to say no to my 10 year old getting a mobile phone?

(130 Posts)
PTFsWife Sun 05-Jan-14 13:05:19

I genuinely need to know if I am being unreasonable here. My son who turns 10 soon is desperate for his own mobile phone because according to him 'everyone' has one. Now I know that isn't true. But the point is, all of his closest friends do have phones and he feels massively left out.

My reasons for saying no:
- he doesn't need one. There are a few (very few) occasions where him having a phone would make it easier for me e.g. can he walk to a different school entrance. But for that, he could have my old pay as you go nokia, but he would rather die than having something that uncool (all his friends have iphones)

- he already has too much time on a screen. I spend my life trying to get him off screens so by buying him a phone, surely it's sending a message that I think more screen time is ok?

- I worry that if he has a phone, he can start to access the internet from anywhere, start to do picture sharing which can quickly turn to bullying. Even though I would insist on having his password and the right to check his phone from time to time, I am still not comfortable with it.

I feel as though kids are growing up way too fast and it is just plain unnecessary for him to have one (should he start walking to school on his own or similar, there may be more of a genuine reason to have one).

But I also understand the peer pressure he must feel at school. He is already the kid who isn't allowed to play on 18+ games which his friends all are. My husband feels that perhaps we are just out of touch with what life is really like for kids these days and perhaps we're just being old and 'fuddy duddy', saying no for the sake of it. He also thinks that by giving him his own phone, it will be an opportunity for him to prove to us that he can be responsible and that he might thrive with that responsibility.

But in my gut I don't think it is right for him to have a phone. So am I being unreasonable? Should I let him have one?

brokenhearted55a Sun 05-Jan-14 13:08:17

I didnt have one until I was 21.

Tell him if he wants an iphone, he can pay for it.

YANBU

macdoodle Sun 05-Jan-14 13:10:13

I think you are out if touch and run the risk of making him a target. I didn't have one till I was 25 but that's because they didn't exist and is a ridiculous argument IMO. life is very different for kids now.

SoupDragon Sun 05-Jan-14 13:12:14

Let him have a crap PAYG phone. DSs had these and they had to prove they could look after a phone and use it responsibly before I'd let them have a decent one (by that time, my iPhone was due for an upgrade)

There is no way I would let a 10 year old have an iPhone though - mine were 12 before they got one

SoupDragon Sun 05-Jan-14 13:13:52

He is already the kid who isn't allowed to play on 18+ games which his friends all are

DS1 is nearly 15 now and I still won't let him have 18 rated games. When he complains, I suggest I take away all his 16 rated games too.

macdoodle Sun 05-Jan-14 13:14:53

Oh yes no iPhone yet obviously. Cheapie or one of your old ones to start. My 12 yr old just had a new blackberry for the first time for her birthday. And must admit have just put a cheap SIM in an old phone for my 6 yr old. She can call me, her sister, her dad (divorced) and grandparents, she's very happy.

Whyamihere Sun 05-Jan-14 13:16:15

Dd has my old one turned into a pay as you go, she's nine, she uses it to text a few friends and to contact me in the mornings because I leave the house at 6.30 and it's handy for me to be able to tell her things that I've forgotten. We've said she can have a new phone of her own in the summer before senior school (her birthdays in July) because she'll be getting to school on her own and I'd like to know she got there OK. Doubt it will be as fancy as an I-phone though. Most of her friends already have a phone.

brokenhearted55a Sun 05-Jan-14 13:16:50

Make him a target for what? Just because all the other children have one, he has to have one?!

the op has genuine concerns. A boy who isnt even 10 doesnt need a bloody iphone.

What kind of message does that send him?

When I was younger there were things that everyone had or did around me:

Bellybutton peirced
Drinking underage
Tv in room

Yet myarents never allowed me to. I was never ever bullied for it. Never a target. My parents house was always full with ne and my friends, who all liked my folks.

Fear of being picked on, worry that your dc will be 'out of the loop' is unwarranted. If you dont want them to have, dont give.

harriet247 Sun 05-Jan-14 13:17:15

I do feel sorry for him a bit. Its such an expensive bit of kit to have.. you can get cheap nice contract phones for tenner a month bbuti would make sure there was a cap and make sure safe filters were on internet. Also do chores etc to 'earn' his phone

enderwoman Sun 05-Jan-14 13:17:24

If he's 10 years old(y6) then I think he'll need a phone of some sort before secondary school. I started my kids off with crappy payg then they got my old iphone then iPhones of their own. I felt that learning to take care of a gadget being the equivalent of taking care of their house key and bank card.

macdoodle Sun 05-Jan-14 13:18:58

I don't think those things are in anyway equivalent, but each to their own, she asked for opinions. IMO most 10 yr olds WILL have a phone. Don't think an iPhone though, but I am not an isheep anyway.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 05-Jan-14 13:19:11

Dd had a cheap path phone at that age but only because she was doing pantos, rehearsing for shows where things often didn't run to time & it was useful for her to contact me so I didn't have to wait around lots

She's just (when she started secondary school) had a Samsung galaxy y She enjoys texting her friends playing on aps (she has a very long journey to school each day). She can only access the Internet at home through our wifi but usually uses her iPad instead.

macdoodle Sun 05-Jan-14 13:19:44

Oops that was to KenAdams, how old are your children Ken?

brokenhearted55a Sun 05-Jan-14 13:20:19

A child with an ipad....! I cant afford one for me.

drbonnieblossman Sun 05-Jan-14 13:21:07

yanbu. there is no situation where he could possibly “need" one at his age.

if you start letting him do/ have things just because his friends do, you're doubting your own parenting.

suggest to him to him that starting high school would be a more appropriate time and maybe even say to him that you will ensure it is something with street cred, so worth the wait!

Toecheese Sun 05-Jan-14 13:22:09

Just asked my non phone owning son about his friends. About half have phones and only two have iPhones. He's in year 6 and so I expect most will have phones in preparation for starting secondary. I live in quite an affluent area but I'm really pleased to see parents buying lots if different types of phones.

My son will have to earn his iPhone. In the meantime I'll happily supply something basic with a photo function. Facebook is a total no no till 13 as I think children are too vulnerable to online bullying.

ouryve Sun 05-Jan-14 13:26:11

iPhones? I don't have an iPhone. I don't need an iPhone! I don't even like the idea of me walking around with something costing as much as a good laptop in my pocket, bag or hand, never mind a child.

YANBU, OP.

mac imo they are the 90s equivalents. I have a 2year old.

macdoodle Sun 05-Jan-14 13:30:02

Hmmm okey well when that child is 10 we'll see. I don't think they are, I think certainly for a yr 6 upwards they become an almost neccesity as they become independent. Cheapie one to start, and you can get a reasonable phone for a tenner a month.

chickydoo Sun 05-Jan-14 13:31:51

I got my 10 year old a 99p phone from care phone warehouse (yes 99p)!
He can now call me when his sports training finishes early instead of hanging around in the cold ( a normal occurrence) It is also useful when he goes 3 doors down the road to play with his friend, I can call him to tell him dinner is ready.

Rufustherednosedreindeer Sun 05-Jan-14 13:34:42

Mine do not get phones til they have started senior school, number 3 starts this September!

No way are thy getting iPhones, eldest has a samsung thingy and 12 year old has a samsung chat (which she hates)

The internet is turned off on them as it is on my phone

I think it's quite important to remember that kids live in a very different world to the one we did when growing up. I see pupils at school (secondary, to be fair) with all the latest gadgets. I have great intentions for my much younger DCs - limit screen time etc, but in all likelihood, our DCs are going to be working in an environment that requires them to use all sorts of technology that we didn't have and they're going to have to be proficient in their use. The only way that is going to happen is if they have access to the gadgets/tech.

I don't think YABU, but I don't think YANBU either. It's really tricky. I wish there was an instruction manual sometimes.

WeAllHaveWings Sun 05-Jan-14 13:43:04

Ds(9) has old crappy payg Nokia. He uses it to find out where his friends are and to ask me if he can stay at friends for tea, or go out with friends parents somewhere? I use it to tel him when to come home for food.

He lost It a Couple of times n the beginning but found again or someone else found and kindly returned, he is much more careful with it now as he knows how useful it is to him for him to have one and he doesn't want to be without again. Camera has been disabled.

He wants but won't get a touch screen one for ages (I don't even have a touch screen one yet!) one of his friends has has an iPhone since she was 8, but she is the only one.

macdoodle Sun 05-Jan-14 13:44:55

There is no doubt its a different world.
DD1 (12, Yr 7) asked me to help with her maths homework, told her to bring it into living room, so in she came with her laptop (my old one, I needed a new one for work/diploma/essays).
And yes the homework was all online, log into school system, done and marked online. Time taken monitored. All very clever.
I did wonder, there must be families without laptops/PC's/Wifi.....she tells me that you can stay and do homework in the learning centre after school.

I am only 42, but we had NO computers at school, nor home, no libraries, not when I was at uni, we cannot expect it to be the same for this generation, nor judge them by our childhoods.

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