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What age did /would you give your child a phone

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  • toothcarpenter
    replied
    I got my daughter a LG GizmoGadget.  It's a watch that is also a phone that can just call mom/dad and other prespecified people.  It can also show GPS location and text.  It's considered a "device" add on - so it's only an extra $5 a month.  She is 7 and I like it because she rides the bus and if there is a traffic jam and we are late picking her up we can let her know.

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  • csciora
    replied
    Not my preference, but 10-11 YO is pretty common around here in the Boulder, CO area.

    My next door neighbor's son might have literally been the last kid in his class when they bought one after he started high school this year. As always, how it's used and monitored is highly dependent on the individual. Our oldest daughter is 7 1/2 and every young babysitter (11-13) we've had already has a smart phone. Some were incessant users (and no longer babysit for us for just that reason), others never touch them and at least one girl leaves her phone at home entirely when she babysits.

    I've been asking their parents about the decision to buy a phone (pretty much entirely moms) since that's 3-4 years earlier than my original plan. The most common reason is coordinating pickups and letting their parents know when plans change. Someone wants to walk over to a friend's home instead of coming home, they're going to stay another hour at the mall, stuff like that. As a tech person, I'm pretty skeptical about the value of phone filters. If they don't know how to circumvent a security feature, you can bet one of their friends or older siblings can provide a workaround or just offer up their own phone temporarily. Do you remember those childhood sleepovers at houses with cable TV and paid channels?

    Heck, we already have the same problem with the kids using Netflix, Amazon and YouTube to watch shows on TV. YouTube is particular bad in offering up age-independent suggestions when searching for *anything* online. Even something like 'cake decorating' can rapidly get you somewhere they shouldn't be. You're going to have to give them guidelines and trust the children more than technological barriers. ;-(

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  • GXA
    replied
    Our eldest was 13 when she got a phone and the middle child 12.  I think most kids are certainly ready by high school.  It seems most of our kids' peers in school get one some time in middle school (grades 6-8).  Funny as my wife and I shared a phone for three years, and I finally got my own flip phone at 28...

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  • wideopenspaces
    replied
     

    We got my 8 yo an ipod touch for christmas last year but he is pretty limited to when he can use it and what he can use it for. I think I'm going to get him a gizmo watch for christmas this year, mostly for my own peace of mind since it has gps on it and allows him to call a limited number of people.

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  • drcolleen
    replied
    My 2nd grader (7y/o) has had a flip phone on silent in her book bag since public preschool.  If she presses the green call button the last call is to "mom" or "dad" so we figure it's our backup plan if we are not at the bus stop or something.  My parents recently brought a phone on their plan for our kids to use, it was cheaper to keep than to cancel, but we have it on airplane mode and put some preschool games/puzzles/PBS kids on it for the 2/4/7 yr olds to play.

    I don't know when the kids will get their own smart phones, I'm hoping to hold out until high school....

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  • Kamban
    replied




    A flip phone? Any age they want
    Click to expand...


    It will be hurled back at me. I gave her one of the LG phones on an extra line I have and which has a slide out keyboard for texting, but she "mysteriously" could not operate the phone and make calls or texts. And this is a savvy computer kid. They all want data.

    Hopefully when she goes to high school next year I may have to buy a cheap smartphone with a T-mobile plan that has unlimited data but switches to 3G or 2 G once the 4G amount is used up.

     

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  • jhwkr542
    replied
    I like the idea of when all their friends get one for the social aspects of phones. You get them a phone and teach them moderation. Even the AAP just backed off their strict screen time limits.

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  • Drsan1
    replied
    With my oldest we got her a phone at 11...Big mistake. We didn't put all the safe guards and things available now so she was exposed to some things on the internet that she was waaay to young for. Whatever they hear, they search. Even "good" kids. My other 2 kids (age now 10 and 11) have ipods that are largely controlled by us as far as the amount of time they can be on it and what they can download, search etc. I think high-school is appropriate, but each kid is different. I agree with waiting as long as possible, they do become more introverted and communicate less once they have one.

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  • Craigy
    replied
    My kids are many years away from that, but I suspect it'll occur when all of their friends get phones.  Whatever it is, it'll have some sort of GPS tracker on it  

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  • jfoxcpacfp
    replied
    I am unimaginably thankful that cell phones became widely available just after my younger son graduated high school. Somehow, they managed to find their way around the world safely without texting and snapchatting. If you're really concerned about your child's safety (we come from a small town, in case you haven't guessed), all they need is a basic phone that functions as the phone was intended: makes phone calls. Should also need permission before adding friends' phone numbers.

    They can do all of the rest on their friends' un-monitored computers lol.

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  • chrisCD
    replied
    We let our kids get their own phone once in high school.  Our youngest just entered such, so now all ours have a phone.  However, they are limited to texting or using things over Wi-Fi until they want to spend their own $ on an upgrade.

     

    cd :O)

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  • DarrVao777
    replied
    A flip phone? Any age they want ☺️

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  • Zaphod
    replied
    the longer you can not do it the better for the reasons you mention. They get these things and theyre just glued to them, like a self imposed solitary confinement.

    I always got them phones for my own convenience, but mostly regret it due to the above.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kamban
    started a topic What age did /would you give your child a phone

    What age did /would you give your child a phone

    As smart phones have gotten cheaper ( the non Apple ones) and the plans affordable I see many children, some as young as 8 or 9, having their own phone.

    But I worry about the constant time on Facebook, Snapchat and texting. At what age is the benefit more than the risk of poor grades or a huge bill. When did you finally give in and hand your children their own phones. If so, what model did you give them. My 13 yr old is constantly pestering for her own iPhone.  :|
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