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So tell me - does yr KS2 child have a mobile phone? Am I singling DS1 out?

(38 Posts)
Clary Sun 04-Oct-09 01:17:04

This is in primary ed because it's a school issue, in a way.

Pal of Ds's (he's 10 and in yr 6) came to tea t'other day and brought his mobile phone - no worse than bringing his DS or his football I guess hmm.

I am very not keen on mobiles (don't even have one myself) but I can see of course why adults do. But children?

Why do they need them I wonder. Asked the pal this and he said "to phone people". But who?

Yes, DS goes out on his own - to the shop for me, to the park - but I know where he is and he knows when to come back. I can't see why he would ever need to ring me. If he was in some kind of accident, then the mobile is not going to save him...

But do all other 10yos have one? I really don't want to single DS out as being odd in any way (heaven knows we have already done that by supporting a non-Big 4 team, eating proper food etc).

Am I going to have to get him one for Christmas? (sigh)

Opinions genuinely needed - I know this seems like a rant but it;s not meant to!

Clary Sun 04-Oct-09 01:18:33

Meant to say that DS himself says that 90% of his class have one - but on further examination, this proved to be a random figure (Tthey have been doing percentages), not based on a graph done in class (wouldn't put that past some teachers hmm)

exexpat Sun 04-Oct-09 01:28:14

By the end of yr 6, I would say close to 90 per cent of my DS's class had one. I had promised my DS one for his 11th birthday, before starting secondary school (he's an August baby), but he couldn't wait and bought one himself with money he'd got for Christmas. A lot of his mates had mum's/dad's old one with a cheap PAYG sim card in them. Some got them as birthday presents.

My DS walked to school by himself, and by yr6 often wanted to go round to friends' houses after school, so the phone was useful for him to check with me. After running out of credit regularly in the first few months - wasting money on pointless texts to everyone he knew - he started learning about managing money/credit better, which was a good thing. But I do get fed up with all the ringtones and annoying bits of music they spend all their time swapping.

Clary Sun 04-Oct-09 01:32:46

Hmm OK

But couldn't he just call you on friend's landline?

I see the coolness of a phone, really I do. But I am still not there on the necessity (and am worried about health risks for children you see. As well as theft risks...)

exexpat Sun 04-Oct-09 01:42:19

No, of course they are not "necessary". For children that age, they are basically toys you can use to play music, take silly pictures, and mess around with your friends. They happen to be quite useful sometimes too, when you actually need to let your mum or whoever know where you are going, bearing in mind that phoneboxes are pretty much non-existent these days, and if he needs to check with me if it's OK to go round to a friend's house (say 15 mins walk from school in the opposite direction from our house), he can't really do that from the friend's home phone once he has already got there, IYSWIM.

I'm not up to date on current research on health risks, but what I will say is that he very rarely actually spends time with the phone to his ear, which is what I think people are/were worried about (brain tumours?). The text to phone call ratio is about 20-1.

exexpat Sun 04-Oct-09 01:44:53

Oh, and I should probably add that my DS has never had a DS/PSP/Gameboy or similar - the phone is the first real hand-held gadget he's ever had, so the novelty value and desirability factor was very high for him.

marialuisa Sun 04-Oct-09 07:18:09

DD is in Y4 and has a phone. She does a long bus journey to school though and we deinitely need it to be able to get in touch if either we or the bus are delayed. All her friends that go to school by bus have one but very few of the kids that are taken to school by parents.

Looking through her call log the only calls are between me and her. She mainly texts friends and plays with it.

marialuisa Sun 04-Oct-09 07:21:08

DD's phone was £30 from tesco so in many ways is "disposable" (more concerned she'll lose it than it will get stolen). I can't see it being hugely desirable to anyone and she's not really in situations where she may get mugged.

jobhuntersrus Sun 04-Oct-09 07:59:21

Ds1 is almost 10 and is in yr 5. Plenty of his class have phones including ds but tbh they are toys. Ds has dh's old phone with a pay as you go sim in and it is rarely charged. They are not allowed to take them to school, if they need to have it for any reason it must be handed in at the office and collected at the end of the day. It's a gadget to mess about with and with ds the novelty wore off and now it's sat permanently on the side in the kitchen.

OrmIrian Sun 04-Oct-09 08:05:25

DS~1 had one in yr6. Because that was about the time that he was allowed to go to friends houses and the park/shops alone and I liked to be able to keep tabs on him. DD has one but rarely uses it. In fact I think she tend to forget she even owns one. Bog-standard phones though - payg.

MintyCane Sun 04-Oct-09 08:19:04

I agree with Orm. I think of the phone as for me really. I can keep tabs. In year six most have them. It is like a practice before you go to secondary year. They can get used to carrying them so you can find out why they are a bit late.

gorionine Sun 04-Oct-09 08:37:29

Clary, DD1 (10) and DS2 (8) bothj have most of their friends with mobile phones. DH and I are not keen on the idea. We also think they can use the landline if they want to call their friends.

Now about the issue of keeping tabs on them, for us it does not really even get mentionned because as I halso have younger children in the same school, we still walk together to and back from school. When they play out they are in the vicinity of the house (we live close to the park where most children in the area play + most neighbours know each other and would give a call to a parent if they thought there was a problem (bad fall, argument with other children...)

Now there is a possibility that DD1 will start a high school that is over 15 miles away from home. If that happens, she will get a mobile phone but not if she gets to the local high school (walking distance from other dcs school).

If DD1 gets one, DS2 will still have to wait thoughsmile.

My advice to you is that if you are not comfortable with the idea of your Dcs having a mobile phone you should just explain to them your reasons and tell them they cannot have one just yet ( heard on a french radio that the advice for health reasons is 12 yo to use a mobile phone). At the end of the day, you are the parents and they are the children and as "unfair" as it may sound you are still the one in charge, regardless of what their friends can or cannot do.

nymphadora Sun 04-Oct-09 10:31:56

Dd1 has one and she is 9. (yr5) she got an old one of dps for when she went on holiday with her dad so shecould text me. She usually leaves it on the side but does sometimes text her dad

Clary Sun 04-Oct-09 13:11:48

Thanks for input all.

Consensus seems to be then that most yr6s have them? DD is in yr 4 and "nobody" in her year has one (prob not true).

Anyone got a yr 6 or so who doesn't have one?
If it's just as a toy/game then I'm a bit hmm about it all. He has a DS (nintendo not son!). They're not allowed phones in school anyway.

I think that becuase I don't have one I'm not up on the whole "keeping tabs" thing.

For instance, DS comes home himself from a club after school once a week. The other day it was 25 mins after the club finished (we are about 10 mins walk).

I was wondering where he was - but figured he was just loitering along the road with an assortment of pals (correct).

Would never have occurred to me to ring him up and find out (I mean if he had a phone, obv).

I guess I am not worried - if I was still I doubt if I'd let him out like this.

(Don't mean I'm not worried about him per se - just that I am relaxed about this sort of thing. Plus if he was very late with no reason I would stop him going out for a bit.)

I should add that he has not especially asked for one - just his friend made me wonder...

gorionine Sun 04-Oct-09 13:17:50

DD1 is in year 6 Clary.

TheCheeseAlarm Sun 04-Oct-09 13:24:37

I teach year 6 and have a year 6 child. DS1 does not have a mobile, most of his friends don't either. Last year most of my class had them, but this year most of them don't. The classes are very different in character. Last year almost all the class went home on their own and spent the evenings on MSN and Facebook. This year they mainly get collected and spend their evenings on Club Penguin.

DS1 walks to school and back on his own, and goes to the local shops. It will depend on which secondary school he goes to next year whether he gets one in year 7.

LIZS Sun 04-Oct-09 13:40:31

ds is year 7 now and afaik not of his friends have them although some of the girls do and have for a few years (had to be confiscate don residnetial trips , despite a "no phones" policy hmm)

Lonicera Sun 04-Oct-09 13:41:50

Ds 1 (10) uses an old PAYG when he goes out. It's peace of mind for us, plus we can call him if we need him home.

He sometime plays games on it too.

bellissima Sun 04-Oct-09 15:45:27

My DD (Yr 6) doesn't have a mobile. A few of her friends have but I think the majority don't. If she had a long bus/walk to school I would probably get her one but I'm afraid she's in the car with me and her little sister. And I suspect the school wouldn't allow them on-site anyway. We shall probably get her one next year as she will get a bus to secondary school.

Clary Sun 04-Oct-09 15:56:27

sorry gorionne, misread yr post at first. Thanks for that.

Am about to start thread as to what mobile I should have!

teamcullen Sun 04-Oct-09 16:20:53

My DS (10) got one for his last birthday. It had £20 credit on it (included in the cost, £50) and Ive never had to top it up.

I got it for the camera and mp3 player which he didnt have.

Occasionally he will text his friends about football results but other than that he mainly uses the mp3 player.

PandaG Sun 04-Oct-09 16:29:35

DS is y5, nearly 10. He does not have a mobile, but has a couple of times had use of my old one. We were camping at a festival last year, and he was allowed to come back from his age group on his own, at 10pm. was a very safe place for him to have this little bit of freedom, but having the phone meant he could ring us if he got lost on the big site, or had a problem.

He was late home from after school club (wind band) this week - had stopped for 30 mins to play footie in the park with the mate he walked home with. I am more than happy for him to do this, but before mates mum had texted me to let me know. I am on tghe verge of giving him the old mobile just on wind band night so he can let me know if staying at the park for a while. I was quite worried, but had DD ill in bed so couldn't go out looking, and thought footie was the likely answer.

Clary Sun 04-Oct-09 16:36:42

ah Panda you see I too am not bothered by DS's dawdle home. If I was I wd fetch him in the first place.

He knows where he lives, doesn't need me to call him to remind him.

I just wonder if he is totally being tarred as uncool. He is in danger of this already as I say (I am a bit of a lentil weaver as you know grin)

PandaG Sun 04-Oct-09 16:44:09

my DS totally not bothered about them at all - he is a real rule keeper and mobiles not allowed to be used at school - but can be kept in bag for trip home. When I suggested taking my old one for wind band night he was quite against it!

He is dismissive of them in general - quite a lots of the girls oin his class have them, but he just does not see the point, I think we have drummed in the 'expensive waste of money, no need you can use the home phone of you want to contact your mates' message pretty thoroughly!

He does walk to school on his own, DH crosses him over the one busy road- I'd get a call if he didn't arrive for any reason and he is a sensible sort who loves the independance. I think it is right to slowly practice independence ready for secondary school. I do pick him up most nights after school, as I am picking up DD, and more difficult to time meeting him to cross over the busy road.

serenity Sun 04-Oct-09 16:49:56

DS1 didn't have one in Yr 6. He has one now he's in yr7, but only because we moved, and he's now a bus journey away - it has come in handy. He forgot to tell me he had Fencing after school and was able to quickly text me so I wouldn't worry/wonder where he was. It's very, very basic (I got it free from work!) and has no extras on it whatsoever. If he can manage to look after it, and not go mad on credit he can have my old one (with camera and mp3) after christmas.

I have to say I wish I'd had a mobile when I was in Secondary (back in the dark ages) it would have made things a lot easier. Trekking around looking for a working payphone wasn't fun! I can think of loads of occasions where I had to cut fun times short because I couldn't get hold of my Mum to ask to stay out longer (and she'd say 'oh you could have stayed, that wouldn't have been a problem' Arghhhhhhh)

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