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What's an acceptable age for a child to have a mobile phone?

Some parents are quite strict and feel it's a luxury, though others like the security aspect (in case of emergency for example).

What do you think is an acceptable age for a child to have a mobile phone?

Most Useful Answer slimy31  Apr. 22, 2013 at 15:16

My 9 year old daughter asked why some of her friends had mobile phones, we said she could have one if she could tell us why she should have one. She couldn't give any reason at all so we left it there.

I think when she starts secondary school I'll want her to have a basic phone with her, but that's only because it's at least one bus journey to the nearest secondary school. so I guess that's the security aspect. At the moment my wife takes her to school so there isn't much need for additional security.

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slimy31  Apr. 22, 2013 at 15:16

My 9 year old daughter asked why some of her friends had mobile phones, we said she could have one if she could tell us why she should have one. She couldn't give any reason at all so we left it there.

I think when she starts secondary school I'll want her to have a basic phone with her, but that's only because it's at least one bus journey to the nearest secondary school. so I guess that's the security aspect. At the moment my wife takes her to school so there isn't much need for additional security.

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 22, 2013 at 15:31

Difficult question, really.
It so much depends on the child, doesn't it?
Take the security argument - what you gain, can be trampled on by a whole new range of bullying opportunities, and other dangers. Not to mention: how reliable is it, and how much do you come to depend/rely on the perceived advantages? Kids are kids are kids... out of battery juice or lost or distracted?

I'm an older generation than most here; we were 10 kids at home at a time when many many many households didn't even have landlines. Did my parents tell us not to stray from landlines? Not to visit where there was no phone? Nah... Was there less crime? You betcha. Less bullying? You betcha. (teachers aside ;) )

In all seriousness: I know plenty of adults who shouldn't have smartphones; who have no idea of what their online lifestyle may result in. Stranger danger isn't ageist.

I have worked in childrens homes with kids who were more mature and risk-aware and responsible than some of the staff. Go figure.

Only you can make the decision. And the fact that you came here for some input is a good sign.

I have left out the potential health risks. Lets not be smug about it. We just do not know what EMR does to us. Fact is: there is now 12 million times the electromagnetic radiation around that MY PARENTS were exposed to in their late teens... Are studies mostly flawed? Yes. But I'd say the same I'd say about booze and fags: the later the better. A developing body is more at risk.

Good luck. I don't envy you!!!!

krogothnx  Apr. 22, 2013 at 17:14

teenager. it's the time that they start telling you how much they hate you, why not make your life that little bit more peaceful by getting them to do it by text?

for bonus points, whenever they text you when they're in the same room, text back with 'WHO IS THIS?'

Firemountain  Apr. 23, 2013 at 09:54

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