How young is too young for a mobile phone?

How young is too young for a mobile phone?
Do you think there is a specific age that is too young for a mobile phone? I've seen people with children as young as three or four years old asking what phone would be best for their child. To each their own, of course, but I wouldn't buy a child that young their own phone. Would you?

Children get hooked on screens so easily these days that I just don't see the point of making it earlier and earlier. I'm not going to tell someone else that they shouldn't do it, but I'm just curious about other opinions. Am I the only one that thinks a toddler is too little for his or her own phone? Maybe I'm just old school or just old.


A tablet? yes. A phone to contact the outside world? No! :D

What real use is a 'phone' to a toddler? Who are they gonna call, gramma? A tablet on the other hand means access to educational apps and hours of fun. Sure, there is a Skype app on most tablets, but I don't think most little kids will figure that one out for awhile.

Though maybe a mobile phone would be good for a school aged child who needs to call mom or dad to come pick them up for a ride from school or friend's house. Could be a good security accessory too. I'd hate to think of a child being stranded out somewhere with no way to call home.
Posted by Beverly on 05-05-2017
I would say anyone younger than 10 years old should not have a smart phone, but if the phone was a “dumb” phone like the Nokia 3310 then I would say that it should be alright for someone as young as 5 years old. One piece of advice: Make sure to monitor your kids phone usage aka do some parenting as good parents seem to be in short supply nowadays.
Posted by Gaince on 05-05-2017

According to me, a kid should not get his own phone, until he understands what a phone can do other than just watching cartoons and playing games. Tho a kid might use a phone of a parent or sibling under supervision and for a limited period of time.

as @Baverly said, a kid might have a phone if you are concerned about security or need of calling at any time. Yes you can give them but an phone without internet access and parental control on.
Posted by contracterboss on 05-05-2017
My granddaughter is 10 and has had a phone for 2 years. At first she just had an old one of mine which she played games on but now she is out and about I buy her credit so that if I want to contact her I can. I like that I can satisfy myself she is safe by texting or calling.

I personally feel a toddler is too young for a phone. They are likely to break it or lose it at that age. You can get age appropriate tablets which are fine for youngsters and are usually geared towards learning.
Posted by littlewitch66 on 05-05-2017
Who would a toddler call aside from their siblings? Other toddlers...? Who has a number at that age and what would they talk about? It's a similar debate to whether a child should have a social media account at a young age. I think it's important to emphasise interpersonal relationships at that point, instead to enabling them to wall themselves up behind a device...and don't get me started on those games aimed for kids with a buch of microtransactions urging kids to steal mom's credit card for more playtime. Tablets are a different matter altogether, as we can download some very nice games for mental development, not just Flappy Bird and Fruit Ninja.
Posted by Dionysia on 05-05-2017
Depends on how well the parent/guardian does at teaching the child how to use the phone responsibly. But of course a toddler can't handle a phone properly, so I'll say around seven or eight years old should be the lower limit.
Posted by Anonymous on 05-05-2017
As with anything, different ages may work better for different kids. At a younger age, the most important reason to have a cell phone would be for contact. For this reason, when a child reaches middle school age when they're beginning to take part in more extra curricular activities or events away from their parents, a cell phone would be incredibly useful. It'll make contact easier to arrange for rides to and from school, band rehearsal, football practice or the likes.

As was mentioned by someone else here, a tablet would be a fantastic option for younger kids for the purpose of playing games or drawing, but a cell phone with connection to the internet and other people is not necessary until around middle school, in my opinion.
Posted by TheArticulate on 05-05-2017
I believe a mobile phone is extremely important for a child. While at a younger age, around 5, a simple T-9 phone is great. Its important to teach them how to use it, but it allows them to be able to contact you and, worse case scenario, call 911. Growing up, both of my parents worked, so we were at home alone and it was vital we had a phone just in case. Smart phones are a bit different as they have access to the internet. I would personally wait until my children are at least mature enough to handle it and I'll buy them one. I would start out without a data plan as they have WiFi at home. When they get their own job, then they can start to pay for their data and phone to help teach them responsibility.
Posted by CubeJ on 05-05-2017
Before we give a device to a kid we have to ask ourselves what it’s going to be used for. I believe there is no exact age for a child to have a phone. A teenager going for things like camping, should have a phone so as to keep in touch with his parents.
Posted by Joelnexus on 05-05-2017
I don't mind if your child has a phone but age is an important factor. I agree you can keep in touch with them and it's a great convenience as it can make both of you safer in more than one ways. I also think that most parents provide a phone to their young kids for this particular reason but when I see a child of 4 or 5 playing games for most part of the day, I feel that's a big downside of this useful facility. I can relate when teenagers having a phone for more practical purposes like calling or texting in emergency or remaining in contact with their friends but when I see a child of 5-6 using a phone well, it's a tough call because that's not the right age for a child to use a phone.
Posted by mesush on 05-05-2017
Children don't really need cellphones until they're at least at junior high age (12-13). These days young people use their cellphones predominantly for surfing the web and playing games. Young children are not yet independent enough to warrant the need for a cellphone. They spend their time either at home supervised by their parents and family members, or at school, supervised by their teachers. If any emergency were to come up, they could easily use the phones of the adults in charge of their care. Personally, I believe giving a child a cellphone at too early is unnecessary and can be quite a distraction for them. It is alarming to me to see so many young children with their eyes glued to cellphones and tablets when i'm out in the world. I understand that it helps keep children occupied when out with their parents, and there are educational games and videos they can use on cellphones, but they have their whole lives to be submerged in the digital world. Until they're older and becoming more independent, going out with their friends without their parents, old enough to use social media and text/call their friends outside school hours, they really don't need a phone.
Posted by krystyltbh on 05-05-2017
Well said. I don't think they need one either. If they are going someplace, they can take your phone if need be (if you have access to another or a home phone). That's what we did. I'd give them my phone and they could call home or call dad's phone.

My teenager has a non-service phone, and old one of ours that she sometimes listens to music on and stuff, but she won't have a phone of her own until she has a job to pay for it and pay the bill. She's welcome to borrow mine as needed, but I agree with the statement that "they have their whole lives to be submerged in the digital world."

So many people seem to be addicted to their phones and to social media these days. I just don't want to start them off any younger. They seem to find this stuff soon enough, if you ask me.
Posted by Zyni on 05-08-2017
I can add to what I said above that if your child shows a sense of responsibility, like if they let you know where they are, when they should come back home. Or if they keep their promise or they they do what they say. There is another factor that would help you decide is if your kid is forgetful type or lose things easily or the one who takes care of his belongings.
Posted by mesush on 05-05-2017
I'm honestly not sure anymore what age is appropriate for a phone, these days phones can be used for a variety of things and needs may differ from family to family. Giving kids phones so they can contact their parents when they need to is honestly the most important reason for a child to be given a phone, other than that I don't see a need unless you want your child to be able to play mobile games on their own device, without having to let them use yours and risk any accidental purchases.
Posted by Krimzen on 05-07-2017
It is a new world and technology is part of it. Most of us weren't born in this era of touchscreens and smartphones so it may seem foreign to use to allow young children to interact with these devices, but if you've ever seen a child working a tablet then you know they are far more really for this technology than we were at their age.

Plus I would argue that letting a kid know how to use a phone is very useful, shall they ever be in need to locate someone or something. I would say so long as the kid demonstrate the ability to use it properly they should be allowed to, after all, it is not like if this technology was evil or something.
Posted by QuickSilverD on 05-07-2017
Yep, my kids know their way around technology probably better than I do. Technology has come a long way and is very useful, but I think it's also good interact on a personal level and not just on a phone/tablet/computer.

I don't think anyone is claiming it's "evil" though.

I'm not saying they should never use a device, or know how to use various ones, I just don't think I'd buy a toddler their own. There is plenty of time for them to be glued to the screen later in life.
Posted by Zyni on 05-15-2017
I don't know how young is too young, but I do know that there's a big difference between having a phone for "emergency reasons" and having a smart phone. Most of the people I know, when giving kids under 14 or 15 a phone for emergency contact, have gotten the basic TracFone which costs like under $100 a year. If the reason is truly just emergency calls, that's all they need. Texting and games and watching videos don't need to be part of a phone especially when most of those kids have laptops and/or tablets for doing those other things.

On second thought, I think those basic cell phones even include texting now, so there's no reason (in my mind, that is) to supply a 10 year old with a $500+ smart phone.
Posted by Destiny on 05-08-2017
My idea of a kid's age to be given a gadget is when he starts schooling in the first grade. I understand that schooling now is as early as 4 years old but my rule of thumb is first grade or 7 years old. And the main purppose the gadget, be it a phone or tablet, is mainly for communication with persons close to the child, i..e. parents, siblings, and maybe cousins as well. And for the games, it is all right provided the installing of games is with the approval of the parents. To be honest, I am very strict when it comes to technology and I hate seeing families in a restaurant with the kids using the gadget instead of having a conversation with the family. And another thing, the child will have full independence on the phone when he reaches high school level. Regarding strangers, I think the child can avoid strangers in the internet or in texting if given the proper orientation. You just don't give a phone to a child. Of course, you have to teach him not really on how to operate but on how to use the phone properly including the security and safety against strangers.
Posted by Corzhens on 05-10-2017
I have no kids BUT I'm about to adopt three siblings from two to five years-old and my husband has seven adult children. I asked him what he thought since he has so much experience and he thinks around six-years-old is about right. By seven, these kids will be showing you stuff on the phone (if it is a smartphone and aren't they all?) and you'll be calling your child to help you out with phone settings.
Posted by DeeFree on 05-11-2017
I think when the children are in their teens, they're more likely to go out more, therefore, would need something to make sure they're safe.
Posted by Atropia on 05-11-2017
I have children myself and I only started letting my children have a basic phone from the age of 10 so they could get used to one however I only allowed them to have it so I could contact them and no the other way around. It wasn't until my children were 12-13 years of age that I allowed them to have their own data and minutes so that they could call me on their phones when they were out and about and the reason I allowed that is because of how far away school is from home and I needed them to be able to contact me and vice versa if there ever was a problem. A tablet from say around 3 - 4 years old is perfectly fine I feel but a phone is definitely a no go. Why would a child need a phone at that young age anyway? It's not like they will be heading out away from you as a parent and you will need to contact them. Phones in my opinion are there so you can contact your child. Once your child has more independence and tends to go off a lot more that is when it's time to consider a mobile phone, not before.
Posted by Shortie on 05-12-2017
I think once a child is old enough to travel back and forth from school on their own is the age they should get a cell phone. Anything can happen on their travel that they may need to make a call. Especially if they have after school activities and you work. Communication is the key to safety and less confusion about scheduling.
Posted by Zyphir on 05-13-2017
Yes, but does that mean that children ages 7 or so need a smart phone? Social media culture is taking over and is detrimental to the mental health of those in middle and elementary schools. These kids becomes obsessed with how many likes they get on Instagram and how other people perceive them. Social media becomes less of a record keeping idea and more of a show off culture. TV shows today are rampant with this idea - just look at Netflix's "Thirteen Reasons Why." While this is an extreme example, it shows the detrimental effects of social media culture and how naive children are damaged by it.
Posted by Anonymous on 05-17-2017
Indeed. That's another great point. Children don't need to base their personal worth on what people online think of them. There is plenty of time for social media stuff later when they can deal with it better and understand that not everyone will like what they like or agree with everything they post. I see older kids and young adults who act like their lives are over if their stuff doesn't get likes. It makes me sad.

I also think personal (in person) interaction is important. It's no wonder so many people have trouble coping in social situations these days. Some people even text each other from the next room rather than talking to one another.

Why get them started early?
Posted by Zyni on 05-18-2017
I agree with what some people have said about phones vs tablets. A phone might be pretty unnecessary for a small child, but a tablet can work as a pretty powerful education tool. I don't really see a reason to withhold something like this from a child. After all, smartphones and tablets take a larger and larger role in our lives, so why not let a child learn?
Posted by hampus94 on 05-14-2017
Fluffy Panda
There are clearly a lot of people on this site posting their opinion but in my opinion, I think that you should get a cell phone by the time your 10 at least. The reason I say this is because cyber bullying has become a lot bigger and scarier. However I do believe that you should be able to call for help if needed but, that's my personal opinion. Lot's of kids that are really young are getting iPhones and I just think that's wrong but I'm not a parent so I can't decide for other children.
Posted by Fluffy Panda on 05-14-2017
In my opinion I do not think there is a certain age where a child is supposed to have a phone. It all depends on his ability to understand the meaning of a phone and the things he can do with it. While for the parents it can be useful because they can contact the child, or even locate them on the map through some applications, the baby point of view is a more delicate problem. It has to make the difference between the benefits that a phone can bring and the bad things that can occure, for example chat with strangers . This particularities can also be controlled with help from parents. In conclusion, I think it depends on the child to the child, depending on its development and the education it receives.
Posted by birlaandrei on 05-14-2017
I think you shouldn't give a child who is younger than 10 years old a mobile phone. We must not forget that mobile phones are tools to communicate with other people, and I don't see why a kid who is younger than 10 would need to call anyone. When I was that young I would always be around my parents and didn't go out with friends yet. Now, I know everyone is different, and that times have changed, but in most cases, I would say a phone is not necessary for such young child. A tablet or a laptop is fine. Nothing expensive though. Remember you're dealing with kids who don't have a notion of how much things cost nor how hard it is to make money. And please make sure your kids are playing outside as well. It's important to get familiar with the technology, but it's as important to get enough physical activity and socialize with other kids.
Posted by FatManX on 05-15-2017
I would say kids under the age of 10 would not need a mobile phone maybe a Nokia flashlight wouldn't be so bad. Young kids would not have to require a mobile phones as it can be very distracting and cause them to stray away from their studies. Parents should have an adjust schedule to attend to the child when school is over and in case of emergencies.
Posted by camshaq23 on 05-15-2017
hpro hamed
I think under fifteen or fourteen is to young to have a mobile phone. because mobile can access them to the to much informations that they are not ready for it. if you want to do that you surly should use monitoring apps to check them and don't let them to go somewhere that can mislead them from the good way...
Posted by hpro hamed on 05-16-2017
Some children are more responsible than others, so it definitely depends on the child. A parent should be able to use their best judgment according to the individual child in question. In my situation, I have one child that is responsible enough and gets decent grades in school, on the other hand, I have another child that really need closer supervision and isn't yet ready for certain responsibilities such as owning a cellular phone.
Posted by tinkerlove on 05-16-2017
Art Over Homework
I think it is up to the parents who care for the child. There are some children who are very responsible and who know how to behave. And there are adults who will play on that phone all day. It depends on the character of the person. not their age. However, at too young of an age, people will not develop the character and self control they need to have a cellphone. Therefore the parents need to be extra careful when deciding when or if they need one.
Posted by Art Over Homework on 05-16-2017
Having a designated phone (not smartphone) for emergency uses is necessary in a child life. When you restrict your child from these things your only causing them to rebel when they get older or lack there of the experience to manage there lives properly. I think under 12 years old is too early and above 12-15 depend entirely on the child's routine when leaving school whether they take the bus, train or has a driver to take them home, whereas when in school if anything should go wrong the teacher can call the parents. :)
Posted by onpointpaul on 05-17-2017
I am a mother of two. I allow my 8 year old child to use my old smart phone at home for games, youtube videos, music, and taking pictures. She will not have her own smart phone until she is at least 12 or older. Ideally, she will not need a phone until after-school activities such as sports in late middle school/early high school. I don't hate electronics, but I think that children should not be too connected during their formative years. There is too much unfiltered content online that they are not old enough to properly process. Also, children are emotionally undeveloped and can send mean or harmful texts or messages that can be quickly and thoughtlessly sent. Children can be meaner through technology than they would ever be in person. I want to protect my children.
Posted by Mahshiemonalisa on 05-17-2017
This is a very touchy subject. There is no right or wrong age for a child to have a cell phone. We, as parents or adults in these children's lives need to teach children what to use the phone for. My daughter had a boy in her class not only using his phone but, looking up inappropriate things. Now my daughter has a phone as well but it is put away during the school day. She only uses it to contact me if the bus is late or she wants to attend some activity after school.

I think it depends on the maturity of the child as well as how often is the child alone where they may need to call an adult. Does the child have after school activities or visit friends houses often? If the child wants one because their friends have one in my opinion that child can go without.
Posted by Anonymous on 05-18-2017
I think children as young as one year old can be given a phone. However, children should not be left unattended when they are playing with phone. You can use your phone to let children listen to different kinds of sounds , such as animal noise, music etc. You can also use phone to let children watch videos of animals, and cartoon shows. You can also read books on phone for children. Phone is not just for talking to people, but also read books, listen to music and watch video
Posted by vinaya on 05-19-2017
Jonathan Solomon
Growing up, I was always taught that a mobile phone is a responsibility. This is why I base my entire comment around responsibility.

Simply put, it depends on what type of responsibilities that child has. In America, we have a term called "latchkey child". These are children who return home from school and are home alone for several hours. Generally, children like this are more independent and responsible for their own well-being. My dad was a latchkey child at age 8. If he was my son, I would've bought his first phone at age 8. My parents always stressed to me about being in communication with them 24/7, no matter what the age. So personally, I feel it comes down to that specific child; how responsible they are and what type of responsibilities they have to take on.

If you're a parent, who's not comfortable with their child having a mobile phone, buy a tablet. They can still enjoy the perks of a phone, without actually having one. Just my opinion...
Posted by Jonathan Solomon on 05-19-2017
I don’t see that a child would even need a phone their own until they are in their early teens. Up until then, why can’t they use their parent’s phone to call friends?

If a very young child has a smart phone, it will be a distraction in school, you will have little control over what they are seeing, who is contacting them, and what types of photos they are sending or receiving. If a child is carrying an expensive smart phone, they also become the target of thieves and bullies at school. Then we have cyber-bullying, sexting, grooming, happy slapping, and the problem of those kids who will be teased simply because their parents can’t afford the very latest iPhone.

Kids have enough to deal with just growing up, why open the door to a load of new potential problems for them by giving them a phone when they don’t need one?
Posted by Anonymous on 05-23-2017
I believe it is more a matter of maturity and responsibility than age. However, having said that, the ages mentioned above (3-4), I would definitely consider as being too young, unless those children were somehow exceptional enough to understand the importance and responsibility of having a phone. In this day and age, I could be wrong.
Posted by Mark.c on 05-23-2017
According to me, a kid should not get his own phone, until he understands what a phone can do other than just watching movies and playing games
Posted by Anonymous on 05-23-2017
A teen should have a phone. Teens go out a lot, and a phone is helpful to monitor your kids. Kids though, should spend more time playing outside rather than getting high-tech toys.
Posted by rvnaclw on 05-25-2017
I am disgusted by young children with smart phones. I personally think that no one under the age of 12 needs a smart phone, but perhaps if they still sell flip phones, I would allow a child younger than ten have one of those, just so they can contact parents or police in case of emergency. On the other hand, I have grown up in a very different culture. I was surprised to be told that perhaps my seven year old sister in law may be even more trustworthy with my tablet than I am, and seeing her using it, I do see that. Perhaps by the time I have children of my own, I will understand why some parents of young children let their children have smart phones.
Posted by Anonymous on 05-25-2017
I think around 12 or 13. And they don't need a fancy smart phone. Just something that works.
Posted by Anonymous on 05-26-2017
There was a story in a local newspaper about a kid that run away from home because her mum told her she couldn't use social media anymore. The kid was about 12 years old and was already hooked to her phone, always texting and never looking up to actually experience the real world. Other than the inherent dangers of exposing your child to the outside world full of predators and scam artists trying to make a dollar by any means necessary; there's also the risk of your child being unable to interact with people in the real world because they don't need to when your friends are a text or IM away. So unless my child actually knows how to survive without a phone then they don't get a phone.
Posted by Githmaina on 05-27-2017
Yeah, that's crazy. I bet she didn't get addicted like that overnight either.

Yep, there is a lot of danger too. It helps to supervise, but then again, you can't watch them every second.

I keep seeing more and more about people not being comfortable with socializing in person or being in public. This seems to increase at about the same rate the use of social media increases... hmmm.
Posted by Zyni on 05-31-2017
Although I agree there might be some situations where young kids might need a mobile phone to contact the parents when needed, that should be wjen they reach school age and a basic phone just to make calls should be good enough. When the kids are at home or with the parents, I do not see any needs for them to hold the phone all day long.

I am not sure if those toddlers you mentioned are having their own phone, or they are just using the parents', I have seen some parents just let them use whenever they asked or cried for it. My friend told me, if he doesn't let his 2 year old son play game with his phone, he'd keep crying non stop. I personally think it's too young for a preschooler to use the mobile phone. Perhaps I am too old school too, but I think there are many disadvantages for young kids to use mobile phone.
Posted by kaka135 on 05-27-2017
I'd say that 10 is too young to have a mobile phone, at least one with internet access. I think the right age is around 12-13. What's the reason for buying a mobile phone to a 5-8 years old kid?
Posted by Chiari on 05-30-2017
I have two children aged 10 and 11 years old so I am going to have to figure this one out soon. I see no reason for them to have phones at their age right now. I would say that once they reach junior high and high school then they will probably have a phone but as money is tight it will not be anything fancy. I do not feel they need internet capabilities while they are away from home. Right now they have tablets and access to a computer so that meets their wants for gaming just fine. I do not feel that children under 13 need to have a phone. But I am a little old school when it comes to topics such as this.
Posted by morgoodie on 05-30-2017
I think Any child who knows to say" Dady I'm lost somewhere in a park can you come and pick me please" That will be like a 4 or 5 years old child Can own a Phone, But if he's my boy I would not give him the one which has access to internet To control him :-)
Posted by Clara1993 on 06-02-2017
well it depends on the maturity level of the child, kids are getting phones much earlier now a days. None of my boys have cell phones, but they all have tablets, and there 7, 9, and 11. and my 9 year olds figured out how to put a phone app on his tablets, so he turned his tablet into a mobile phone, I would have not gotten them tablets myself but the have a grandma who spoils them.
Posted by kamar19 on 06-03-2017
Emergency's unfortunately do happen and when they do any parent can agree that they would prefer that their child be able to contact them by any means necessary, in that scenario it makes sense. Now the idea everyone immediately gets into their head is that we will give these children unlimited access to the internet, social media, and other potentially predatory traps. That's not the case, our cellular providers do offer kid version cell phones that are easy to use and the parent does not have to be a professional programmer to figure out the parental restrictions.
Posted by Clprice on 06-04-2017
Kids definitely don't need the ability to call someone, so giving them a tablet is just fine. These days a lot of parents are buying their kids phones earlier in their lives. I even saw a kid that was 6 and had an IPhone 7. Children really don't have the responsibility to hold something thats ~700 dollars. Tablets can be really cheap at around ~50 dollars and some can be quite durable, so a tablet could be alright for entertainment.
Posted by lexcion on 06-05-2017
Well, my son has a V tech tablet and he got it 2 years ago when he turned 2. My son turns 5 this november and I am going to give him an old kindle fire after the screen gets repaired. I know it might come as a shock to some but the worry of children being "addicted to" looking at screens is (in my opinion) becoming irrelevant because when my son is an adult it will probably be a much larger part of his life than it is for anyone today. I provide him with educational apps, games, and shows for when we are on long car rides or when he is allowed to use it at home. When it comes to a phone I think that it is going to be something my generation's kids are going to need phones sooner than we did simply because landlines are not as common anymore. I think right before freshman year of highschool is appropriate for kids to get phones now, sooner if there isn't a phone at home but having a smartphone any sooner than junior high is just overkill in my opinion.
Posted by thedadinomicon on 06-06-2017
I've seriously considered getting my 8-year-old a basic phone to take with him. He has a short walk from the bus to the house and sometimes his other parent is on the irresponsible side, so as a safety thing it would be great. Honestly, a tablet can do 100x worse things than calling someone ever could and he's had a tablet for over 2 years now. We just have a lot of talks about stranger danger.
Posted by baksam13 on 06-07-2017
You make a very good point, @Clprice. The type of phone (and access) certainly makes a difference.

@baksam13, maybe what was suggested above would be a good tool. Having to walk on his own at such a young age, I can certainly see wanting your child to be able to contact you if needed.

Someone else mentioned a child 4-5 years old being alone in a park and needing to call a parent. I don't think a child of that age should be alone in the park in the first place, but maybe that's just me.
Posted by Zyni on 06-08-2017
Smartphones are different than basic phones. We need phones for children to call their parents or call whoever they need in times of an emergency. It's just being responsible. I'm talking about children over 7 years old. Yes. They do need phones. But Smartphones? That's a no-no for me. Whether we want it or not, internet and smartphones are addictive devices and tools and are already considered such by international Psychology schools. They just are, we need to accept that and work on teaching our children to use them in a healthy way. That's something they can decide in their late teen years. But it's definitely not meant for them to use a smartphone all the way through their childhood and puberty like most do. Call me the lame parent, I want my kids to go outside and build a treehouse!
Posted by Craap on 06-07-2017
I think any layman should be able to see that it can be addictive. Have you ever been in a restaurant and seen a couple or an entire family at another table, all glued to their phones instead of talking to each other? Next, it will be the baby in the highchair, ha ha.

I don't think you're a lame parent. I think it's great for kids to play outside. It's good for them to use their imagination, to enjoy nature, to get some exercise. I'm glad I didn't grow up with this much technology. I have great memories of playing outside.
Posted by Zyni on 06-13-2017
In my opinion, 12 years would be the minimum age for a child to start using a telephone. Other than that, I do not think it would be interesting for any child to have their own device. I think there is no need since children under 12 do not know much about the outside world and should always be accompanied and protected from their parents.
Posted by hermessantos on 06-07-2017
My husband and I have decided that our children will have a very basic phone when they are actively participating in an extracurricular activity that requires them to travel more than just to and from school. After that it will be based upon their behavior. We don't really believe in just giving in because all of the other kids seem to have a phone. If they are willing to work a bit for it then there is no reason why they shouldn't be rewarded. I also think that technology is a very useful tool for kids and they need to be familiar with it in order to be successful in today's society, but that is a very thin line between using it regularly and becoming glued to a screen.
Posted by cms6401 on 06-08-2017
I do not have any kids, but from seeing my nephew, whose 3 years old has never asked for a phone. He has a tablet where he can watch educational movies or play educational games but he is given a timer with no more than 15 minute intervals. Plus, there is a password on it so he cannot access it unless provided permission.

When I was a teen, I was able to have a phone because I walked home. However, then unlimited data was not a popular thing, so I was only given a certain amount of minutes so I only used that for emergencies. Now a days, the price of phones are more reasonable plus you get shared data, unlimited minutes and the only phones really on the market are smartphones... so, teens are requesting them at an early age. There are some perks where parents' could track their child too. I think a reasonable age would be 13. (for a smart phone). A basic phone for a younger age. But of course, grades have to up to pare.
Posted by simplym on 06-08-2017
Golden Geek
That highly depends on your situation. A child in an inner city who walks home from school every day will need a mobile phone sooner than one who gets picked up by their mom every day. A child whooften spends the night at friends' houses will need a mobile phone sooner than a homebody. Et cetera, et cetera.
Posted by Golden Geek on 06-09-2017
Well, I would say 8 years is too young. The problem is that most of your child's schoolmates probably own and use mobile phones. There can be various reasons why young children shouldn't use mobile phones, but I consider electromagnetic radiation of mobile phones to be the most important. Though studies have not clearly shown by scientific evidence that this radiation is harmful to people, some negative correlations have been found. The effects of radiation on a small head of young children when they put their phones next to their ears are just stronger than on larger heads of grown-ups. The sad thing about mobile phones for children is that a lot of parents are buying phones to their offsprings just because they want to control them all the time, so they can know what they are doing every single moment. Children thus somehow lose part of their own responsibility and decision making abilities. Then other kids want to own phones as well.

In my opinion, the best compromise would be that children have their own small tablet or even mobile phone without SIM card for general everyday use, especially at school or near their homes in playgrounds. And you can have an extra family phone that they can borrow when visiting distant or untypical places.
Posted by Mole on 06-09-2017
When a child reaches double figures I think that is the time to give them a phone and a tablet or computer. At that age, they are nearing secondary school and can use it for education as well as keeping in touch with their friends. they should be taught though that it costs money to have a phone and given chores to meet that demand.

Younger than ten years of age is too young I think to have a mobile telephone. They should not be out alone at that age but when they reach their teens having a phone adds to their safety.
Posted by JMS on 06-10-2017
I think kids can have smartphones or tablet when they enter middle school. Of course, that doesn't mean they cannot have access to tablets or smartphones at younger age but it needs to be supervised by the parents. I think a lot of the games and apps can be good for the brain development of young kids but I think when they get to middle school, that's when they can have good common sense with regards of using mobile phones, including electronic safety, etc.
Posted by lordrenly on 06-10-2017
Mobile phones are not made for kids. Having mobile phones requires responsibility such as using the phone appropriately. For them, tablets are much likely to use.
Posted by Neiltarquin on 06-10-2017
This is totally dependent on the child and their parents. I personally would not allow a child under 10 to have a mobile phone. Mobile phones do provide extra safety and contact between child and parent, so some parents may give their child a phone at an early age. There is really no reason for them to have a phone unless safety or communication is a concern of the parents.
Posted by Madelyn on 06-10-2017
I would not allow a child to have a phone until 5 or 6 years old because this is around the age elementary school starts and they will be away from home. There are plenty of safety features on mobile phones to where a child can be limited on how he or she uses the phone. The mobile phone can be setup in a way that the child can only use it to make phone calls to their parents and 911 (emergency). I think it is important that children know how to use mobile phones as early as possible.
Posted by Jimmy38 on 06-10-2017
When it comes to this subject, it always feels like most of the people who have extremely strong 'no' opinions are grouchy old people (no offense!). I see no harm in letting children use smart devices. Phones? Probably not until about the age of 12-ish. But a tablet or something along those lines used for playing games, watching videos, etc. seems fair enough. I've seen parents with toddlers (2-3 years old) letting them use tablets and such, and I'm completely okay with that.
Posted by necrotic on 06-11-2017
You sound like someone who doesn't have kids (no offense). I haven't really seen all this grouchiness you mention, just people sharing their opinions and reasons for those opinions. I think most people have offered up some pretty good arguments too.

Also, many if not most have said that tablets with supervision are fine, just not smartphones.
Posted by Zyni on 06-14-2017
Whoa, a toddler having a phone? That's way to young. If they want to play around on a phone I would gladly hand over mine to entertain them for a little while, but for them to actually have their own functioning phone is rather ridiculous.

A tablet at that age, I might be able to justify as long as they are using it with an adult around. I'm sure there are games for children that age to help them developmentally.

I think the appropriate age a child should have their own phone is at the start of high school. This is around the age they might actually need to call someone in an emergency. So, for safety reasons I think around age 13-14 is good.
Posted by Lizzyib on 06-11-2017
I think that if you give your child a phone before they are teenagers it is not a good idea. I have my own kids and I noticed that the days when I let them play on iPhone or IPad they become uncontrollable and do not listen to me, but if I hide the iPad for a few days its a complete different child. I grew up without a TV or any electronics and I had the best childhood.
Posted by lyudmilka78 on 06-12-2017
In my opinion, “too young” to use a mobile phone is when it is not necessary for one for its “actual purpose” (calling people/contacting them). This varies from family to family, person to person but it’s roughly too early when they are still in elementary school (5-12 years of age). It tends to be that the age of which children are receiving mobile phones has decreased and that children are now receiving phones at a young age and that they are using it for unnecessary things (gaming). I disapprove of this and only need a phone if they are independently going places.
Posted by timstargraal on 06-13-2017
To me 7 years is the appropriate age you can give your child a phone. You can make use of tablets with no sim slots, install educational applications that can help him learn things on the go and restrict the usage to some specified time to avoid abuse. Nowadays you can't shutdown all these things from your child because when he goes out, or goes to school, he wll encounter and still interact with kids his same age who use it. The best way is to teach him yourself, let him know the pros and cons of using those gadgets.
Posted by Deen on 06-13-2017
For an actual smartphone, I'd say not younger than seven or eight years old. The Internet is a "dangerous" place for young children, and giving them unlimited access to it from such a young age is not something I would recommend. A GSM, however, is a whole other story. It's not a screen they could get addicted to, but it's great for emergencies. They would be accessible at all times, which is good in the case of an emergency or whenever they would have to be reached by an adult. Mostly, though, it's important to inform your child of what the gadget is and what they could do with it.
Posted by BubblyWiz on 06-14-2017
I would say that 13 is a good age for a kid to get a cell phone. However, some parents may feel that a child at a younger age may need a phone. If the child has after school practice, or if they are left alone after school the parent may feel safer if the child has a phone to call them on.
Posted by BigDreamer on 06-14-2017
In my opinion, children should not have cellphones until they are 16 because it is like a drug to them when they are in class. If they get used to using their phones in class, while walking, while doing everything when they are younger. It will be hard to destroy that habit when they get a bit older, don't you think? That is why you need an age where they can discipline themselves, like about 16 years old.
Posted by fl1pz on 06-15-2017
Children should enjoy their childhood without electronics in their life. I would say 16 is a good age for cellphone.
Posted by lyudmilka78 on 06-15-2017
I think there is now no definition of young that is left these days. Kids less than one year are very happy using phones. Some of the toddlers know to operate the smartphones far better than their grand parents. All the kids are becoming so much tech savvy that it is hard to find out whether this addiction is for good or bad.

Whereas owing a personal phone so as to contact the outside world should have a age restriction. Kids should not have their personal phones until they reach the age of 12 years minimum.
Posted by amitkokiladitya on 06-16-2017
Children whose ages range between 1-17 are too young to use a mobile phone because this is the period when they are still seriously learning by immitation and they are a lot of bad things to learn from using a mobile phone at that age range.
Posted by pioneerauthor on 06-20-2017
It depends on the children and the parents. The parents are the one who knows their child the best and knows at what age their child could handle the responsibility of having a phone.I was not brought up in a time when kids had phones so I am not sure what the correct answer would be. For me I would think by 8-9 they could hand the respossibility and be able to take of it and not lose it but some kids at a younger age are more responsible.
Posted by Sue on 06-20-2017
I don't mind giving a gaming tablet for my kid, but that's when they're at least 6 or 7. I don't even mind letting my kid go to school and share the good experience we get from gaming to his/her friends. But not a phone. I wouldn't like it for my kid to have a portable social media yet since they need to learn to use it first. I think the right age for that is when they are hitting puberty, when they learn everything they can learn since it would help them answer the questions they are too shy to ask, and help them getting through their puberty. And I'm pretty sure that age is mature enough that they wouldn't be tricked online or anything similar.
Posted by ValX on 06-20-2017
my 2 elder daughters have a mobile because I do tend to worry so I do like them to let me know if they running late from school or after school club so I can collect them a little later on as these day's you never know who is hanging around and am very protective other my kids .
Posted by moneybags82 on 06-20-2017
I believe a child having a mobile device with an internet connection is a no-no. They will be too exposed to things that they should only learn and find out at a later stage in life. I would only allow my child to access the internet with supervision once they reach an age where they are mature and understanding enough to interpret everything they see in the right way.

With regards to the age when they should have access to a smartphone or tablet, I think its fine after the age of five once the dummies and dolls become boring. But they should be limited to just playing a few minutes/hours of games per day, thus having them spend more time drawing, running, being outside and doing what every kid has been doing for generations before them. No child should be sitting inside 8 hours per day behind a screen.

This of course depends on the situation and the child, but every parent should definitely read up on this topic while their child is still young to avoid trouble in the future!
Posted by SashaS on 06-23-2017
I don't think kids should have phones until they are mature enough to know how to use them properly. Much less one with internet connection, as that is the one field we cannot control on a 100% level. It's just not safe to expose children to the entire world without a solid way to guide them through it. Like many people before me, I agree that keeping children away from technology is pointless, so introducing them little by little to it through (disconnected) tablets seems like the ideal approach for me, as long as it is done with proper regulation.

Whenever the kid starts showing signs of independence (wanting to spend a bit more of time with friends, walking home from school, etc) I think it's the proper time to introduce them to disconnected phones, as safety starts to become an issue.
Posted by VintageRose on 06-23-2017
I bought my kid a phone at the age of 4.5 years. The phone has only two numbers. Mom and dad's number. The phone has a GPS system that helps me to track where she is. Of course it has some few games that she can play. So i can say in this century, the earlier you introduce a phone, even a toy phone, the better. Additionally, in case of an emergency, your child can call you and report timely.

What you should consier is to get a fairly priced phone, that is hardy and can be dropped and used several times. The phone must also be water proof. You know Kids!!
Posted by bomb2060 on 06-24-2017
The only reason I could think of for a small child to have a cell phone is for protection only if they get lost or something like that happens. I think a child should be allowed to have their own cell phone when they are mature enough to handle them and use them responsibly. It's very sad to see kids these days with their face buried in their phones instead of doing outdoor or meaningful activities. I feel like they shouldn't have internet access unless under supervision. There is so much going on out there in cyber space that it isn't safe to just turn a child loose in it. I think a lot of times we let tablets and other electronics be a babysitter for our kids to keep them occupied. We should instead be encouraging them to participate in healthier activities. The sad and true fact though is that we are the ones that are addicted to our cell phones and are constantly on them. This is why most kids are wanting cell phones they mimic us as we are their teachers. We should set better examples.
Posted by freebird37 on 06-24-2017
Bobby Cole
I'm probably not going to make any young friends here but in my most humble opinion a kid is to young to have one until they can afford to buy one on their own. There, I said it!

Now, does that mean that I believe a young person should not have a mobile phone? Absolutely not! I mean simply that when a young boy or girl saves up from whatever monetary allowances they receive, newspaper route wages or even selling lemonade and are ready to commit said monies into buying a phone then so be it.
When young people are taught to set goals and realize those goals through honest endeavors such as work, then the upcoming adult will cherish what they receive much more than if it was merely given to them.

Last thing though is concerning a parent's role when a minor does get a phone. Until a minor is truthfully able to make the right choices while they live under a parent's roof the phone must have some constraints and the parent's should monitor what is being done with said mobile device.

Yeah, I guess I'm going to have to stick with much older aged friends because I am sure that I haven't made any young ones here.
Posted by Bobby Cole on 06-25-2017