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To get dd1 a free PAYG sim card and give her an old, worthless handset?

(10 Posts)
DooinMeCleanin Mon 06-Jun-11 22:07:17

Only for when she is playing out?

She is 7.

The background is - she asked if she could go to the park with x today. She is allowed to the park and x is a good friend. The park is right opposite our house. Lots of kids from about 5 upwards play there unsupervised or with parents checking occassionally.

X had to go home but Y was also at the park, so dd1 stayed at the park with Y, but did not think to come and tell us X had gone home and she was now with Y.

Y's family own a takeaway just feet away from the park, but not within seeing distance of the park. Y wanted to pop into the takeaway to see if she could get a free snack for herself and dd1. Dd1 went believing she would only be a couple of minutes and then she would be back at the park where we knew where she was. She is allowed to go and call for Y so she is allowed to the shop.

I happened to go looking for her while she was at the takeway and she wasn't where she said she would be (the park). I went to X's house believing she was still with X. Obviously when she wasn't with X I panicked. X did did not mention that Y was also at the park and she had left dd1 with her.

DH went out a couple of minutes later to go and check all her friends (there are 5/6 friends live local who she plays with) and she was already back at the park where she was meant to be.

Her excuse was Y is not allowed past a certain point of the park so wouldn't have been able to come to our house with her and she thought she would only be a few minutes.

This is the second time she has done this.

If I get her a phone she can text us when she is going to go off somewhere else and we can phone her if we need her. She knows how to text.

DH is concerned she will give the handset away of someone asks her to. I don't think she will, but it's worthless anyway. He is also concerned she will use all her credit within minutes of getting the phone. If she does this she will get no more credit unless she uses her own money, but we will still be able to phone her. If she loses the phone she will not be allowed to play out.

UniS Mon 06-Jun-11 22:11:51

sounds OK IF you are OK giving a 7 yr old a phone.
Better than a new hand set.

Hassled Mon 06-Jun-11 22:14:36

The principle is sound - my only concern would be that she might be more of a muggers' target. Not a real mugger - just some nasty big kid picking on the little kid with the phone, IYSWIM.

DooinMeCleanin Mon 06-Jun-11 22:23:42

Hmm I hadn't thought of that Hassled. Tbh I think all of the kids of all ages know each other. X is related to most of them hmm, so dd1 is friends with quite a few of the teens that hang around the park anyway. She has taken this phone out without charge and without a sim. She's been using it as a toy.

If it's taken from her it is worth nothing. Any older teen would know that. The only concern would be of they hurt her trying to get it off her, but I think she would just give it up if she was scared.

Jude89 Mon 06-Jun-11 22:25:50

can't she learn your number and get someone else to text/call you if she needed to?

Hulababy Mon 06-Jun-11 22:26:20

I wouldn't give her a phone tbh. I would just reiterate the rules and that she MUST return home to tell you of any changes to plans and check it is ok with you BEFORE she goes off and does it, even for a few minutes. And if she breaks those rules again, then she doen't get to go and play at the park unsupervised.

FabbyChic Mon 06-Jun-11 22:27:46

Get her an 02 sim if you an they appear to have the best deals wtih regards top up a tenner get all free text. Anything is worth it for peace of mind.

DooinMeCleanin Mon 06-Jun-11 22:30:42

The phone is an old Vodafone contract. Dh used to work for them and I am sure he unlocked most of the handsets, so I can try an O2 card in it. If not Vodafone also do one with 100 minutes of free calls and 300 free texts. With free net usage, but this phone is too old to connect to the net, so that's not an issue.

RCToday Mon 06-Jun-11 22:34:55

I think you need to set the ground rules with her first

That she needs to come and tell you exactly where she will be if the plans change, no matter what the other kids are allowed/not allowed

Im not against mobiles for 7 yr olds, my DS was the same age when he got his

But its still a bit too young to expect them to have it switched on/charged/not on silent or to just drop it and not notice

I think it might actually worry you more if she didnt answer or reply to you

EricNorthmansMistress Mon 06-Jun-11 23:07:05

Teach her to be where she's supposed to be, don't give her a phone in case she wanders off. She's far too young, you yourself say she can't be trusted with it, and your reasons are not sound.

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