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Toymakr000

Cell phones and kids.....

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How old were your kids when they got cell phones?

My oldest son has been asking for a cell phone for about a year now. His reason is "all" the other kids have them and make fun of him.:rolleyes:

He'll be starting 6th grade soon and just has to have one;)

If I end up getting one for him have you got any suggestions /rules /thoughts /ideas?

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My 18 year old got his only about 2 years ago. I think at 16, that was about right. He was driving and working and it was justifiable. Maybe I'm a little conservative that way, dunno. My only advice is warn him about running up extra charges, using it at inappropriate times etc., and if he does any of that, stick to your guns and take it away for a couple weeks.

Jeff

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How old were your kids when they got cell phones?

My oldest son has been asking for a cell phone for about a year now. His reason is "all" the other kids have them and make fun of him.:rolleyes:

He'll be starting 6th grade soon and just has to have one;)

If I end up getting one for him have you got any suggestions /rules /thoughts /ideas?

Gary, my answer is that kids don't need them at all. BUT, he's right, lots of kids his age do have them. My kids got them when the were in Jr high, but that was a long time ago. I think it comes down to whether you feel that he's responsible enough to have one and not lose it or abuse it.

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I got mine when i was 16 and im 17 now. My parents got it for me for my birthday but i ended up getting rid of that one and buying my own so... And middle schoolers have them.. Thats to young in my eyes

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Gary,

When our kids started going out of town with school sporting events, we got them cell phones. Either myself or my wife was always at the games, but the kids had to ride the bus.

We did it for peace of mind so they could call us when the bus arrived and could call for help if needed.

They didn't get them one "because everyone else has one". One time when my son was young, maybe about 12, he was riding his bike into town with 5 of his friends. My wife told me to give him my cell phone, in case something happens and he needs to call. I said if something happened, there are 5 other kids with him, someone can find a phone in a business or pay phone. 6 kids riding their bikes don't need a cell phone. I didn't give it to him and come to find out 3 kids had phones already.

I agree that kids don't "NEED" cell phones. But it is a sign of the times.

DrHudd

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I got mine when I was in 5th grade, but that was for a special reason. I probably would have gotten one in 6th grade so I guess it was not that big of a deal.

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Ages 11 & 14 here. We started with pay-as-you-go phones to help control costs and teach responsibility. Six months later we put them on our plan. We had agreed usage limits, but I had a hard time keeping them in line for the first couple years.

Once your kids start traveling beyond your neighborhood the phones are a great convenience as a parent. When we got the phones we explained that the primary purpose was for us to stay in touch with them. They had to agree to let us know if they were going anyplace else. And they always had to answer when we called. We just had to remind our 19 year old of this agreement the other day.

Here are a couple things you probably want to do if you put them on a plan. Don't enable unlimited texting unless you have an unlimited plan. And place a purchase block on their phone number.

The $5 a month insurance policy is well worth the money. But ours had a limit of two phones in a twelve month period, and then he got dropped.

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My only advice is warn him about running up extra charges, using it at inappropriate times etc., and if he does any of that, stick to your guns and take it away for a couple weeks.

Well said, we've taken the phone and disabled services on our younger son several times. We even pulled $100 from his savings account once to pay for a texting frenzy.

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Our kids got them when they started middle school. The first one my son got couldn't text and he was informed in no uncertain terms what would happen if he went over his minutes.

By the time our daughter was in middle school I got them both phones capable of texting along with an unlimited texting plan. (Don't allow them to text if there's a per text fee!!!)

Our daughter managed over 6K texts one month. That included incoming, but still... She is now a lot more conscious of it.

Another rule we have is that the phones are on the charging stand by 9PM. (No phone calls after that and no phones in bed!)

We even have a little ritual where we review the phone bill when it arrives each month. Even though it's a fixed-rate shared plan for all 4 phones, we like to see who had the most voice minutes or texts. The point is to NOT be the one with the most.

Edited by ChuckHutchings

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Another consideration is that most phones now are GPS enabled which means you can tell where they are at any time (usually for an additional fee.)

And you don't need to actually HAVE this service if the kids think that you do, if you catch my drift.

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I got mine when I was must have been 14, BUT no texting and very limited minutes. Honestly I never used it much. I would say when someone starts driving would be a good time to get a phone, but it's up to everyones own opinions of course!

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I got my first phone when I was in 7th grade. But, like jstein said, I would get definitely get a phone for a kid when he or she starts driving. In case of an emergency.

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My girls got one or had one to take with them at 12 when they went somewhere so they had a phone if there was a problem or ready to come home. We did not give them one so they could just have one or as personal phone to call and text all day and we limit them.

As daughters, I do tell them if they go somewhere and things get out of hand or they are uncomfortable with how there friends are behaving, just call me using the cell phone and we'll come pick them up - no questions asked. They also use them when they want to leave early from a party or a get together with friends and save face. They call us and use the code of "Dad, do I still need to come home early for [this or that]. I say yes and they have an excuse to leave.

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I got mine one at age 12....She's in middle school and with that came after school activities...trips and going over to friend's homes...so she can let me know where she is and when she needs a ride and such and I like knowing that it is GPS enabled so if anything ever does happen we would have that feature...

She is pretty good with her minutes...texts went a little crazy over the summer...she is working off her bill...lol

I have found that it's more incoming than outgoing...so it's mostly here friends that abuse their phones. So get an unlimited plan or a lot of minutes/text and use parental controls. It's easy when you have a good kid and they learn to be responsible but it's the other people's kids you have the problems with...

She takes good care of it...I let her know from the start if it's lost/stolen/destroyed there would not be a replacement.

The phone goes off at 7PM...no calls while we are doing any family activities. I'm a little more lenient during the summer and when she is on school break. But I don't put up with phones ringing all hours of the night...

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Verizon has a phone that is designed for kids that will work just like any other regular phone. It can be locked to allow only certrain outgoing numbers and incoming calls. It also allows the parents to track the phone using GPS on both their own phones and computers. Just a little food for thought and an option.

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My daughter was seven when we gave her a cell phone. It was a Migo, that had four numbered buttons that you pre-program with a telephone number. We had home, My cell, Wife

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My kids are 16, 13, and 11. None of them have cell phones. I just got one. A prepaid cell phone. If a kid needs one they borrow mine. I think in a month they have borrowed it 2 or 3 times.

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Similar to Michael, I really do not think they need one of their own. My boy is not old enough for me even to consider giving him a phone (almost 5 now), but as it stands now, I do not see me doing so until he is at least in high school; preferably after he has some sort of job.

Up to five years ago, we only had one cell phone in the house. It was for the Mrs. I was always concerned about her getting stuck somewhere without the ability to call someone. We purchased one of those "bag" phones (10 to 15 years ago??) with 60 monthly minutes - for $16.99 per month. The phone has been upgraded as things broke but we still have that same plan today.

After the birth of our son, we purchased a second phone. Somehow, we finagled Verizon into activating a second plan for $16.99

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well i have mine for work, but and to this day i still dont know how to text msg

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Ed's hotties post reminded me about "sexting". Even if he ends up with text messaging, you might want to disable multimedia messages to avoid this (when he gets older). Just receiving the picture can get them in trouble.

With AT&T, disabling data access shuts off multimedia messages also.

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well i dont wanna get any farther then what i am going to say but sexting is sick and should be baned form all Cell phones.

Ed's hotties post reminded me about "sexting". Even if he ends up with text messaging, you might want to disable multimedia messages to avoid this (when he gets older). Just receiving the picture can get them in trouble.

With AT&T, disabling data access shuts off multimedia messages also.

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