questionswhat age is the right age for a child to get a…

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Mine received cell phones when they hit High School as theie High School had ALL the pay phones pulled from campus. It was much easier for them to contact me after practices and after school functions. Plus, they never had the excuse they couldn't get a message to me.

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my nieces had those kiddie ones at 12, the kind that could only dial mom, dad, 911 and my parents - pretty sure there were only four numbers programmed in. Both played sports and needed to be able to make sure a parent was coming to get them after practice. When they got older they were given pre paid phones and a certain number of a minuts a month if they ran out of minutes they were out of luck.

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I was 14 when I got my first cell phone, which was a "your now in high school" gift. It was also, search for a phone on a plan that won't bankrupt us. I had to justify the phone and the cost to them and prove that I could live within $90 a year. It is how I got on Virgin Mobile. It was a candybar Nokia with a b/w screen and a single led flashlight on the top.

So, no, 15 is not too young.

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@lavikinga: When my oldest was in 8th the school ran a sting in the high school . They grabbed a phone and every time someone texted that phone they would grab that phone and so on until they had most of the phones. The rule is no phones during school. Cheating, bullying, and disruption are the reasons.

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@caffeine_dude: All schools are anal like that. You keep it on vibrate or silent. Only the stupid kids kept the ringer on.

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@catbertthegreat: That's the thing, 1 'stupid' kid left it one and took out the smart ones with him! I laughed at the parents who complained. If my kid gets caught I will laugh at him too!

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I got my son one when he started middle school because he was walking home.

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I was 15 when I got my first cell phone. It was a simple brick phone with no extras, not even a camera! It was built like a tank though.

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School rules wanted all phones on silent/vibrate and kept in backpacks or purses. Some kids thought they could squeeze by the rule by using the "mosquito ring" thinking that their instructors were too old to hear it. Their phones were always confiscated and the parents had to come retrieve the phone after school.

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Mine got them in their teens, when they started to go off with friends.
I wanna say 14ish? Of course, they were the awful nextel walkie talkie types. I hated those things. The only time it was handy was when I caught one of my kids driving like an idiot. I pushed the button & in my best Mom voice, yelled- What the hell do you think you are doing?
He had neither phone nor truck for a week.

15 is not too young for a phone.

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I got my first cell phone when I got my license at 16. My parents felt that if an emergency arose, I would need some way to get in contact with them. They told me I only had 30 minutes a month on it. I later found out that I had more, but back then the overage fees were astronomical. My friends kept calling me on it and not hanging up. It was at this point I learned the "bad reception" trick.

My youngest sister got hers when she was 14 or 15. My parents needed to keep tabs on her.

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It really depends on the needs - I've got younger cousins who have gotten them at any ages between 10 and 18... Granted, the 10 year-old is in Korea, and it is necessary at a much earlier age for school purposes (and considerably cheaper, since their phones and cellular systems are so much further along than are ours here in the States). And the one who waited until 18 did so because he didn't particularly care to pay for one. In any emergency-like situation, enough kids with him had cell phones that he really didn't have any need. And a big factor was that he didn't want to pay for the phone and service.

I think that if the kids are old enough to work, and pay for their own phones (at least partly), that would be a good general measure of the maturity necessary to properly use a cell phone. Sometimes the need arises earlier, but usually I'd think somewhere in the mid-teens - around the age of driving.

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@caffeine_dude: In my high school (I graduated in 1998), having a cell phone was seen as being only for drug dealing and being caught with a cell phone amounted to an automatic suspension.

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I can see how living in a big city might require you to load up your kids with mobile phones, but In a small town like the one I was raised, there is no need for a kid to have a phone. I refused to get a phone until I was in college and I still hate carrying it around. The only thing I dislike more than a mobile phone is a work mobile phone.

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I think it seems to depend on need and thoughts of the parents but for one thing for a child it should never be an entitlement. Ie its my phone or I have to have one. If the child is mature enough to earn the money to pay for it or work around the house to compensate mom and dad I say go for it but I agree with the above you do something dumb at school and get it taken away I am going to laugh and you and then punish you because its something you have to convenience me not yourself

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We're in the middle of this debate with our oldest. She is in Middle school this year and many of the kids are carrying phones. Many of them have gotten them as birthday gifts when they turn 12, which seems to be what she expects. Turns out to be pretty cheap to add her to our plan so we'll likely do it, though I'm still researching phone options. Unlimited text for $10 / month? Not so sure about that...

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I got my first cell phone at 16 when I got my own job and paid for it myself. I got a prepaid one and hitched rides to pay the cell phone dealer in cash. I bought my car, my phone, gas, insurance and food by working a crappy fast food gig while in high school. That was 6 years ago.

Stop buying kids cell phones, unless they are driving or are gone a lot they don't need one. If they need one, then they can buy one themselves. Prepaid plans are cheap and it gives them a little responsibility. If you get one for them anyway, make sure to get a text plan, or you'll end up with a $1000 bill. My little sister sent/rec'd 10,000 in just one month.

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@luisibarra81: I hate my cell phone, when my contract is up I am want to drop the phone. 2 things that will keep me in a cell phone is a Mobile Computer that makes calls, Android, and if we get rid of our land line.

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For a youngster, not yet.
For an old person, never at all.

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Pre-paid cell phone. 300 minutes a month = 10 minutes a day. If the kid says they need it to contact you while they are out then when the minutes run out kid is grounded until next month.

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lmfao. I was 25 when I first got mine. Though now, as a 34 yr old parent o 3, I can see giving em to kids so I can txt em when I'll be late or something. Every child is different but I think my 9yr is ready for an emergency phone. I teach on occasion and I'm having trouble with 4th graders who have to jump up cause they forgot to turn their cell off in class =/

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I got a pager when I was in High School. I had 10 minutes to call when my parents paged me. I got my first cell phone as a beta tester for a new service. Was free for about a year, that was the only way I could have it.

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My then 11 year old really wanted one, so I let her earn money by mowing our grass over the summer (it took the whole summer). We have a family plan, so her service is basically free. It's a great motivational tool - as in, "I'll take your phone away for X weeks if you..." Also, I let her know in no uncertain terms that I will monitor any and every text message she sends or receives. I also lied and told her that I can see them all regardless of whether they're on the phone or not. And, no MMS, too risky even by accident.

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my 8 year old nephew has one, I think that is ridiculous! (his mom, my brother in laws ex gave it to him. She is stupid!) I think high school is the best age, and even then I think they should be prepaid and monitored.

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Just disable texting and pic messaging. That's usually just for trouble

and try not to sell your child to cellphone slavery too young

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I'd give one to my 4 year old right now if I didn't think my wife would flip.

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my grandson needed a phone since his mom and dad, divorced, don't have land lines and are irresponsible about keeping theirs charged and available, so i got him a phone for his 8th birthday. his mom gave it to her boyfriend. gave him a GO phone for his 10th birthday, she uses it more than he does, when she forgets to charge her own phone. he was excited to get a phone, since he's in sports and very responsible ... guess he'll have to wait until he can get his own!

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My 10 year old got a cell phone for her bday. She's been great with it so far.

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Thanks for all the comments, it put my mind at ease about the 15 yr old but made me start to think the 11yr old may need one too.

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I made a deal with my kids. If they survive to age 45 they can have a mobile phone. I'll let you know how it works out for them as they are currently 12 and 15. Stay tuned.

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I gave my 9 year old son one of my old cell phones. It's an old nokia, no games, no internet, no apps - just a phone with slow T9 text messaging. So far it spends 90% of the time in his dresser, but it's really nice when we have to leave him alone for a while, during camping trips or when he's visiting a friends house he can always be reached. It's got a big crack in the shell and is partly held together with scotch tape so there's no problem with other kids stealing it or him showing off. He also feels very responsible when we ask him to relay messages to people for us. I'm happy he's got it.

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@hairybutt: We bought some cheap covers from ebay for the phone, he went through a few of them, so I made him start to buy them, we are on the 5th one, it is rough shape but the phone is ok under it.

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I think it all depends on the kid and the situation - my 16 yrs old, his phone is on his dresser 80% of the time - I make him take it with him does volunteer work the other time he is in his room on the Xbox 360 - my girls 12 and 10 (12 yr has the phone) but they both share it when they go out to play. I gave my oldest his phone when he went into middle school my oldest daughter got hers when she started getting home without my son there - mainly so she could call me and let me know if he let her in or not - landlines are $87 here - and not worth it. Asa far as texting once they figure out what the phone will let them do it is so much cheaper to pay the unlimited monthly fee.

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When he started high school our eldest (now 15) was given his Grandmother's old prepaid phone - big, slow, ugly & clunky (the phone, not the Grandma). I have 2 schools 20 miles apart to pick up/drop off at for him and his sibs, and need to be able to reach him and vice-versa. He is responsible for earning money to reload the phone (unless, of course, I'm the one using up his minutes). He learned some pretty quick lessons about texting, and when we're confident that we won't receive exorbitant bills as a result of his phone usage he will be added to our plan (with a slightly better, but still not "cool," phone), and the prepaid will be passed down to his sister to continue the experiment.

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I had just turned 20 when I got my first cell phone, and my brother was 18 when he got his.

Personally, I am of the mindset that the youngest that someone should get a phone is when they start going out and doing things without their parents or some other parental type person, which is usually when they start driving.

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When they are old enough to have a job to pay for it!

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@thunderthighs: I walked home from school all 18 years. Never had a cell phone. Why does walking home fit into the equation?

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@donslin: YES! I AGREE!! Yours is the BEST answer so far....

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@phunsberger: Great way to teach ur child. The "other kids have it so u need to have it too. How are kids supposed to,learn if we give them everything they want? Who cares what "other kids have/do?" With your attitude, do not be surprised when they come home high because "the other kids are doing it"

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@riprap: I could call him on my drive home and pick him up along the way. He could call me if there was a problem.

Times are different than when I was a kid. It's not as safe now as it was. He was bullied on the way home for while. I contacted the parents of the kid and the father told me to tell my son to deal with it.

I felt better knowing he had a way to contact me in an emergency. It was my choice and one that I know was right for us.

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I get sad when I see kids sitting at a restaurant with their parents, and either the kids, the parents, or all of them are on their cell phones or Nintendo DSs instead of talking to one another.

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As soon as he/she can pay for it.

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18, they dont need a damned phone. All they do is text on it when they are driving...and pretty much any other minute of the day.

Why not just get them a Ferrari while you're at it?