Wednesday, October 29, 2008

R U Serious?

I recently got my first issue of Working Mother magazine (thanks, Momma) and finally had the chance to look through it. Yes, of course, I was in the bathroom. Where else would I have the chance to read a magazine without someone interrupting me, climbing on me, or ripping the pages out of my hands?!

I started reading the article, "Kids' Firsts" which went through suggested ages that children should be expected to do certain activities. For example, the expected age to start reading is 4-7 years old. Fine. That makes sense. Staying home alone? 8-11. Okay, that's a little young...but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Then I came to this one.


Getting a cell phone? 5-13 years old.


Come again?

A 5 year old with a cell phone? Are you kidding me?! Can you think of ONE single reason a 5 year old should have a cell phone? Is Cole going to call me from preschool if he wets his pants? Call his Dad when his toy tractor breaks down? Oh wait...I've got it. He can text his imaginary friend, Johnny, from China to come over and play. Good Lord.


I cringe every time I hear some of my 5th graders mention their cell phones. Where is a 10 year old going without parents? More importantly...where are they going where there is no telephone?! I just don't get it.


And a 5 year old? No. Just no.


Does your child have a cell phone? What age do you think is appropriate? Please don't say 5.

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31 comments:

Me! said...

Like OMG! lol!

When our oldest turned 15 her mom got her a cell phone. Last xmas, we got the youngest (12) her own. I think this is too young, but under the circumstances, we feel better know she has a phone. Her mom lived across the street from the chemical plant, and the youngest stayed home alone, a lot.

Times have changed though. It's not like when we were kids.

Delberta said...

I think they should have a cell phone when they stay at home alone and IF there isn't a land line phone. If they stay at home alone, the cable should be disconnected during the summer so inappropriate tv shows aren't watched. The computer should be password protected and only made available in the family room where use and websites can be monitored. If you don't monitor your children, who will?

Mrs Parks said...

I can remember Wendy getting a phone at 16 and thinking that was to young.
The only reason we got it for her was because her brother was due and we wanted to be able to reach her when the water broke!

Lindsay said...

I can understand why parents get their kids cell phones, but I don't see myself giving my daughter a cell phone until at least 10 (unless it's one of those emergency ones for kids that let you call home, 911, and that's it). Kids don't have a reason to have a cell phone until they're older, because I think a lot of kids are being let away without parents too young. We don't live in our parents' society anymore, and a little overprotectedness ain't so bad, if you ask me.

Tiffany said...

It floor me that someone would give a 5 year old a cell, but it happens.

I am thinking middle school... maybe.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

To be honest...my boy is six and we have a third cell phone that he says is his...we thought it was cute and call it his cell phone...and he takes it to Hip Hop...because I'm a bad mom and forget to pick him up on time, so he calls me...

And we leave it home with him when we go out on dates and the babysitter is there...that way he always feels secure to call us.

no texting yet though

:)

Caroline said...

The redhead totally has a cell phone, and he just turned 2! If I must be honest, its one of our old phones, so its just a toy, which I realize doesn't count. I was just trying to be funny.

Seriously though, I think that NO child should have a need for a cell phone until MAYBE middle school like if they're doing extra activities and need to call for you to come pick them up. If I did give my child that young a phone, I would just make it able to call my number and my husband's and 911. I mean for crying out loud, we survived...somehow.

Tristan said...

wow. Well..they have those ones with just 4 buttons or somethin like that to call for an emergency if they are walking home and are in danger or whatever..lol..idk, i've just heard about them. I don't think that a 5 year old needs one though!

Shelley said...

OMGosh!! 5? Wow, we got our oldest son a cell phone when he started middle school (also, because that meant he would be a latchkey kid for about 45 minutes till I could get home from work). And since work wasn't his school anymore, I wanted him to have one in case of emergencies. The school districts' policy was they could have them, but they had to be turned off. And if they got caught, even once, confiscated. So, he would use it to call me and let me know he was home.
But 5? NO WAY JOSE

Finding Normal said...

Actually, I'm getting Addison a phone when she turns 3. Just so she'll be cool earlier. Maybe then she'd TALK! LOL
I too think that's assinine. I'd be okay with a 7th grader having one, although I still think that's silly. Maybe when they're driving.
Should I get all old school...I didn't have a cell phone until I was 21 and doing my student teaching and driving 1.5 hours a day. I didn't even have a TV in my bedroom until I went away to college, for heaven's sake!

Maternal Mirth said...

When they can pay the bill ...

Kat said...

My girls are almost 11 and 7 1/2. I leave my 10 year old home alone. Not for extended periods...but while I do water aerobics. Running errands. Having lunch at the school.

I have not left my youngest home alone until Tuesday night when I left them both to fend for themselves while I went to a book signing.

As for the cell phone, I personally can't think of a reason for either of the girls to have one. We have a land line. They are not out and about.

I would want to give them one for special things - like if we took them to six flags. Or if they were older and we were dropping them off at a movie or something with friends. Or on Halloween I'll give her my phone when she goes trick or treating with her friend.

But a five year old? Doesn't need a cell because they shouldn't be unsupervised...

DysFUNctional Mom said...

My oldest 2 kids got cell phones in middle school. I do think 5 is ridiculous, but I get mad at people who make statements like "no 12 year old" (or whatever age) "need a cell phone". It's not up to anyone but ME, what MY child needs. Everyone's circumstances are different. My oldest got a phone in 6th grade because he rode his bike to school and I needed to know he made it safely. And I don't think I should have to justify that to anyone.
:steps off soapbox: LOL

Mamarazzi said...

my daughter is 13. we decided to get her a phone when we were always giving her one of ours when she was at a church activity, over at a friends or a sporting event. we decided she needed one for when she was away from us and needed to call for her ride home or anything else she might need us for.

she has to turn it in to us every night at 8pm. we check her text messages. and who she has been calling. she also knows she is not allowed to answer a call or text unless she knows who it is. if she gets a call or text from an unknown number she lets it go to VM and brings it to us.

so far she is being responsible with it...and the rules are working out OK.

Jess said...

Definitely not five!! That's just too young. LOL SHEESH what are these ppl thinking.

My boys wont get a cell phone til they are at least 15/16 years old.

U have an award here

scargosun said...

Lol! I agree it seems extreme. I guess if your child has to walk home from school or stays after school for programs that you can find reasons for it to be acceptable. I think maybe it's a good idea to teach them to use one but not make it 'theirs' until they get older.

Kayla said...

The cell phone thing and kids are crazy. I have a 4, 6, and 8 year old, sometimes when they go to a freinds house down the street, I send the phone in the oldest pocket and I say when it rings, its time to come home. When the time comes for them to get cell phones, all phones will go into a basket in the kitchen after dinner and will not come out again untill the next morning. I don't like the idea of kids having phones in there rooms texting or what ever when we don't know what is going on. I also don't like the idea of kids calling them and if it is on the cell phone and not the house phone, what if I never answer it and have no idea who is ever calling. I would also like the opputunity to humiliate my kids with their frinds on the phone, the way my parents did to me when I was a teenager!

Tiffany T said...

When I saw the Fisher Price BlackBerry at WalMart, I just backed away slowly and almost lost my mind.

It's frickin' crazy!!!

Z's Mom said...

Oh yeah....Z is getting one for his 2nd birthday this weekend....so he can stop using mine to text all of his buddies....

Ok, that was a joke....

Gaspegirl said...

Well, my oldest daughter has been crying for a cell and I refuse to get her one because 12 is just too young.. I think that when she starts driving I will get her one. In the meantime IF she goes somewhere without us I lend her mine (this has happened once!)

Lula! said...

I am almost 34 years old. I made it to the ripe old age of 22 without having a cell...and even then it was a bag phone, in my car, that I only used for emergencies when I drove to and from college. I think people forget that until a decade ago, we all lived just fine without cell phones.

Having said that, please shoot me if either of my girls has a cell before they are 14 or 15. I know they'll both eventually have one. But not before their time, please.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

My 12 year old has been begging me for a cell phone for two years. I'm a SAHM, so there is no reason for her to have one.
Oh, her best line yet, "But I promise I won't even use it!"

If I even condsider it anytime in the next year, cuz she is now in middle school, it'll be a cheapo prepaid. But I'm not there yet.

dognutmom said...

Our oldest got one at 17 when he got his drivers license ... just for safety in case of an accident or something. Which, unfortunately, came in handy :-(

Younger one got one around age 12 or 13 ... he was in middle school. He played a lot of sports and by that age I could leave him at practice and didn't have to stay there and watch. A lot of these fields were out in the middle of nowhere with no land lines anywhere and sometimes practices ended early and he would need to get in touch with us. It is so NOT cool to be the only kid there with the coach waiting for mom or dad because said kid didn't memorize mom's cell phone # :-)

Anything younger than that, I just don't see the need unless they have a very long walk home from school.

Brandy said...

My kid didn't get a cell phone until he was 15 AND he started working to pay for it.

Now, it's a blessing because he drives and has school activities but it's ridiculous to even imagine a 5 year old having a phone.

L said...

I was 18 when I got my first cell phone. However I did have a pager at 13 (I was so cool with my pager). I totally didn't need a pager because hell I was 13 and seriously what good is a pager if you have nothing to call someone with. But I had one and when my parents wanted me home they paged me and I came home. But yeah my kids (that don't yet exist) wont get cell phones till they start driving because I can't stand kids talking on cell phones.

lindanuts said...

mallory got hers for her 13th birthday.....

Dee from Downunder said...

I dont know when my girls will get their first phone... depends on circumstances at the time, but age 5 is ridiculous. I guess, if they are ever anywhere where they will be left alone, it might be a good idea, but I am unlikely to leave them in scuh a circumstance for a long time.

Blarney said...

Umm ... mine will have one when she can afford it.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Essie & Gert are home alone after school (hopefully not for much longer) so we have a prepaid cell phone in case there is an emergency or if I'm going to stop on the way home from work at the store or something and then they won't worry. But it is NOT for calling friends or ANYONE. The only numbers programed in it are my cell, my work, their dad's cell and their dad's work.

Tinabean said...

I'm thinking 5 is just a bit young for a call phone.
My daughter now 16 got her cell phone when she was 11.
When she got to Jr High she got an upgrade to a camera phone.
Why did she need a camera phone you ask?
Because then when she calls me & tells me that she is somewhere like the bowling ally for example I can say ok send me a picture & you know that it only takes a few mins to snap save & send.
So it's more for me to keep her honest about where she is than anything.
Her having a phone makes it easier for me to keep track of her.

MarciaBrady said...

I personally don't think there's any reason for them to have a cell phone until their driving.

Not just with the cell phone issue, but I think the world is trying/letting our kids grow up too fast and giving/spoiling them too much. But, what do I know??

From what I've seen, it seems to be fairly common for young children to talk their parents/grandparents into getting them cell phones.

I didn't have a cell phone until I was 30. I didn't want people to be able to track me down all hours of the day. I did just fine without one. Is that bad?? But, now I drive an hour to and from work each night, so I thought I had better get one for emergencies.

Is that too much info!!??