Parents Talk: Kids and Cell Phones, When Is It The Right Time to Buy?

In this week’s installment of Parents Talk, we ask parents what age is it acceptable for a child to have a cell phone?

Parents Talk is a weekly feature on Patch where we  reach  out    to    those moms, dads, grandparents, etc. looking for a  resources and        information (or maybe just a sounding board) to talk  about   parenting.   We    invite and encourage you to tell your friends  about   Parents   Talk, too.    After all, we can’t build a community without    your help.   We hope that    you will contribute your ideas, questions,    anecdotes   and advice to  other   parents in your hometown.

In the coming months, we will also be organizing a Parents Council that will help answer some of your questions and offer practical, real         world solutions. The council will consist of experts (i.e. other        parents)  who can speak firsthand about everything from potty   training      to the  best pediatricians to surviving driver’s education   with a      teenager.

We hope you’ll use Parents Talk as one of the many resources you can find for raising happy, healthy children.

Please take a moment to weigh in with your comments below.

This week’s discussion topic:

I was running an errand at the mall this weekend and noticed a group of pre-teen girls congregating in the atrium, all busy texting away on their cell phones. I was a little taken aback when I noticed one of them had the new iPhone 4S (which I REALLY want myself).

Now, I will admit, my children are nowhere near the age to get cell phone but the girls were probably only around 12 or 13 years-old at the oldest and were carrying some pretty expensive hardware.

My question is, at what age is it acceptable to get your child a cell phone? And, if you give in at an early age, what stipulations do you put on the phone? Do they pay the bills themselves somehow? Do you limit it to emergency calls/texts only? I’m curious. Thanks for your help!

At what age do you think it’s acceptable to get your child a cell phone? What rules do you have for usage?
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