Do you think an 8yo is too young to have a cellphone?

(27 posts)(25 voices)
  1. OK, so my cellphone is on my Mom's family plan. She has a package deal where she gets five lines... they are all activated.

    One for her
    One for my brother
    One for my other brother
    One for me
    One for my DH

    (My dad's cell is a company phone)

    So, my DH has a company cell phone now too and so he doesn't ever use the one she had activated for him.

    So what did my mother do?

    She gave it to my 8yo DS!!

    He is not allowed to take it places, but he uses it to text her & me & DH ALL THE TIME (from inside the house). Talk about ANNOYING!

    I youngihmsonally think it is rediculous for an 8yo to have his own cellphone, but I'm not paying the bill on it so I really don't feel justified in telling Mom/DS no.

    I asked around to my friends, and you'd be surprised how many of them have a cellphone for their 9-10 year olds. I was totally shocked.

    So I thought I'd run a poll here to see if I am alone in thinking this is just a little bit rediculous.

    Take Care~
    Brandi

    PS~ I will say, it is an effective punishment tool when I threaten to take it away, tho!!

  2. She gave it to my 8yo DS!! I youngihmsonally think it is rediculous for an 8yo to have his own cellphone, but I'm not paying the bill on it so I really don't feel justified in telling Mom/DS no.

    I have to call you on this...just because your Mother is paying the bill is no reason to have to accept things for your children you don't feel they are ready for. You are his mother and get to make those decisions not your Mom.

    What if when your ds is 14 your Mom decides that he should exyoungihmiment with beer before he is offered it at a underage drinking party and she buys it for him? Will you feel you cannot say no because you didn't pay the bill for it? Yes, that is an extreme example but I use it to emphasize my point. You make the decisions regarding your son, not your Mom...it is a boundary issue more than it is a cell phone issue.

    That being said, eight years old is too young for a cell phone and I don't care who bought it for my child, I wouldn't agree to it's use. My two sisters bought my daughter a television for her room when she was five. I didn't want her to have a television for her room and she wasn't allowed to have it in there even though that was the purpose of the gift. I was nice about it and thanked them for their generosity but also nicely said that I wish they had mentioned it to me first.

  3. It seems to young to me. My mom's neighbor gave their daughter a cell phone. I think she's around 8. I don't know their rules, but I think she has it with her when she goes to a friend's house so that mom can call her and vice versa.

  4. My silhas given cells for her 3 kiddos and I think it's ridiculous but she is paroniode so I can see why she got them for them It's funny, one of my dayhome kiddos said SHE thought it ws too young for my dn to have one too, they're in the same class together

  5. I have to call you on this...just because your Mother is paying the bill is no reason to have to accept things for your children you don't feel they are ready for. You are his mother and get to make those decisions not your Mom. What if when your ds is 14 your Mom decides that he should exyoungihmiment with beer before he is offered it at a underage drinking party and she buys it for him? Will you feel you cannot say no because you didn't pay the bill for it? Yes, that is an extreme example but I use it to emphasize my point. You make the decisions regarding your son, not your Mom...it is a boundary issue more than it is a cell phone issue. .

    I see where you are coming from and I get it... but this is one of those things where I have to "pick my battles" with my mom. She is a very strong-willed youngihmson (as am I ) and telling her no would cause a huge rift I just don't feel like battling over a silly cellphone.

    Now, if it were a safety or health issue, you bet your bootie I would be standing up and holding my ground. But after all it is a silly cellphone. And it makes both of them happy, so I indulge them a bit on it. I think it will probably come in handy in a few years when he's at friend's houses, so why not just pacify her and let him have it now?

    I just simply enforce the "no taking it anywhere" rule and take it away when he misbehaves (but even this pisses her off a bit).

    Take Care~
    Brandi

  6. Honestly I have to call you on this too. Eight is too young. I think the average in my tri state area is about 12-13. My dd is 7 and she doesn't know anything about phones except to call 911 from our home phone.

  7. DSS is 8 soon to be 9 and there is no way in heck he'd ever have a cell phone at this age. After practicing his violin, doing his homework and any chores, he is playing outside or reading. If he wants to chat with his friends, he writes them an old school letter, with a pencil.

    This world we live in moves at lightening speed. I just feel a child needs to take their time growing up and appreciate the things around them. A cell phone is so distracting, I think it pulls a child away from this. But that's me. I've seen plenty of other kids his age with cell phones. What's right for one child (or family) may not be right for the next.

    Basically, to each his own -- but you won't be finding my children with a cell phone anytime soon.

  8. So my 9.5 and 6.5 yr-old daughters both have cell phones and have had one for a year now. It is mainly for safety...but my older daughter does talk to a few friends outside of that. They have one so that when they are visiting with their father they can call me anytime for anything. They also have it for when they stay over at friends' houses for sleep-overs. I want them to be able to reach a parent quickly if need be. They also have one so that when they are out in public with a friend and her family, they can reach me or 911 for any reason. I have a hard time trusting others completely with my children and I feel that they should have that added security. It is also nice that I can contact them without having to directly call their friends' parents for any little thing to get in touch with them. Sometimes we just text each other so I know that all is good. They are on our monthly phone plan for $12 each youngihm month and that includes unlimited texting...it's not that expensive and their father pays for half of that fee.

    They have started to ask for iphones which I have not agreed to as I don't feel they need a phone with a data plan...etc. I do feel they need to be older for that. And if they didn't have visitation with their dad and weren't as busy with friends and activities, I would not see a need for it for us.

  9. 8 is way to young for a cell phone (in my book). You are the mom and you make the rules in your house. I don't think you need to explain yourself to your mom. It is a family matter, it is between you and your child.

  10. Actually, I would also see it as a potential safety issue. Cell phones are suspected as a cause of brain tumors. I am not up on the latest information, but I do know that this link has not been disproved. I wouldn't want my kids to be guinea pigs in this exyoungihmiment. In France, children are not allowed to bring cell phones to school because of the safety concerns.

    All that said, I myself do own a cell phone, and do not have a headset, although I know I should. But my kids are not allowed near the cell phone.

    And, even if you are not worried about health effects, I agree with PP -- it's your household, your family, and your mom needs to respect how you want to run things. If your DS is annoying you with texts, that ought to be enough of a reason for you to do what you want about it, whatever that is.

    fabio

  11. Brandi, given the situation w/ your mom you may want to let him keep it but severely limit its use. For instance he gets it for a half hour after school (or after he does his homework) and that's it. Limit it like you would other media use, like video games. I would youngihmsonally find it easier to just say no altogether than dole out time but don't have your mother to deal with.

  12. My dd asked for one last year when she had barely turned 5. We laughed and asked her who she'd call anyway. I recently had to turn in my work phone and buy a new one. Dh was researching on line and dd sees this and says, "Oh, we can get three of them. One for me!" I guess she threw a fit when dh brought my phone home and didn't give it to her. She woke up the next morning and the first thing she said to me was, "Can I have the red phone?" Sheesh! Dh doesn't work, so he is always home or available during the day, should anything happen at school. Dd is 5....seriously, who would she call? Now she can't even call me at work because she's asleep when I'm working, so that's not even going to fly. I'm just not sure when we'll get her a phone, but it won't be anytime soon because she does not need one. She doesn't walk to/from school (and seriously, even if a kid has a phone, if a creep grabs them, they probably won't be able to call for help anyway), and so far the only place she plays is across the street at a little girl's house. Nope...maybe when she's in middle school and we need to pick her up after practice or rehearsals.

  13. Don't worry, he's 8, he'll lose the phone in a matter of days or weeks at the most. 8 yr old boys are just like that.

    I do have to agree with several of the previous posters that you should have told your mom no to the phone. It doesn't matter who is paying the bill. If you don't want your kid to have something then he doesn't need to have it.

  14. My 12 yr old nephew saved up his money and bought a cell phone for himself. He was soooooo psyched and carried that thing everywhere for 2 weeks. Then on the 3rd week he left it in his pants pocket and off it went straight into the washing machine. No more cell phone.

    So, at 8, I agree that it won't be too long before it's lost or broken.

    kaila

  15. youngihmsonally i think no kids need them. I have one that i have just so the schools can contact me if i am out during an emergency. Or so that if i had car trouble i can call Caa. That being said, i will let my girls take it if i allow them to go to the mall or to a movie with the instructions that they are not to "chat" on it, but to have for an emergency.

    My opinion is not very popular around here with a 14, yo and 2 12 year olds!

    Just how i feel. Sue

  16. I have to call you on this...just because your Mother is paying the bill is no reason to have to accept things for your children you don't feel they are ready for. You are his mother and get to make those decisions not your Mom.

    ITA with this. Your reasoning makes no sense.

    Obviously if he is only texting and calling you from inside the house it is a total waste to have it. He has no need for it, you've answered your own question.

    My boys are 9.5 and we are considering getting them cell phones for their 10th b'day, because we are moving, and the area we are moving to, is more like the Mayberry days of our youth where people let their kids go outside and play alone and walk to neighbors' houses etc. Well, even if we lived where we currently live they'd be getting a little more freedom than they currently have, as we have been playing out the umbillical cord in baby steps.

    Is 8 too young for a cell phone? I can't make a blanket statement of yes or no. There are probably 8 year olds in NYC who take the subway to school by themselves who could need a cell phone. Not for me to judge. BUt in the case of your son, it seems a bit silly.

    Either way, cell phones should come with rules. My sister has a 16 year old twin 12 year olds and they all have phones, but her house is a media free zone from 5-7 p.m. each night and once they go to bed she collects all the cell phones and takes them to her room.

  17. I worry about the health risks of mobile phones and don't think children should use them.

  18. In that circumstance, yes, I do feel it's innapropriate for an 8 year old to have a cell phone. How many other things could he be DOING while he is texting?

    But I come from a view where DH and I both have pretty basic plans, we do have texting abilities, but rarely use them. I get mad if he is texting in front of me, so that doesn't happen that often. I think it's totally rude (the whole texting thing). Dh says that young guys at work (the fire dep.) are actually texting ON CALLS! I am appauled that I see so many teenagers with their heads stuck in their phones, or answering their phones/looking at them when you are talking to them.

    We also don't have an Iphone for a reason (again, taking away time from the family, the feeling of having to respond to everyone RIGHT NOW). I certainly don't think children/teens need an IPhone.

    I'm sure we will get our kids really basic phones when it's age appropriate (they start doing sleep-overs, walking to school, driving) but I fully plan to get them the most basic service, and put restrictions on them. I know it's going to be a hard battle (from what I hear, most 6-8 year olds have them now in our area?!?!?!) but I think it's worth it for the social/academic/safety implications having a kid tied to a cell phone could create. Same reason we will not be having computers in their rooms or own video games (I'm sure they will get enough of those at friend's houses!!)

    In a nutshell, I say hold off as long as possible till they truly need it!!

    Brittany

  19. Brandi,

    I don't have time read the other responses, but here is my two cents...

    I am NOT against cell phones -- they are merely tools, and if there is a need for a tool, why not use it?

    My first reaction to your question was a question -- who would your DS need to call, when, and why? Is he going to piano classes after school across the street to the teacher's house? Spends afternoons at you neighbor's house until you get home? By all means, stay in touch and let him call you when he needs to.

    But none of the above is the case. Your DS has a real cell phone to use a toy -- and he's texting you across the room. If you think that this will get texting out of his system before he is a teenager, then go for it. But more likely, it will get him hooked on the habit even ahead of the time. If you don't like the idea or have second thoughts, just say no. Your Mom is paying for it -- so what? (In fact, it sounds like she isn't PAYING -- it's just something that comes with the plan.) Just because someone is willing to pay for my kids' Happy Meals every day does not mean I will let my kids eat junk. The money issue is irrelevant -- go by what you think is best for your DS.

    Best of luck!
    koula

  20. Our 8-year-old neighbor has a cell phone, and it seems too young to me. I was at a BBQ with several of the moms in our neighborhood, and they said they give cell phones as a "moving up to middle school" present. They get them in August before they start 6th grade when they are usually 11 years old. I don't know what we'll do since my oldest is only 5 1/2, but that seemed like a reasonable age to me (unless there's a good reason a kid needs one earlier).

  21. I dont plan to buy one for my kids until they are driving. Of course, things change but this is my current plan. I have a DS who just turned 8yrs and there is no way. He has al;ready shown that he doesnt have control over the phone - he was calling DH at work while the sitter was here so now he is banned from the phone.

    I realize there are not as many pay phones as when were kids, but if they go to a friends house and they need me, they will ask to use the phone or ask the other mom to call me - just like when we were kids! Kids need to learn how to be patient and that not everything happens in a split second like they are used to.

    For example, I drive my kids to and from school as our town doesnt have a bus to their school. In the afternoons, they wait in a carpool room which is a narrow crowded hallway -the worst possible environment for a bunch of kids 1st-5th grade. My DS also has ADHD so this is the worst environment you can imagine. He has been begging me to bring his ipod shuffle (which was a cast off from my bro for his 7th B-day) I have said no all year - he needs to learn how to wait and be patient and that he doesnt need to be entertained every second.

    Meanwhile, most of the other boys bring their DSi or Didg or whatever they have, b/c apparently they cant control themselves for 5 minutes b/c their parents have taught them they need to have something.

    Sorry, I went off there. But, IMO 8yrs is way too young for a cell phone.

  22. Our kids will not have then until they enter high school, but then we are very conservative in all areas and usually not with the norm. I have actually seen some kids walking from my kid's elementary school with iphones. They were probably in 4th or 5th grade, but what does that kid need to have an iphone for?

  23. I voted other because I think it depends on the circumstance. My girls - when they were younger - spent every summer with their father and he would turn his ringer off so that I couldn't call them. I bought them one to hide in their closet in case they ever wanted to call me. I realize this is a rare circumstance but I guess my point is that things aren't always black and white and every human being has individual exyoungihmiences.

  24. in this day and age, i think its ok depending on the circumstances. its getting to be almost unavoidable...times are vastly different.
    i do think it should be limited though...for eg., i think cell phone companies should have 'customized-type' phones for kids where they can only call certain numbers including 911/ text to certain numbers etc as pre-programmed by the parents/ responsible adults.
    China.

  25. I have a 7yr old but I can't imagine giving him a cell phone next year. He will lose it for sure and I just don't think it is necessary. He is either with me or with another responsible adult who has a phone of their own. And if my mom was the one who made the decision to give him a cell phone, I would probably blow my top!

    My DS has walkie talkies and they are enough to drive me crazy already, I can't imagine constant text messages on top of that!! :-)

    Daisy

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