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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    1,867

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    DD will get one when she actually needs one to contact us which is a long way off. She has one of DH's old iPhones without the phone service so basically it's an iPod touch. She doesn't even know where it is half the time because she's put it in a bag so I can't imagine her having an actual phone. And I can't imagine her actually using a phone for talking or texting. She occasionally texts me from DH's phone and usually it's just gibberish. Same with talking on the phone. A neighbor girl sometimes calls and they 'talk' but it's barely a normal conversation.
    Marriage - 10/12/2003
    Lily - 9/26/2006

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,214

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    Very timely question, my 6.5 year old DD asked me yesterday if she could have one..hah! I told her she could have one when she's doing things by herself where there isn't a trusted adult around. My guess is 4-5th grade at the earliest, but probably closer to middle school.
    Married: April 20, 2002
    DD: January 25, 2008

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2,661

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    Our neighbor is 11.5, just started middle school and just got her first phone (iPhone). She'll start babysitting (yay!) when she turns 12 in February. Her mother thought it would be a good idea to get it a few weeks before school started so the excitement would subside.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    7,149

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    I don't have a hard and fast rule on what age, it will be dependent upon need. When DD starts doing stuff on her own around town or carpooling places where I'll need to get her and there isn't a set time, that sort of thing. They aren't allowed at our school but I know some kids have them for getting in touch with parents after after school activities. In those cases, they keep them in their backpack all day. I don't think that is a rule you'd break more than once at our school.

    They both have iTouches/old iPhones and iPads and have asked to have the phone feature turned on but I'm pretty sure they know that's not happening.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    1,407

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    My ten year old son has one. We got him one because I park across the street to pick them up from school. With our afternoon rain storms him and his brother sometimes aren't sure whether to cross or wait in the car line. This way he can call and double check. I also will sometimes drop him off at the hockey rink and run an errand or sit in the car and I know if there is an issue he can reach me right away. Honestly the only people in his contacts are family. I don't know about kids at school but I'd say out of 13 10 year olds on his team 4 had a phone before him.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    1,525

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    A very basic one at start of middle school or maybe 5th grade depending on sports practices. Both of my kids play sports and often have practices at the same time. Right now the practices are in the same park so I can manage both, but if I needed to drop one off and then pick up later I would want my older son to have a phone to call me if practice ended early or if he was injured and needed me to pick him up. My ten year old actually has one of my old cell phones right now that he likes to use to take photos, but it has no service so he can't do much else with it except play some Angry Birds.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    4,749

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    Here we just have elementary school through to grade 8, then high school is grade 9-12. So I expect we'd probably allow one once he's in grade 9. I'm imagining for a birthday or Christmas gift as the boys are October and November birthdays and they could settle into school for a few months before getting the phone. I anticipate a lot of sports practices though, so we may have a valid argument for a bit sooner. They'll turn 13 the year they're in grade 8, which seems to be a fair enough age. However, I can't imagine DS1 taking care of a phone for a long while. He's super distracted and everything he touches tends to become a ball of some sort to play with. DS2 I can see being prepared a bit younger though, maybe they'll both get them for Christmas one year.

    My SIL who is nearly 16 now got her first phone when she was 8. No super pressing reason, though she did use it to call or text her grandparents, and it was the spare cell for travelling for them. I was shocked they got it for her though, she tends to be a bit spoiled in terms of possessions, and I think they were aiming for a "big" gift to eliminate the pressure for several gifts for her birthday that year. Still, she still isn't a very responsible girl with her things, so had she been my kid, I would've waited. (she's a totally normal teen though, so it's not like they screwed her up or anything, lol)
    Married 7.3.04 Henry 10.29.08 Charlie 11.19.11

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    4,731

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    Mine have been asking already too. My answer is always "When you need one". Even then it will just be a basic one, I can't imagine we will pay for 4 additional smart phones anytime in the foreseeable future. I have no idea what the norm is here, but we aren't the norm anyway neither are most if their friends. Even they on a regular basis are going places without an adult who has a cell phone is probably when we will get them a simple pay as you go tracphone or the like.
    DD8 DD7 DS2.5 DD 10.26.13

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    3,522

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    The trend at DD's school has been about 6th-7th grade with all of the kids having one by 8th grade. I think I would give them one by 8th grade so we have a year to test the boundaries before high school.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Whoville
    Posts
    7,985

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    I read an interesting post by a guy who worked for Verizon and he said based on his experiences he will not be buying a smart phone for his kids as their first phone, and it would be the cheapest plan available, with strict limits on minutes/texting. The drill at Verizon when a parent calls in a panic because it's the first month their child has a cell phone and goes way over the limit and they're stuck with a huge plan. So Verizon so, geez that's too bad, we'll waive the huge fee but you need to upgrade to a much higher plan. Grateful parent agrees to that, and now Verizon makes more money.

    I have a Republic Wireless phone, which is a Moto X phone and unlimited cell/text/data for $25 on 3G, and you can make it $5 a month if you use wifi instead of 3G. It's a great phone, and cheap, but I worry about giving DD unlimited cell/text/data in the beginning. I think kids lack the impulse control and self-regulation to use it responsibly, even if parents monitor. And frankly, I don't want to be the one monitoring the number of texts each month either.

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