Kids & mobile phones

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  • Kids & mobile phones
  • Premier Icon dirkpitt74
    Subscriber

    So our Daughter who’s 8 (going on 16….) keeps pestering us for a mobile – most of the kids in her year seem to have one.
    Our 13 y/o Son has one as he walks to/from school and also to the in-laws a couple of times a week.

    So what should I do?
    I’m not convinced she needs one – but peer pressure & all that….

    Say no. You’re the parent so you’re in charge. She doesn’t need one at 8.

    Premier Icon pocpoc
    Subscriber

    Our 9yo son hasn’t even mentioned it.
    We know a couple of friends with younger kids (7/8) who have one but I don’t agree with it.
    Ours have a kids tablet that they can use in the house, but they don’t go anywhere without a trusted and contactable adult so don’t need a phone.

    In discussions I’ve had with Mrs PP we both agree that the step up from juniors to secondary school will be the earliest they’d get one. If then.

    EDIT: We also have some of those 2km walkie talkies that we can use if they start venturing to the local park independantly any time soon.

    Premier Icon wors
    Subscriber

    Say no. You’re the parent so you’re in charge. She doesn’t need one at 8.

    And in 6 months time when she has finally you ground with all the constant whining, you’ll get her on anyway.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Say no. You’re the parent so you’re in charge. She doesn’t need one at 8.

    This, your the adult, who cares what the other parents do.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Our 9 year old has one.

    We did hold out for a while but when she starts at middle school in September she’ll be getting a bus to and from school, so we wanted her to have a way to call us if there were any issues.

    It’s also pretty useful when she is out with her friends etc.

    We use the Apple Family Sharing settings so that:
    – any app downloads have to be expressly approved by us.
    – we limit which apps are allowed (no Safari, YouTube, FB, Instagram for example).
    – usage of the phone is limited by time of day and total hours.
    – we can track her location.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    We also have some of those 2km walkie talkies that we can use if they start venturing to the local park independantly any time soon.

    That’s what we did before getting her a phone. Worked well.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Get a £5 SIM deal from Talkmobile, put a cap on the expenditure and one of these phones. Jobs a goodun 🙂

    Premier Icon verses
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    Ours had one of our old ones without a sim-card at that age, which was only for use at home or out with us (essentially a small tablet), not for school. In the final year of Primary we let her use her birthday money to buy a better one and her present from us was a £5-a-month sim.

    I tend to find the sentence “Everyone at school has one” breaks down quite a lot when specific names are asked for.

    I thought my 8yo was going on 16 at the time, now I have a 13yo I realise that I knew nothing 😀

    Had this conversation with the boy last night, he’s 7 and says some of his friends at school have phones. We told him he’ll be getting one we think he is ready, as above that’ll probably be when he starts secondary school or maybe earlier if he starts venturing out with friends and no adults.

    Premier Icon dirkpitt74
    Subscriber

    Thanks, think I’m going to resist a bit longer.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
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    Eldest didn’t have one till the summer he left primary school, when he was given independence to travel further afield by bus which he needed to do for secondary school.

    Younger sister probably got hers maybe the Christmas before she finished primary school. I think girls see them more as fashion accessories and “want” or “need” them more, but we were always firm from an early age that they would have a phone when we decided that they needed one, and they both accepted it without any problems.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    Our eldest recently turned 10 and seems to be the last in her year to get one, she wasn’t too pestery, it’s only been on her radar for a few months, but it was clear this was the only birthday present she actually wanted.

    Two things I did that I’m glad of:

    1- Set up google family so content is limited based on age filters and I can review/authorise any apps she wants to install.

    2- I got her (relatively “cheap”) phone on contract as a second one in my name (so Daddy just got a sim only deal rather than a shiny new phone 🙁 ).

    That all means that any billing is controlled (both for the phone, data etc and any apps/content she tries to install), mobile data is capped, but she has unlimited minutes if she needs to call us at any time.

    Plus we can now track her with it when she goes to the shop/park round the corner.

    Her main source of entertainment so far seems to be spamming the family WhatsApp thread with photo’s of her and her sister gurning. Her Grandparents are, of course, very impressed…

    Premier Icon wors
    Subscriber

    I thought my 8yo was going on 16 at the time, now I have a 13yo I realise that I knew nothing

    Welcome to the club !

    johndoh
    Member

    Our girls are 10 and don’t have them. Next summer (on the 11th birthday and just a couple of months before they start secondary school) we’ll get them. They really don’t need them before then IMO.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Yr 6 (10/11) seems a common time for mobile phone with most parents in our lad’s school (althouhg plenty have them younger) – last year of primary, a lot of kids walking to and from school on their own.

    I gave our lad an old smartphone of mine (11 yo) and he doesn’t actually use it all that much (barely at all out of the house off wifi), so they might surprise you.

    Premier Icon andy4d
    Subscriber

    We gave our son one of our old basic/non smart phones on PAYG when he went to secondary school. It was as much for our peace of mind as for him. Then for his Christmas  the following he got his first smart phone (@ nearly 14yrs old).he is on PAYG with unlimited data and the deal is he pays for his own credit, (€20 a month of his €30 pocket money). We have a 10yr old still at primary who, we feel, does not need one.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Mine got his when 10 and starting to head out riding the Ridgeway with his mates. He rarely used it to be fair. But just in case really.

    We got our eldest her first mobile phone when she moved upto senior school as she walks to it so didn’t want her being stranded or unable to contact us. Some of her friends got them earlier but we held fast. Got no real reasons not to get one earlier…the good old faithful excuse of “they don’t need one….” is a nonsense. This is the first world…they don’t NEED 99% of what they have. Why single out a mobile phone and not the expensive trainers or the even more expensive Scandinavian rucksack. It’s a balance of you’re judgement as a parent about how sensible your kid is.

    johndoh
    Member

    Why single out a mobile phone and not the expensive trainers or the even more expensive Scandinavian rucksack. It’s a balance of you’re judgement as a parent about how sensible your kid is.

    My kids won’t be getting expensive trainers or bags unless they save up for them out of their own money. I see a phone as being much more important than expensive clothing or bags.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    As indestructible as a old skool Nokia is Cougar, it lacks useful abilities like being able to track the location of your kids (or find the phone when they lose it).

    Probably makes sense in some circumstances though.

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    You could have someone’s eye out with that Cougar.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    We’re GPS-tagging our kids now? Christ, what a time to be alive. In any case, a GPS-enabled phone won’t tell you where the child is, just where the phone is.

    What I was suggesting semi-seriously is, she wants a phone, that’s a phone. Makes calls, sends text messages, plays Snake. But it’s also a test to show that she’s able to use such a thing sensibly before moving on to a more smart solution.

    Because what else does she want it for, she’s not going to be old enough for a social media accounts for another five years. If she just wants to play games she might be better off with a cheap tablet or an iPod Touch (if such things still exist).

    johndoh
    Member

    So I have just found out that one of our 10 yr olds has just dropped my wife’s iPhone XS and cracked the screen (£288 repair at Apple).

    That, kids, is why you don’t get nice things.

    razorrazoo
    Member

    Because what else does she want it for, she’s not going to be old enough for a social media accounts for another five years.

    As a father of 2 kids (girls of 10 & 8) I can safely say that herein lies the issue. Whilst the kids are not old enough for such Apps this, it is exactly what they want a phone for (plus games / camera / messenger). Their friends older siblings have them, and other kids in their class are allowed them – and for the most part it seems their parents are quite happy to let them sign up to Instagram etc. I imagine for the most part, the last thing kids want a phone for is to make calls on.

    Despite constant nagging, mine will not be having one until they go to secondary school unless there is a very good reason. They currently get limited access to a coupe of old iPhones which are used as iPods (ie no Sim) so they can play games / spotify when on long journeys. As far as I can see, as soon as a kid gets their phone it becomes their life (in most cases).

    On an aside it astounds me the number of kids round our way whose parents can ‘afford’ to give them the latest iPhone X (or whatever equivalent).

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    We’re GPS-tagging our kids now?

    Yep!

    We all share our location through Find My iPhone. Wife and kids are free to track me too (and they do).

    If she just wants to play games she might be better off with a cheap tablet or an iPod Touch (if such things still exist).

    In my experience most of my daughter’s phone use is watching Kids YouTube, playing games, FaceTiming her cousins or messaging her friends. As is the modern way the actual phone part of the “phone” accounts for a very small percent of its total use.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    ..herein lies the issue… sign up to Instagram etc.

    Yep, but as mentioned above, both Apple and Android have mechanisms to allow you to control what apps are allowed on your kid’s phone.

    it astounds me the number of kids round our way whose parents can ‘afford’ to give them the latest iPhone X

    My daughter is on my wife’s old iPhone SE which would otherwise have been sat in a drawer.

    (I still use an SE too and my wife would have been but she needed to upgrade to a 7 to use it with her Libre FreeStyle sensor).

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    both Apple and Android have mechanisms to allow you to control what apps are allowed on your kid’s phone

    Does that stop them logging in via browser?

    Fwiw, I refuse to patent according to others parenting views and decisions.
    Phones and access to the internet is a huge deal. I know of at least five incidents of porn and violence being accessed and shared by under 11’s in our circle of friends. I’m also frustrated by how many kids at primary thought it was ok to add me on Facebook or Instagram as father of a classmate. No. It. Isn’t. Even worse when done at 1am.

    We struggled with it, and still do, even when our kids are teens now.

    My daughter was similar age to OP and I relented.
    A few months later and she was sent some particularly explicit images via SMS. My Daughter had to be interviewed by the Police (which made her think she had done something wrong and had a big effect on her) and the phone was taken by the Police for a few months for data analysis.
    No one was charged, as the phone used to send images was a random PAYG SIM.

    Possibly one wrong digit entered to a phone no by the sender if I am giving benefit of the doubt, but the upshot is that she no longer has her own phone.

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    My experience of being with young people  for the last couple of weeks is ,don’t worry none of them seem capable of charging them up.

    We’re GPS-tagging our kids now?

    Absolutely we are. It’s very useful.

    My 15 year old daughter was at a house party on Friday night in a part of town with which she’s unfamiliar. It got a bit rowdy and the kids parents chucked all the kids out early , in the pissing rain, and they all started to walk back home. My daughter and her friends phoned me to come and pick them up but couldn’t accurately tell me where they were, but my phone could and I drove straight to them and picked them up.

    My wife also tracks me on the way home from work to time dinner.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    As a father of 2 kids (girls of 10 & 8) I can safely say that herein lies the issue.

    And that’s the question you need to ask.

    “I want a phone.”

    “What for?”

    Because if the answer is something like Facebook or Snapchat then it makes the decision easy. And if not, perhaps you can provide what they want in other ways. Listening to music, don’t need a phone for that.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    My wife also tracks me on the way home from work to time dinner.

    I have a love of technology, but any suggestion of a partner GPS-tracking me would be met with “so you ****ing think so.” Google Maps gives ETAs that are rarely very wrong.

    any suggestion of a partner GPS-tracking me would be met with “so you ****ing think so.”

    After 31 years we’ve built up a level of trust where I feel comfortable divulging my route home from work, but, having said that,  I am a gullible chump.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Our son got one aged eight when he started going on the school bus. He had wanted one before and we had said no.

    Now he’s got one he’s not bothered. We just use it for tracking him, occasionally we get a text or phone call, but it’s all been for sensible stuff

    He’s just got one of our old iPhones and we can track exactly what he’s used the phone for + block just about everything on it

    Premier Icon LittleNose
    Subscriber

    The little guy has just got a phone in the last few weeks – starting secondary school in Sept.
    The hardest part is wanting to let him enjoy the tech, text talk with his friends more often, and yet keep him aware of a reality outside of the phone – he’s slowly getting it, as he loses the phone for a period of time when he doesn’t respond to ‘outside’ events.

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