Can I "just say no" to cell phones?

Many parents "just say no" to phones for their kids and their kids do just fine. It's up to you whether you think your kid is responsible enough to handle a phone and whether you want the added expense and vigilance. But there are two sides to the argument for getting kids a cell phone. (And no, we're not taking their side!) It can allow kids to have more independence. And they can actually use it for school: some teachers allow kids to text questions and some require kids to use specific study apps on their smartphones.  

There could also be real social costs for kids who don't have phones. They'll be left out of texting with their friends or joining multiplayer games after school. Another thing to consider is that very few public phones exist anymore. And as your kid gets older and more independent, you might want to be able to stay in touch with her wherever she is.

Maybe you just don't want to buy into a tech-obsessed, always connected culture. You can still pass along your values by modeling the phone habits you want your kid to pick up -- while still staying in touch.

Do you say "yes" or "no" to cell phones for your kids?

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Comments

Teen, 13 years old written by evrska9

I got a flip phone when I started to babysit in sixth grade. Once your child starts to become more independent, go out more, or get small jobs, like babysitting, you should probably begin considering a phone. A flip phone is a reasonable start to having a phone as they'll have a phone but without the distractions. Middle school is a good time to give your child a flip phone. But, remember, a phone is a privilege, not a right.
Teen, 13 years old written by qwertymcqwerts

Someone else mentioned that you can be excluded easily and that's pretty true. When your friends have a group chat or whatever and you aren't on it, then it can cause a rift in the friendship which, as stupid as it may seem, is true. In addition, there are plenty of perks to an iPhone or another up to date smartphone: location tracking, you'll nearly always be in touch, and there are apps for education or SAT practice.
Teen, 13 years old written by gabeb

give them the choice of having a phone around the age of 13. it's hard being the only one at school without a phone and it's hard talking to people that you can only talk to at school.
Parent of an infant year old written by Batfan7

Maybe I'm old-fashioned (and maybe my view will change when my baby boy is old enough to be asking for a phone), but I kind of see a cell phone as a 'toy', not a necessity. There are other ways to connect with friends and a cell phone would probably be more trouble (for me) and temptation (for him) than it's worth.
Teen, 14 years old written by Melina23462452456et

It may not be a tragedy to be the only one without a phone, but it can be pretty bad. I do not have a phone and I am the only one without one. m lucky to be pretty popular and have quite a few friends. I love them but they always ask me when I will get a phone. It hurts to know I'm the only one. They talk about stuff and I'm just like what because I wasn't in the group chat or whatever. they cant invite me places or ask me about homework because they and I have no way to talk to each other. I miss out on A LOT of things because I don't have a phone. you don't really have to start them out with and iPhone. try a flip phone at first. The main things I wish I had a phone for is keeping in touch with my friends and listening to music. that's all.