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Children and mobile phones

(16 Posts)
GeorgianMumto5 Mon 10-Mar-14 13:46:49

Dd is 10. She doesn't have a mobile. We've said she can have one when she's 11, as part of her preparations for secondary school. A friend's mum suggested we get her one now, so she can be safe when playing out on her bike, or at the park. Fair enough for her to suggest it, but AIBU for thinking a mobile won't really keep her safe? In the unlikely event that someone tries to abduct dd, they won't stop to let her call home, will they?

I'd have thought dd would be less aware of her environment if busy texting friends and thus more vulnerable. Plus, she would quite likely lose it at the park, if I know dd. At secondary she'll need one, as she will be travelling by bus and will be unable to get home if stranded. She's still likely to lose it, but there we go. We hope she won't do that more than once.

WorraLiberty Mon 10-Mar-14 13:53:02

We have a family mobile...a £10 PAYG from Tesco.

If any of the kids need to take it out with them they can

They're only allowed to phone/text the contact numbers on it though.

GeorgianMumto5 Mon 10-Mar-14 13:57:40

That's a good idea, worra. Ds still too young to need this, but it's a good idea.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 10-Mar-14 13:59:28

That's a great idea Worra

Our dc are only 8 and 5 so no need for mobiles for a good while yet, but that seems like a great way to start out.

RedandChecker Mon 10-Mar-14 14:00:37

Worra's idea is brilliant.

They are too young to have personal mobiles at this age IMO

BackforGood Mon 10-Mar-14 14:05:37

I agree with you OP.
Having a mobile doesn't 'keep them safe' at all.

All mine had them to start secondary school.

NinjaBunny Mon 10-Mar-14 14:13:17

DS is 10 and I recently got him one.

Mostly because I started a new job and there may be a teeny overlap sometimes between me leaving for work and DP getting home. I'd be much happier leaving him alone for 20 minutes if I knew he could call me.

Otherwise I would've left it until secondary school started.

He's also at that age where I've started dropping him at the cinema alone. He can now text me to come and collect him so I didn't have to sit through the sodding Lego Movie.

GoldenGytha Mon 10-Mar-14 14:21:30

My DD1 got her first mobile aged 12 because when her father and I split up and the DC went down to his for holidays he refused to let them contact me at all, not even one quick phone call to say goodnight during the two weeks they were away.

When they came back, and as DD1 was due to start secondary in the August, I got two Nokia phones so she could phone or text me at any time, but more so they could contact me when they were away with their father.

I think DD2 got hers at the beginning of Primary 7, so aged 11.

sicily1921 Mon 10-Mar-14 15:04:27

It's tough, DD pestered me for ages saying everyone else had one but I held out until her leaver's disco at primary so she could swap numbers, but it was essentially part of her secondary 'kit'. Kids these days are obsessed with them enough as it is, it stops them communicating with each other from my experience. An 8yr old boy used to live at the back of our house,^our gardens joined^. He would bring a mobile round and his parents would call him on it when they wanted him back ( instead of coming to the fence and calling his name). He would also spend a lot of the time staring at it like a zombie instead of playing.

That said it may give some peace of mind if you are letting DC off to the park or to a friends at some distance if you stipulate it is just for 'emergency' use and they are not to be waving it about in public and you trust them not to lose it. I thought both my DCs would lose theirs immediately but they have surprised me!

redskyatnight Mon 10-Mar-14 15:17:04

DS (who is 9) cycles to school and we have been wondering about getting him a mobile. Slightly put off because his friend (who he cycles with) has managed not to have his mobile with him/not charged up on the occasions it would have been useful to have one - and managed to cope just fine.

I think we will compromise that he can have a cheap phone (not a smart phone) and has to prove to us that he can look after it/ keep it charged/contact us reponsibly. Then we will consider getting him a better phone for his 11th birthday (summer birthday so just before 2ndary school).

MuddlingMackem Mon 10-Mar-14 15:25:48

DS got his first mobile for his tenth birthday, he's in Year 5 and quite a few of his friends now have one.

He and they are starting to venture further afield when playing out, especially on their bikes, so it will be useful to be able to text him when his tea is ready or if I need him home earlier than planned. Previously he's always had to be home at a particular time and then it's a bit of a waste if tea is running late and he could have been out for another twenty minutes or so. smile

I don't think of it as keeping him safe, just a means of being able to contact him if necessary or vice versa.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 10-Mar-14 15:53:57

No one needs a mobile, but they are really useful ime.

Ds got his first one at 9 when he started walking to school by himself.

Joysmum Mon 10-Mar-14 16:32:49

Mine got one when she was being allowed more freedom as it have me peace of mind. It was a cheaply pay as you go.

Then we got her a smart phone and very quickly switched from android to iPhone because the parental controls are second to none and that's vital with internet use IMO.

We also have 'Find My Friends' installed on all our phones so we all know where each other are. That's given me the confidence to allow her to grow up and have more freedoms.

GeorgianMumto5 Mon 10-Mar-14 17:54:20

Thanks for all your thoughts.

RedandChecker Mon 10-Mar-14 18:05:41

Ninja! The Lego movie was amazing, you missed out there!

GeorgianMumto5 Mon 10-Mar-14 23:24:54

RedandChecker is right, you know.

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