When Is It Time To Give A Kid A Cell Phone?
What is the appropriate age to give a kid a phone? Or what circumstances make it ok to give a kid a phone?
These are common questions I talk to parents and executives about on a regular basis. How young is too young is the magic question. I know kids these days are getting iPod Touches or old hand-me-down iPhones at a young age but they are not hooked up to a cellular carrier. That is not what we are talking about today. How old should a kid be to get a hand-me-down iPhone connected to a cell phone carrier with their own phone number? There is no exact age like Facebook that says kids need to be at least 13 years old to get an account. Parents don't get any guidelines for this kind of thing. In many cases kids get phones because maybe they have a dance class or soccer practice that the parents don't always attend so they could potentially be left alone and being 2015, should be able to call a parent if needed. In other cases, kids get left home alone or go out with a friend or grandparent and the parents want to be able to reach the child. More and more people are giving up their landlines so there is not that static phone line always available at home or at a friends home they may be visiting.
What have you done with your kids or seen others do in these situations? With the gift giving season upon us, this is going to be a topic of conversation with many parents. Me personally... We let our kids play with our old iPhones but we're considering putting a sim into one of them so our 8 year old will be reachable. We had an issue yesterday where we couldn't reach my mother in law (who had the kids) because her phone was on silent. We weren't worried but wanted to coordinate dinner plans. So we may just be "those" parents giving a 3rd grader a working cell phone soon.