Why I Bought My 8 Year Old A Cell Phone

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My eight year old has a cell phoneWhen I got married in 1999, I said I would do it once and never again.  Of course, I also assumed that my once would be forever.  Fast forward 15 years and now I’m the mom of two cute kiddos and in the middle of a divorce.  Things don’t always end up the way we thought they would.

Being the kid in a divorce situation is hard.  I would know.  I’ve been there too.  I remember being with my dad and wishing I could talk to my mom, and vice versa.  We could call each other, but people didn’t have cellphones and it was a chore to catch everyone at home at the same time.  Most weeks were spent without a connection to my other parent. It was hard.

Things have changed a lot since then.  My ex-husband and I both have cell phones (who doesn’t these days?) and we’re always available to our kids whenever they need us – except those times when our kids aren’t with us… School, staying with grandparents, etc… But I never want our kids to feel like they have to go through one parent to get to the other.

Little Girl on Cell PhoneI’ve considered getting my 8 year old daughter a cell phone for a while, but the thought of committing to a contract on something I that didn’t know if it would work out or not, it scared me to death!  A cell phone contract is a HUGE commitment, one that I just wasn’t ready to make.

After much begging on the part of my daughter (“Mom, I NEED a cell phone!”) and some research on prepaid options, I gave in – but not without a compromise: I picked the phone, I picked the plan and she has to prove that she’s responsible.  If she can’t handle it, I stop paying for it and the phone goes bye-bye.  I couldn’t do that with a contract plan, but I can with a prepaid plan.

We went shopping to see what options we had as far as phones and plans.  We chose the Samsung Galaxy Avant, a pretty cool Smart Phone with all of the typical bells and whistles.  The cashier grabbed our phone for us, we got two months of prepaid cards, paid for our purchases and were out the door.  No standing around, no crazy waiting to get the phone set up.  I did that all at home in about 15 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy Avant Set UpWe’re a week in and my daughter and I have very much enjoyed being able to send each other a quick text, if just to say “I love you”.  She and her brother spent a good 30 minutes on the phone with her dad the day we came home with it.  She’s been very responsible with the phone and following the rules I put in place, and I love knowing that if she needs me, she knows I am only a phone call or a text away.

Text MessageDo your children have cell phones?  How old were they when you made the decision to keep them connected and what type of phone/plan did you set them up with?

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17 Responses to Why I Bought My 8 Year Old A Cell Phone

  1. Courtney says:

    My daughter is still too young for a cell phone, but my husband and I have already decided that once she hits about 8 years old, we’re getting her one. I know she’ll be excited for apps and whatever, but I’ll feel so much better knowing I can reach her at any time.

  2. Mandy Rappe says:

    This definitely looks like the smartest way to go for kids/teenagers and phone service. No contract equals no penalties when you need to take the phone away, because we all know that it will happen. Possibly even the best way to go for an adult too, $40 is way cheaper than what we currently pay for monthly service.

  3. Stacy says:

    sounds like something worth looking into for our next line. Did you have her sign any sort of accountability contract for keeping it charged and not losing it?

  4. That is so great. I am glad she is able to communicate with you. Very cool.

  5. Eugenia says:

    My bf just recently got his 10yr old son a cell phone. He likes it because he can talk to whenever he wants instead of trying to get a hold of their mom first!

  6. Emily says:

    I think it’s great that your daughter has a cell phone and that you chose a prepaid plan. It’s a wonderful way to teach her responsibility, develop her independence, and ensure she can talk with either parent whenever she wants!

  7. Phyrra says:

    I’m glad this works so well for you guys 🙂

  8. amber.m says:

    I think this is such a great way to help teach her responsibility! And that text message conversation just melts my heart! It’s just so sweet!
    And this is such a great phone/plan!

  9. I have been thinking of getting my 9 year old son a cell phone.

  10. Billie Jo says:

    My 9 year old has begged for a cell phone… but he just wants it to play games because and I quote “my tablet won’t fit in my back pocket.” His dad and I both said no…. simply because he really has no need for one. Hes at home with me everyday because we homeschool and is only away when he goes to his grandparents every other weekend. But if I were in your situation then yea I would probably get him one. Great job mama 🙂

  11. Carly says:

    Such great info! I think it was a perfect reason to get her a phone!

  12. Even back in the day I got one in 6th grade, it gave my parents peace of mind!

  13. T-Mobile’s $40/mo. plan is a great idea for kids! I’m loving my new Avant phone, too.

  14. Christina S says:

    I love your perspective on this. I hated having to ask my mom or dad to call the other parent. It always made them feel like crap and I felt like crap for asking. And you’re right, if it doesn’t work: you can just stop paying for it and start again when she’s ready.

  15. Carmen S says:

    cell phones cause brain cancer. Parents should not be getting phones for kids.

  16. mae says:

    there are cheaper prepaid options like h20 wireless, airvoice wireless. Both of those use att tower so any att phone would work. they offer $20 a month unlimited talk and talk and 100 mb data. Now if you have t-mobile phone then simple mobile at $20 a month. check them out.

  17. In my opinion, if you re going to buy a new car, you need to sell it and buy a new one in the next five years. It s absolutely pointless to buy new and run it into the ground. Either buying old and killing the car is better, or buying new and selling it is better.

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