes do it also.
@7nicole1 (1634)
• Canada
21 Jan 07
in the US this appears to be a big thing. I work for a US cell company but live here in Canada, the kids here tend to get them about 13, 14 years old but i talk to parents everyday from the US that are getting them for their kids.....the youngest child that i know of was 5....i can't think why a 5 year old would need one.....i get the text messaging thing, i do it to, but cmon, if your getting it so IF your kid gets into trouble and can call someone than why don't the parents keep a better eye on them and save the $40.00 a month. good topic.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jan 07
I never realized the response I would get on this topic, it is hard to keep up with everyone. I've received alot of advice pro and con on the subject. But I am going to stick to my belief that she does not need one right now. She turns 12 in a few months, I'll consider it maybe, hhhmm maybe not.
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
21 Jan 07
Personally...I agree with you. 11 years old is too young. I can not imagine my 8 or 9 year old (and I have both of those ages) having a cell phone! We do have cell phones in my house instead of a house land line. But that is because with adding a family line is cheaper than getting a land line. Plus, when we call each other's phone, it does not cost us minutes. So, my partner has a cell, I have a cell, and the house has a cell. But I would never send a cell with my 8 or 9 yr old. However, my teens...13, 14, and 16 yr olds...I have sent the house cell with them when they go out with friends or a school game/function. This way they have it to call me in case of emergency or to pick them up. AND that means I can call that child to check on him or her. But 11 yrs old....I am sorry...I do not think they should have a cell that young.
1 person likes this
@ghalayini (122)
• Australia
21 Jan 07
I don't think it has to do with age but responsibility. With prepaid phones you can limit the use of the phone. However, the lateness of the calls is a problem and perhaps there can be an agreement on him/her handing the phone over when they go to bed.
• India
20 Jan 07
age doesnt decide whether to have a cell fone or not,maturity decides that!if you feel that your child is ready for it,if she's responsible enough,can take care of her mobile and wont indulge into any wrong deeds,then go for it.but make sure you trust her completely on this .
1 person likes this
• India
20 Jan 07
I think 11 years is too early to get her cell phone but what she do.....I mean she cant pressurize her desires everytime she see her friend`s cell phone. I think you get her phone and ask her to use economically
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jan 07
For emergencies - So many things are happening today I just think it is a good idea for that purpose. We see all the time on the news how children are using their sell phones in cases of emergencies to help themselves, family, or friends, etc.. If you feel your daughter is responsible enough to handle one than I would give her one. Not because her friends have one but if she has to walk home from school, etc.. you can always reach her. At first I did not think my daugther needed one (even though my daughter is older than your daugther) but it has made such a difference. I can reach her and she can reach me at anytime when necessary.
• Australia
20 Jan 07
if you are buying a mobile phone for a young child i have seen on the net phones you can buy that will just call there parents check them out on this website there pretty clever (www.fireflymobile.com) i dont think children that young should have a mobile unless it is something like the phone i was telling you about so i think you are doing the right thing
1 person likes this
@shyam4uall (1003)
• India
20 Jan 07
I don't think there is any issue in giving your child a ceel phone..if you are confident with your child's manner and behaviour..It is true that not every child has the same understanding..so how they would handle the cell phone in public or in their friends in the matter of concern... So its upto you ..to decide whether you want to give a cell phone to your child or not..
@abaskamal (149)
• Malaysia
20 Jan 07
Yes, very good idea. Not so expensive & small m/phone. A basic m/phone is good.
1 person likes this
@wiessied (646)
• United States
20 Jan 07
I think i would probably get one for my kid around that age .
@wiessied (646)
• United States
20 Jan 07
They use the phone at home dont they so no real big difference as long as their responsible.
• United States
20 Jan 07
I can control and monitor the use of the phone at home. No phone calls after 8 p.m. in or out, and she has to check with me before she uses the phone. I also time how long she has been on the phone. She gets 15 min. at the most, I got tired of the hour or more long conversations her and her friends would have. When I told her to hang up, I needed the phone, she would just ignore me. So she has been on phone parole for awhile now.
@gapeach65 (805)
• United States
20 Jan 07
I'm kind of torn here; I don't think a young child (any under 16) should have a cell phone. I really don't think they're mature enough for the responsibility, at this age they're still learning how to use the home phone correctly. However there are circumstances where I think it might be a good idea, like someone mentioned a prepaid phone if they have lessons or practices, that way they can call if they need to be picked up earlier than normal, or need a ride. I have a neighbor (I babysit their daughter) she's almost 10 and has had a cell phone since she was 8. It's a prepaid but she uses it all the time, and they keep adding to it instead of placing limits on it. She never keeps it with her, so I don't agree with her having it, it's just that her parents give her everything she wants (Which I also don't agree with) I guess that's really none of my business though. I have an 8 year old and he won't get a cell phone until he starts to drive like his brother and sisters did.
@medooley (1874)
• United States
20 Jan 07
I agree with you that the prepaid phone is a great idea for kids who may need to have the phone for a specific reason. But there does need to be limits on the amount that they can use it. Also, if I gave my child a phone like that it would be for calling us only. If I saw on the bill them talking to their friends, then they would lose the right to have that phone.
@Opteron (1845)
• Italy
20 Jan 07
I know that everyone has a phone today, but at 11 years a child is too young! If I was his father, I would not give him/her a phone. I've heard that cellular radiation are more dangerous on a child brain, because brain and skull and bones must still develop and microwaves can penetrate it easily! It's not so healthy!
• United States
20 Jan 07
Now that is the first I have heard about radiation from the cell phones. That is also something to consider when shopping or trying to decide on a cell phone, even for adults. I can't afford to lose to many brain cells, I lost most of those when I became a mother.
@rockbaby (808)
• Lebanon
20 Jan 07
no i wouldnt if i was you... i mean comeon 11 years old what would he do with a cell?? calll his friends? he see them in school and he got home phone so ....
@rockbaby (808)
• Lebanon
20 Jan 07
sorry i meant she and her!! hehehe
@elixer (253)
• India
20 Jan 07
yes its too early for a kid of 11 to have a cell phone of his own. what will a kid do with a cell phone at that age. at that age parents take great care of children and will be around them most of them time and so they will not need it to make any emergency call or something. and to talk to friends... at 11 he will not have soo much to talk and if at all he wants to talk he can use the home phone. what i feel is parents who are allowing their children to have cell phone at that young age is just spoiling them and nothing else.
• United States
20 Jan 07
I agree with you on this, I think some parents give in to easily and give children whatever they want.