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To not buy DS a phone

(27 Posts)
SquidgyBanana Sat 11-Aug-18 12:49:33

It’s my DS birthday soon, he will be turning 11 we also have a DD 9. Both have been begging for phones for years! We have always said no because we think they are too young.

DS Is a good boy overall but he’s quite naughty if he thinks you won’t find out... probably like most kids... nothing serious at all... for example when he goes to his friends he will tell them he’s allowed to play 18 rated games that we have told him he’s not to play and he will try and watch ‘rude’ things on YouTube that he knows we have said no to... we have 2 younger kids in the house. We have told him when he can show us that he can be trusted we will then think about getting him a phone.

Anyway, I’ve been reading a thread on MN yesterday that has me thinking maybe I’m being unreasonable and I should buy him a phone for his upcoming birthday... it’s his bday before high school.

I’m worried I’m treating him ‘too young’

loveyoutothemoon Sat 11-Aug-18 13:23:44

Most 11 year olds have phones, at least an old one! You can prevent him going on 18+ sites. He needs to learn responsibility for possessions also and it'll be better for when he plays out.

Your 9 year old will have to wait, they need to learn too! My youngest didn't have one until the same as the eldest.

loveyoutothemoon Sat 11-Aug-18 13:24:43

Also give him a trial with an old one first.

YeTalkShiteHen Sat 11-Aug-18 13:25:12

I’m usually one for saying let them have a phone but actually OP I agree with you.

Once he’s shown that he’s not going to try and be fly behind you’re back, then he’s mature enough for a phone.

Aprilshowersinaugust Sat 11-Aug-18 13:26:23

My 11yo will be getting one for starting secondary school in September.
With lots of conditions attached and on the understanding it is a privilege to have one.
Useful tool for achieving better behaviour ime!

Littlebluebird123 Sat 11-Aug-18 13:33:47

We have the same situation.
I've told my dd that she won't be getting a phone for her birthday as there is no need for an 11 year old to have a phone.
She will have one next summer to practise being responsible with it and as she will be making her own way to school.

I couldn't care less if everyone and their dog has a phone at 11 (or whatever she says) as it's simply not true for one, and also because I disagree with pandering to the idea that she should have one.

Yes, for necessities etc, but she has a tablet for fun things and a desktop for emails/editing videos and the like. There's no need for one.

I'm prepared to be flamed but at the end of the day she's my child, I know her the best and at the moment a phone would encourage her self obsession (selfies, getting likes etc) and an exposure to things she just doesn't need to worry about at the moment. grin

Aintnothingbutaheartache Sat 11-Aug-18 13:34:02

I think it’s quite important for them to have a phone when starting secondary school and travelling independently.
I also think rules should be set in place and consequences for taking the piss.
An ‘old’ phone is a good idea, he can make calls but not access ‘naughty sites’ although he will probably be mortified!
The internet is all around us! While he’s 11 you have some control in the home but that will change.

Aintnothingbutaheartache Sat 11-Aug-18 13:37:11

My dd’s school holds lots of talks for parents, including being aware of the impact of social media and how to deal with it.
Selfies, likes, Facebook, Instagram etc.
We need to know what our kids are up to on that powerful little computer clutched in their sweaty palms!

SquidgyBanana Sat 11-Aug-18 13:42:52

Ah goodness I couldn’t even consider Facebook or Instagram for him right now.. no way... he can’t even be trusted to use YouTube at the moment hmm

@Littlebluebird123 I think I will find this even harder with DD for the reason of selfies and face editing apps... I just can’t see that it doesn’t anything good for their confidence.

SquidgyBanana Sat 11-Aug-18 13:43:16


Littlebluebird123 Sat 11-Aug-18 13:46:21


Yeah, it's awful. And I've seen first hand some of the stuff girls (ones I would consider quite sensible ) have done.

I know they have to learn but really there's so much exposure than I ever had to face. confused

Parker231 Sat 11-Aug-18 13:50:01

Mine had a phone when they started senior school and were getting the tube to school and often staying after school for clubs. They could ring me at work to let me know they would be late or any problems and I could call them to reassure myself they were on their way home. Useful for weekends as at age they started going out with friends.

Also good for them to learn some independence and make their own arrangements to see friends and sort out where to meet and when.

SquidgyBanana Sat 11-Aug-18 13:50:47

@Littlebluebird123 I know what you mean... I got into enough trouble with disposable cameras and a Nokia 5210 when I was in my teens.. I can’t imagine what it’s like for teen girls these days... even in my 30’s I see pics that for fleeting moment make me feel inferior and not good enough but I’m old enough to know it’s not ‘real’ most of it.

Chrystal1982 Sat 11-Aug-18 13:50:51

Phones are a 15th birthday present here, they’ve got tablets

Whateverletmepost Sat 11-Aug-18 13:52:58

If you can afford one, let him have one. It will make him happy, and life is too short to be miserable. When you are that age it is incredibly important to look both mature and to have the same things as your peers. It's not right, but that's the way it is, and making a stand is not going to change that - but it will make your son unhappy and potentially cause him to be bullied.

I grew up with parents who had the mentality of Littlebluebird123 and they would almost gleefully tell me I knew nothing, was wrong about everything, and they had control and would dictate how 'their' daughter was raised. This ranged from not being allowed to go to friends houses, parties, walk to the store on my own, have pets, go to after school clubs. Their comes a point when it changes from individual beliefs about parenting, to a need to control. The child's happiness comes first - do not underestimate how cruel other children can be. He will access what you call 'rude' content anyway (another thing I don't like, it's not rude, just adult - it should not be given negative connations in the mind of child) from his friends.

Allthegoodusernamesaregonesad Sat 11-Aug-18 13:53:15

If u get him a phone make sure it is registered in ur name as if there is any problems.. Like he subscribed to a service and has to ring to cancel, they want to speak to owner of phone etc. I know this from personal experience.. I made the mistake 😔 but then got phone reregistered in my name. It means you have full control of the phone. Also set up everything and link everything to your email if you get the phone. You can never be too careful with them

Topseyt Sat 11-Aug-18 13:53:31

We told all of our three that they would get phones when going to secondary school because of traveling by bus and public transport alone to get there.

That does tend to correspond roughly with when they turn 11.

They absolutely were not allowed phones to take to primary school.

When they did get phones they were contract phones with a cap on so that they can't go over on anything. They were also made aware that having and keeping their phones was a privilege that could be withdrawn at any time if they were irresponsible or didn't behave well.

There really won't be many at secondary school who do not have a phone. He is correct there, although I guess that isn't what you wanted to hear.

I'd get one and set out the rules for having and using it.

SquidgyBanana Sat 11-Aug-18 13:54:23

I do agree that it would be handy for keeping in contact.

The high school he is going to do use them in lessons with the teachers discretion but if they come out the bags without the teachers permission they will get confiscated... I’ll probably end up picking it up from the office every day knowing my DS grin

Namelesswonder Sat 11-Aug-18 13:57:31

DD10 is being set up with an old iPhone this week ready for going back to school (in Scotland). She will be starting to walk home by herself some days so I want her to be contactable. The phone will be locked down with age appropriate security and age appropriate Apps. Most of her friends already have phones, usually hand-downs. If you make sure the phone is secure and monitor it I don’t see the problem

SquidgyBanana Sat 11-Aug-18 14:05:07

@Whateverletmepost I agree that there comes a time that you have to let them go and where it crosses a boundary from parenting to control.

I think this is why I wanted to post this here as I don’t know if I’m being OTT and controlling or simply parenting. My mother was emotionally controlling but she let us do and have everything we wanted which didn’t turn out well in the end.

Topseyt Sat 11-Aug-18 14:05:26

You are correct that phones can sometimes be used in lessons at secondary school, at the teacher's discretion only, and to support research and learning in the subject. For example, which websites are best and how to use them. Looking things up etc.

I would be getting a phone about now in your shoes. I would then spend the rest of the holiday drumming into him how you expect him to behave with it. If it is a contract phone then that will be in your name, not his. Therefore it will officially be your phone, so your rules will apply.

Whateverletmepost Sat 11-Aug-18 14:07:54

@squidgybanana I think it's great you care so much you have taken the time to post to get other's opinions. You sound like a great parent.

yikesanotherbooboo Sat 11-Aug-18 14:10:07

Mine had phones when they were getting themselves to school; 11, 11 and 13.
In your DS 's case if this is the birthday nearest to starting senior school I would probably get it.

Cuppaorwine Sat 11-Aug-18 14:16:54

Ours all had phones when they started to go out by themselves so 10/11

MrsChollySawcutt Sat 11-Aug-18 14:25:48

Presumably the 11 year old is going to secondary school in September? Time to unclench a little and face up to him growing up. You have to give him an opportunity to show you he is trustworthy, doesn't sound like you give him an inch at the moment.

Get him a phone before he starts school so he is not the odd one out and can keep in touch with his friends after school and at weekends.

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