When is a good time for you to allow your children to have a cell phone? Every situation is different. What was the purpose for the phone? To socialize or to be able to call us to get a ride home or for us to find them when they are out.
When Matthew went into grade 7 and had to stay late at school, I thought about him needing a phone so that he could call me if he got delayed or something. One of the phone companies had a super cheap $10 monthly plan. I really considered it. I had an old phone that he could use and it would be a low monthly fee. Then I realized that if he is at school, there is always a phone he can use in the office or one of his friends would have a phone. So he didn’t get a phone when he was 12. He ended using his friends phone and now I have all his friends phone numbers. If I need to get a hold of him and I know who he is with, I can still contact him!!
Currently we use my cell phone as a home phone and it is fine but now that he is 16 and putting out resumes, I figured it is time. Especially when i’m out of town. Potential employers could call or if he is needed for a work shift.
Since he didn’t have a job to pay for his phone yet, we wanted to be smart about what plan we purchased and what phone to get. My sister gave me on of her old phones so at least he didn’t have to purchase one. No data and unlimited text, 100 free call mins & free calls between him and myself. We gave him $120 to use anyway he chose, either a new phone or a phone plan. Since he had a phone from my sister and he didn’t have a job when he turned 16, the money went towards the phone plan.
Forward 6 months and Matthew has been working for a few months now, and saved some money, He has gone out and gotten a new cell phone with a plan. It was time, as he is now the president of his company in Junior Achievers(Entrepreneurial program for school age kids), communicating on an old cell phone without google capabilities and not being able to download apps was limiting his abilities.
For some children, a cell phone is a necessity, others a luxury. He hasn’t really needed a phone till now and the timing is perfect as he is able to afford the phone himself and it has become a necessity for him as he needs it for other purposes besides socializing with his buddies. I wonder when my other kids will be asking for a cell.