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Old 11-24-2008, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,500 posts, read 21,470,896 times
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This is a question for the parents. I see lots of young kids with their own cell phones, which they use to talk on or text message all the time! I know some who have even abused the privilege and run up expensive phone bills. As if it's not expensive enough to pay for the extra phone plans. Also, I know some kids who have those new Apple phones, which cost $500 plus the service each month.

Isn't all of this expensive? I was lucky enough to borrow a landline when I was a kid. Do children really need their own phones? Maybe parents should just implant a microchip in their kids and locate them with a GPS unit. Wouldn't that be easier? (Kidding on that last bit...)

But anyhow, what do you think about all these telephones?
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:00 AM
 
2,140 posts, read 7,519,980 times
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I don't think it's necessary. My 13 year old niece doesn't have one and since my sister always knows where she is, she doesn't need one. She's either at school, Girl Scouts (her mom is the leader), home, at a friends house, inside with another parent present or a relatives. She's in her school's band which is at 7 a.m. before classes start and that's about it. Once a kid starts driving or is older, it's a good safety net to have a phone in case they get a flat tire or need to call their parents because at that point, they have more freedom. But I don't see why a child in grammar school needs one.
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:20 AM
 
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 6,986,436 times
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I agree.

My inlaws spend about half the year in the US. We got two lines added to our plan so they would have them. when they left, my FIL told my son he could have one of the phones. MY SON IS 7!!! I was so pissed. For two months I kept finding the phone in my son's treasure box on the nightstand. I had to repeatedly tell him that since his father was paying for the phone, it would be our decision what to do with the phone when his grandfather left, and we were not giving him the phone.

The only time it has come in handy was when we went to 6 flags. I let my DS go off with my nephew for an hour. I had the extra phone with me, so I gave it to my nephew so we could call him if they were late.

I don't know when my kid would need a cell phone, since I drop him off/pick him up/drive him around.........

I suppose if he was walking home from school alone, I might allow him to have one for safety purposes....
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:52 AM
 
Location: Camberville
14,275 posts, read 19,205,285 times
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I never understood getting one young. I got mine the day I got my license. Even though I was in band and my schedule was sometimes in flux, my mom would give me a few quarters to call from the pay phone! Granted, all of my friends had cells so I'd just use them, but that's beyond the point! Most high schools have at least one pay phone and teachers always let me call home from the phones in their rooms if I needed to.

Even 4 years later at almost 21, I don't see the need for constant texting. If someone needs to have a text conversation that's more than 2 back and forths, they can pick up the phone and call me. After trekking across 3 countries with my old phone, I finally got a new phone yesterday after 2 years. What was the only feature I looked at? The alarm. :P

In all seriousness, is it REALLY necessary for a 12 year old to have a phone? I can see 9th grade since there's a great deal more independence and although I don't think it's needed, it can be a comfort blanket for both parent and child. However, any earlier than high school and that's just a little ridiculous!
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:02 AM
 
Location: southern california
61,294 posts, read 82,111,131 times
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americans are very wealthy. parents love their children. they cannot bear to deny them the things that they never had, of course that was what made them strong.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:59 AM
 
6,061 posts, read 14,199,032 times
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Our kids (elementary school and middle school) have phones, but only because dad works for the company. It is unnecessary, yet it offers peace of mind and added convenience.

We don't believe in overindulging the kids, though. They have very simple older model phones with the very basic service. They are only allowed to call us, each other, and relatives. They still use our home phone when they call their friends, and they have to ask first before they do that. They are not allowed to give out their cell phone number - they give out my cell phone number or our home phone number to their friends and friends parents.

Having their own cell phone has come in handy on numerous occasions. Especially as they get older and spend more time over friends houses and having sleepovers and whatnot. We can check in with each other at all times without having to go through another parent. I used to hate calling to check on my kid, only to get the voice mail or a busy signal. It feels good having a direct link to my kids at all times, and them having one to me and their dad and each other as well.

Our kids ride their bikes to school, so it also feels safer knowing they have their phones with them in case they get into trouble. Their phones are also GPS enabled, and my husband can find the location of their phones at all times.

I have a problem with the parents that buy their kids the newest, fanciest model phones and allow them to run wild with it. That sort of irresponsible parenting is just setting the stage for all kinds of trouble - not just with their own kids, and the relationship they have with their own kids, but for the message it sends out to their kids peers. I don't agree with that sort of overindulgence at all. You are the parent, you are paying the bill, you are buying the phone, you are in charge. If the kid wants all the bells and whistles and the newest gadget or whatever - they can wait until they can get a job and earn it themselves.
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:34 AM
 
Location: FL
1,943 posts, read 8,188,194 times
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My son has one...since he was 11. He started going to middle school and had to walk along a busy street....while his father and I were further away at work. I got him one for my piece of mind.'

Did I have one when I walked to school way back when? No. However, I think of all of those children kidnapped, and either murdered/raped then murdered......and I think.......if they had a cell phone, would that have made a difference? Even if it only saved one child.......hey.....maybe that would have been my child if something had happened to him. The children that get thrown into trunks......it would have made a difference. Of course someone is going to say that the kidnapper would have first searched for a phone.....no, not always.

So do I really care what other people's opinions are? Not at all. When I feel that it might give my child a little bit more of a safety net than without it.....that's all I care about.

And it's the parent's responsibility about ringing up the charges. Keep an eye on it. Very simple to do.....can even do it online. I do it. Punish if he rings it up, just like you would punish your child for doing anything else they shouldn't do.
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:53 AM
 
1,219 posts, read 4,035,114 times
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My 12 yo has one, but only because he goes to a magnet school in another town. Pay phones barely exist anymore, so it's not like he could call home if he stays after for enrichment programs (afterschool activities). We do not allow texting, and we monitor all 4 of our family's cell phone use (family plan). Our phones are whatever the cheapest/free ones that came with the plan are.
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,500 posts, read 21,470,896 times
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It's interesting that people who give their kids cellphones say it is for emergencies and calling home. But I see kids with cell phones on the phone constantly talking to their friends! It's like they have the phone glued to their ears. I think it's dangerous to give a 12 yr-old a phone. You don't know who they are giving their number out to!
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Old 11-25-2008, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Chicago 'burbs'
1,022 posts, read 3,210,011 times
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No cell phones for my kids. My stepkids mother got the stepkids phones. My kids ask all the time for a cell phone. They don't need them, so the don't have them. They are at school, at home, with Grandma or at a friends house. There are phones at the friends house. No need for it.

Go to the mall. 99% of the kids there have phones. Maybe when the kids can go to the mall on their own I'll consider it - because you can't find a pay phone there anymore.
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