My daughter got her first cell phone in 7th grade (after much lobbying, whining, begging, and squabbling). Because she took public transportation home from school, my husband and I decided it was a good idea from a safety standpoint. There were no texts, the phone couldn't take pictures, she was told how many minutes were allowed, and we did take it away from her as a punishment once (and it was very effective). Flash forward to the next child, four years her junior. He got a phone in 6th grade, mostly for the same reasons. But technology had moved on, and his came with text and photo ability, not to mention games. By then, our daughter had also become a text messaging ninja, and we'd upgraded our plan for unlimited texts (a very wise move) and replacement insurance (ditto).
But what's the right age for kids to get cell phones, and what functions are age appropriate? This question is best answered by asking other questions: How independent are your kids? Do your children "need"Read More »from The Great Cellphone Debate: Whatâ€™s the Right Age?