Are your kids asking for cell phones for Christmas? It seems like all children aged 8 to 18 are obsessed with getting cell phones so they can text and talk to all their friends. But recently, we’ve seen cell phones marketed to kids as young as five!

The Verizon Migo is a cute little green phone designed with just four speed dial buttons and one emergency button to make it easy for kids to get a hold of family members and emergency help. But would you want your child to have access to a cell phone before they even reach double digits? At what age is it appropriate for kids to have cell phones? You tell us!

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8 Responses

  1. georgie says:

    in general, i am opposed to the idea of any one younger than high school (yes, high school) having a cell phone! however, i think a phone that is limited to emergency contacts isnt a bad idea. why not let your kid be connected to you in case something comes up. its giving them 500 minutes to chat with their friends that i have issue with.

  2. Busy Mom says:

    I don’t think there’s a magic age for a phone (5 does seem a bit much, though). I think it’s more dependent on what their activities and needs are.

    We added a line to our account and issued it to the oldest as needed when she was almost 11. She was a soccer referee and we weren’t always with her so it was nice for her to have that method of contacting us.

    She was very responsible with it and when she turned 13, she got a phone of her own and it was handy for a variety of reasons.

    A cell phone is simply a tool, use it or don’t, but, people get all worked up over it and it’s somehow turned into some sort of weird indicator of parenting prowess.

  3. krellpw says:

    I agree with Georgie in principle. I suppose a phone that had emergency/family contact capability only is reasonable, but for the life of me I can’t conceive of a situation where a 5 year old would be out of parental or adult supervision that would require them to have a cell phone for emergencies.

    There is NO way a kindergartner (and again I agree with Georgie, probably no child before High school) should have a cell with a truckload of minutes.

  4. LD says:

    I am divorced with two kids, my oldest is 5. I tell my son that he can call me anytime, however this is not true because of my x. I am thinking about getting him a phone so that he can call me whenever he wants. granted its going to be a phone that only allows him to call specific numbers

  5. speedykushion says:

    my grandson is a diabetic and i think he needs a phone just to be able to contact parents or 911 in case of emergency

  6. Noga says:

    My daughter is five years old and is in kindergarten. She rides the bus home from school everyday. I am a working mother and thankfully I am able to bring my daughter to work with me whenever I please. I am planning on getting her a cell phone so that whenever she is away from me there is always a way for her to contact me. You just never know what can happen. She will only be able to have the phone when I allow her to… she won’t be able to just play with it all of the time. I will teach her how to charge it every night before she goes to sleep and give her a cute case to carry it in. I believe that this will teach her responsibility, and show her that I trust that she can take care of a phone. I will give her a set of rules to follow. If this is instilled at such a young age it’s most likely to carry on throughout her years.

    I’m not saying that every five year old should have a cell phone. I would not give my daughter a phone if I did not feel that she is responsible enough to take care of it and know how to use it. It’s a decision that every parent can only make individually, and no one has room to say if it’s the right or wrong thing to do. Only the parent knows the child’s daily schedule and can determine if a phone could be of benefit to the parent and child! My daughter is with her father every other weekend and I will feel good knowing that she can call me easily when she is not with me.

  7. the monkey says:

    i’m one of those non custodials demonized as a “deadbeat” without getting a fair shake. when i call my daughter’s mother, i get voicemail more often than not. fortunately, i have an intelligent, responsible kid who i trust with a phone that is restricted to only calling me and her mother and during off-school hours only. this is the only way i can hear about my kid’s day every day without having to deal with the BS!

  8. Mom says:

    Many cell phone companies offer a GPS tracking option for family plans. I too am a working mom, whose child will need to ride the bus to/from school, and who is with her father occasionally. I feel good knowing that if she is in an emergency situtaion, gets off at the wrong spot, or is taken by a stranger, then she can call for help, or worse comes to worse, the tracking system will let us know her location (or the last one until it is shut off). She is only five, but she knows the rules, and obeys them, otherwise she knows the phone will be taken away.

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