Social Question

HighShaman's avatar

Should Kids be given Cell Phones ?

Asked by HighShaman (3045points) December 12th, 2009
32 responses
“Great Question” (4points)

Should kids , say 15 and under ; be give Cell Phones ? Why ?

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dukeG's avatar

I gave all my kids one when they reached 16. If they wanted one before then I let them but they had to pay for it themselves. Its amazing how fast they decide they don’t need one when its coming out of their own pockets.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Depends on the kid, where you live, and many other factors imho.

If you live in the country .. probly don’t need a cell phone as much.

If you have a brat for a 14 year old.. probly don’t need a cell phone so much..

If you have a responsible 15 year old who lives in the city with you and might need to call occasionally.. sure.

jamielynn2328's avatar

In certain circumstances, perhaps. My niece has visitation with her biological Grandmother, who is a nut job. My sister sends her with a cell phone for safety reasons and she is only 4. BUT, I don’t think that young kids should have their own cell phone. Kids just aren’t equipped to make good decisions. A phone is a responsibility, and I think that kids need to prove that they can take care of one.

I had one when I was seventeen and it was my problem to pay the bill. I racked that up real quick, but paying it off was a lesson learned.

eeveegurl's avatar

I think I got my first one when I was 14 or 15 (just an old hand-me-down from my dad). I never texted or called any of my friends because they weren’t really even popular back then. Parents just wanted to be able to contact me in case of an emergency.

But I’ve seen kids these days (under 10) walking around with cellphones strapped around their necks, and I think that’s just unnecessary.

seekingwolf's avatar

I guess it really depends…I got my first phone when I was 13 but it was just “for emergencies”. I didn’t use it much until I got to be 14 and then I started to text.

I don’t think I can say when it is right for a kid to have a phone. It depends on the kid and the family. Lots of variables.

NUNYA's avatar

I think when the kids are old enough to drive and out on dates, have a job etc. they can use a cell phone. But many very young people are getting them and I don’t think that is right. If you give the ‘smaller kids things that a preadult would use, what is left? They will always want MORE.
Good question High Shaman my friend!!!

HighShaman's avatar

GREAT ANSWER !! The same thing that I’ve been saying to friends of mine . Gave their kids cell phones at 13 – 15… and they don’t do crap around the house etc .

So gald that you are here, Nunya !!

CMaz's avatar

It is one of those things that you cant go back. It is keeping up with everyone else more then there is a need.

I never needed a phone when growing up. When the beeper came along, did not need one of those either.

When I have given the kids a phone. It can only me, their mother or 911. It will do nothing else.
That is what jobs are for.

Jewel's avatar

Is this in response to the news piece where the 11 yr old kid ran up a $21,000.00 phone bill in his first month of having a phone? Seems he was downloading stuff/music nonstop!
I didn’t have a phone as a kid. Neither did my kids. But we always carried quarters so we could use pay phones, which aren’t around much now.
In certain situations, I can see that it might be important for kids to have them. But as a general rule of being a kid? No.
This applies to parents too. I don’t have a cell phone. It gives my brain time to be away from everything. And I save the monthly fees! I don’t miss anything and people call me on my landline phone if they want to talk.

stemnyjones's avatar

I think all kids should be given a Firefly. It’s a phone that only allows them to dial 3 numbers – two that you program, and one that dials 911. That way if something happens they can contact mommy, daddy (or whoever), or emergency services.. but they can’t spend hours texting and talking to friends.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

Hmmm once they get into highschool I would consider giving them a phone, so what is that 14. So yeah i guess under 15 I would, but not under 14. Maybe 13 depending on the kid though.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

@stemnyjones That is a great idea. When my son was young, no kids had cell phones, so we didn’t have to worry about this problem. But I would go along with the Firefly set up.
Kids should only be using them for emergencies or to call for rides, etc. They’re just too costly to be used as a “toy”.

Janka's avatar


Chatfe's avatar

I know there is a lot of social pressure for kids to have cell phones (just what the phone companies want) but I don’t see any real reason for anyone under 18 to have one. I don’t buy the emergency reason either. I think growing up depending on a cell phone teaches you to be overly dependent on others and insecure of finding your own way in the world.

XOXMSperfect's avatar

Depends on the maturity of the child, and the purpose of the phone. If its exclusively for the parents to contact them, then yeah sure. But if they’re just gonna use the phone to text people 24–7, its not worth it.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

No. A celly is a luxury gadget, convenient too but unecessary. I was 16 when I bought and paid for my own phone line in my parent’s home, I wanted it that bad and if cellys had been around, I would’ve gotten one on my own too. If an under 18yrs kid wants one, they can buy it and support it themselves. Now, if I had the extra money and my teen was away at college and couldn’t afford it on their own but was producing excellent grades and treated me well then I might buy and support one for them.

MENSAN's avatar

Definitely and positively! In fact, if I had a kid (I don’t, Praise Gawd), I’d insist s/he carry one at all times, and if ANYONE took it away from him/her, their next-of-kin could probably find and identify their remains at the local morgue, AFTER I telephoned a few of my friends in Newark.

aprilsimnel's avatar

If I had a kid who was old enough to hang out on their own and go meet up with friends (12-ish, I’d say) is when they should get a phone. There’s not a lot of pay phones where I am and if I were a parent, I would want for my child to be able to contact me if s/he needed help. And I’d like to be able to call when they’re 15 minutes late getting home to find out where they were.

Shemarq's avatar

Absolutely! My 12 year old has one. Its nice because he can call me from whereever he is and I can call him if he’s at his friend’s house if I need to. As a mother, I find it gives me a real peace of mind. If you do it though, make sure you have unlimited texting and minutes (or a pay as you go phone). I learned that lesson the hard way when my oldest had a cell phone.

Shatzee's avatar

I think it depends on the situation. I know someone who has given their 7 yr old a cell phone but my kids do not have one—yet. I have been a stay at home mom with them so to me, they have never had a reason to have one. But my 3 oldest (I have 4) are now old enough to be left home alone for a few hours and cell phones are part of the Christmas presents to them this year.

DominicX's avatar

Sure, as long as they don’t take it too far and know not to go over the various texting and talking limits. I got my first cell phone when I was 13 and I turned out okay. (And no, I don’t pay for it and no, it wasn’t just for emergencies).

iRemy_y's avatar

YES! its very helpful and makes many things less complicated.

tooty_fruity88's avatar

If you are talking about a kid under 12 years old… NO WAY… I myself (21) think that i got a mobile too early and I was 14years old. I only got mine because other kids at school seemed to have one. It always shocks me when I see anyone under 12 years old with a mobile. There is one school girl I see on a regular basis while on route to work. She walks to school talking and texting, she can’t be more than maybe 8 or 9 years old. I know they have it for emergency reasons, I don’t think I know anyone who would use it for emergencys… they are just a way of communication these days.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, as long a the parent has control over the called they are allowed to make.

deni's avatar

no, i dont see why an 11 year old needs a cell phone. who do they need to be texting all day?

YARNLADY's avatar

@deni It is a good thing for a child to have some way to communicate in an emergency. Your point about texting is correct, but a limited access phone does away with that.

deni's avatar

@YARNLADY Yes. i can see maybe one of those phones that only make certain calls or whatever. but 99% of the time i see 10 year olds with cell phones, its not what they have. today at work i saw a girl, maybe 12 years old, begging her mom for a Droid. AND THE MOM WAS CONSIDERING. i ran into the back room to dry heave. not really but i was appalled. why, why, why.

YARNLADY's avatar

@deni My nieces, nephews and grandsons all had cell phones as teens, but not before.

HighShaman's avatar

I don’t know of any teen that is not within fifteen – twenty feet of a landline phone most of the time… like at a friends home, school, library, stores etc….

Just wonder how I managed as a kid without a cell ?

DominicX's avatar


I don’t think anyone is saying you can’t manage, it just makes it easier.

iRemy_y's avatar

@deni well that’s ridiculous but my sister (who is 9) has one only because her bus stop drops her of almost 2 blocks from our house, and sometimes our mom is late to pick her up and she needs to know.

pjanaway's avatar

I got my first one when I was 11, I went over to the city and bought it myself without any persmission. It never harmed me. :)

I only wanted it so I could phone home when I was out and about.

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