Cell phones - FamilyEducation
Cell phones
06/19/2008 at 11:05 AM

 What is a reasonable age for a teen to have a cell phone?  My 13 year old wants one but I'm not sure he needs one yet!

I allowed my son to have a cell phone just before he started HS, even though he wanted one earlier.

Like you, I just didn't see the need.

Now that he is in HS, his schedule varies from day to day due to his school activities, so I thought it now ok to have a phone.

So far so good. He has not abused the usage so far, and he's had it for about a year now.


Why would a 13 year old need a cell phone ? Does he plan on paying for it himself ? I don't see any reason young kids should have a cell phone unless they live in a high crime area and are fearful for their safety. In that case a phone that will only call 911 and a few other preset numbers would be sufficient. Giving a kid a cell phone with unrestricted calling and texting capability will allow you to lose control of who he hangs around with and will just invite inappropriate use in school.

That is, if you dont trust your child. Those who trust their children, and their own decisions will have an easier time answering this question.

My granddaughter is 10 and has had a mobile phone for the last year. She gets a limited amount of credit and it is mainly for emergencies. She now walks to school herself as it is not too far away and there are no roads to cross and she usually walks with friends. My daughter just wants to make sure that Katie can call her anytime if she needs to. It is also useful if she is out at a friends house. I think singldad is right in that you sometimes need to trust your children.

My son is only 8 but I have a little cellular telephone for him. This phone does not have txt, pix or even real dialing capabilities. He can call four numbers that I have programmed into the phone and that is home, brother, grandmother and mom. I send the phone with him when he has sleep-overs or when he goes with the neighbors for ice cream or on field trips or even when he goes over to the playground with his friends. This has been a useful tool so many times. If technology helps me to keep track of my kid then whoo hoo!! I have no worries that when he advances to a "real" cell phone that he will start making bad choices because of it.

My daughter just got her cell phone this past year when she was in eighth grade and believe me she was one of the last in her class to get one. It has come in handy because she is becoming more involved in activities. We also have rules with the cell phone. It has to be our room during the school year at 9:30. I have friends who kids are up all hours of the night texting, which by the way is all they do. She also loses her phone if she doesn't keep her grades up. Recently she lost her phone for a month because she went over her texting. She also has to pay us for the over texting. When she has a steady job and she can pay for unlimited texting thats when she can have it, until then she just have to control herself. I believe a cell phone is a priviledge and not something to have just because everyone else has it. Good luck

Sure, but don't let him get texting. There is no way to monitor what they are texting or what types of pictures they are sending or receiving...