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One of the children in the family got a cell phone...and I hope no one noticed my jaw dropping to the floor. I know I'm very traditional, but I think she's far too young at 11 years old to get a cell phone. I think Mom and Dad are being a bit naive.

One of our members (not posting lately) gave one to her 14 year old. I said the same thing...Isn't he a bit young? She said he just wanted to text his friends. Well, she was shocked when she saw some of the texts! She went looking for him, and he and the girl next door were hiding and giggling in the shrubs next door. That was the end of the cell phone.

She's one of those moms who wants to be a "cool mom," a friend, who happens to be your mom. :( Unfortunately, her son is now breaking her heart. He's tried everything a young kid shouldn't, and is failing the school year. I feel so sorry for her. She was so sure she was doing the right thing with her permissiveness. :(

I don't want this to happen in the family, and I don't think 11 year olds need cell phones. Her parents say, "she just wants to text the family." "Who else would she text?" Where have I heard that before? :( Most of us have heard what goes on in middle school locker rooms and busses. It's frightening!

Be a mother; that's cool enough.
 

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14 is fine... 11 is on dodgy ground.

Unless the kid is exceptionally smart/mature, I would agree with you.
 

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Hugh, 14 can be a very dangerous age. Every teacher and most parents know that adolescence is a confusing age. You love your parents; you hate your parents; you like your teacher; your teacher is unfair and cruel. You can't wait to leave home; you want to stay in your room all the time. You want to be a doctor; you want to just hang out. It's the age of confusion. And hormones are flaming.

Guess who did her student teaching in Middle School? 8O If I thought that was tough, subbing 9th. graders (14 years old) made it look like Disneyland!

I like teens; I really do. The problem is that a few rotten apples can spoil the barrel. One on one? They're fine. They're good kids! But in a roomful of trouble makers, they often say nothing. You know that with me as a sub, the trouble makers didn't get away with anything! It's not fun to handle, though. Some days were great, but I was very happy to get my own classroom!
 

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I didnt get a mobile phone until i was 14 or 15. I remember everyone at school had a mobile except me so i used to bring a toy phone (that looked convincingly like a real phone) so i could fit in. LOL! Alot of the girls caught a train home so i guess its for their parents peace of mind which i think is fair enough.
 

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All I know is if I had a 15 year old, I'd much rather know where they are and have them send saucy texts to eachother than not know where they are and have them send saucy emails to eachother.
 

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I would give an 11 year old one of those phones that you can be programmed with only something like 3 numbers that can be called. This way they have the ability to call home if they need a ride, have an emergency and I could get hold of him/her if I needed to. No texting, no internet, no camera, no free reign to call anyone they want.
 

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Kids with cell phones is nuts. Who do they need to call that can't wait anyway? A kid who's got a driver's license and is out their on his/her own I can see it for emergencies or for letting Mom and Dad know they're going to be home late, but not anybody any younger. All they're going to do is run up huge bills texting nonsense back and forth. Those parents ought to be putting that money away for their retirement, not wasting it on 11-year olds keeping in touch.
 

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doodlebug said:
I would give an 11 year old one of those phones that you can be programmed with only something like 3 numbers that can be called. This way they have the ability to call home if they need a ride, have an emergency and I could get hold of him/her if I needed to..
Why in heaven's name would an 11-year-old even be in a situation where they'd even need to ability to do that?
 

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My child is nearly thirteen. He will not have his own cell phone, nor uncontrolled access to the internet for a good long time. He doesn't have an email address. He doesn't get to text. None of it.

I feel very strongly about it.

Don't get me started. ;)
 

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coaster said:
doodlebug said:
I would give an 11 year old one of those phones that you can be programmed with only something like 3 numbers that can be called. This way they have the ability to call home if they need a ride, have an emergency and I could get hold of him/her if I needed to..
Why in heaven's name would an 11-year-old even be in a situation where they'd even need to ability to do that?
They really shouldn't, but you never know. And these days you can't find a pay phone and many people don't have land lines anymore. It could also be used to let them know I was going a be a few minutes late to pick them up from somewhere etc. Basically peace of mind.
 

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I dunno. 11 isn't *that* young. When I was 11 I was a latchkey kid and riding my bike by myself all over creation. I bet my Mom would have wanted me to have a cell phone (at least one that was used just for emergencies) if they had one when I was that age.

They also make pay-as-you-go cell phones (I have one). You can arrange it so that the kid can't run up any more money then you let them run up.
 

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Well I suspect some people would like to lock their children up till their 18th birthday, and not allow them to do anything. But kids are kids. They will do stupid things, they will do things they shouldn't and they will disobey the nicest, most sensible parents. IMO one can't protect kids from everything, nor should one.
 

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My dad's a radio ham. I was raised on telecommunications-and taught to be serious when handling anything hi-tech. My 2 cents:It's not so much AGE as MATURITY. Some pre-teens are very responsible.
 

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Another fair point.

I know an 11 year old who'd be fine with a phone. I know a 24 year old who shouldn't have one.
 

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I have no interest in locking my child up until he's 18. I do, however, know what the internet's about, and I know that most pre-teens - and too many teenagers - are complete fools when it comes to acting with discretion on the internet.

There are teens on every message board I read, and I can tell you that with very little effort, I could find out exactly where they live and where they go to school. This is because they think they're safe, they think they're hidden, they don't realize that an observant person can connect the dots. And that's just what they would post to the world at large... imagine what they'd offer up in private.

I don't feel at all bad for looking over my child's shoulder when he's online, or for keeping texting away. Not one bit. :)
 

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I thought I had posted but I don't know where my post went! am I going nuts?
Alexis got a phone when she turned 11,at 13 we had to turn it off (long story), she is going to be 15 in July, we are thinking to get her a phone with no camera (another long story) and no texting until we know she is responsible enough!
In my experience cell phones and teenagers isn't a good idea, it is another outlet to corruption 8O 8O 8O
 

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Today's world is very scary for kids and parents. I can see the need behind wanting to be able to contact your child and have the child be able to contact you, but I also see the opportunity for the phone to be abused/used for childish nonsense, too.

I just don't see where most kids can be responsible enough to have a cell phone and I don't see enough parents able to teach their kids about that responsibility.
I liked Doodlebug's mention of limited numbers they are allowed to call. That would keep excessive use to a minimum.

Overall, I think of pre-teen and teenage cell phones as being a keeping-up-with-the-Jones' phenomenon.
 

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doodlebug said:
I would give an 11 year old one of those phones that you can be programmed with only something like 3 numbers that can be called. This way they have the ability to call home if they need a ride, have an emergency and I could get hold of him/her if I needed to. No texting, no internet, no camera, no free reign to call anyone they want.
AMEN!! I love you!!!
But they can receive calls from anyone:

http://www.gps-practice-and-fun.com/kid-phones.html

:?: :)
 

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aphrodeia said:
I have no interest in locking my child up until he's 18. I do, however, know what the internet's about, and I know that most pre-teens - and too many teenagers - are complete fools when it comes to acting with discretion on the internet.
Yup. If I were of your 13 yr old's generation Lisa, I too would probably not be the best on the internet. The temptation for pornographic materials at that age is strong. Not only that, there are far greater dangers than just trying to find naked women on the internet. And as we hear all too many times, camera phones are anymore the modern day equivalent of sneaking a Playboy into school.

There are teens on every message board I read, and I can tell you that with very little effort, I could find out exactly where they live and where they go to school. This is because they think they're safe, they think they're hidden, they don't realize that an observant person can connect the dots. And that's just what they would post to the world at large... imagine what they'd offer up in private.
Way too many people just are not smart in that regard, Lisa. :( And I will tell you what. MySpace is the worst thing to come out ever since teh interwebz was born.

I don't feel at all bad for looking over my child's shoulder when he's online, or for keeping texting away. Not one bit. :)
And that is so good to hear, Lisa!! You already know how many parents basically let the computer babysit their kids! I mean seriously! Parents don't just give their kids the keys the second they turn 16. No they have to be supervised behind the wheel for their own safety. Why should it be any different behind the monitor?

Personally I think texting is one of the most useless things on a cell phone ever! What is wrong with voice mails???
 
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