Kids & Cell Phones

At what age?

Comments (36)

(36) Anonymous, June 2, 2011 7:24 AM


i think 12 . in year 7

(35) Anonymous, December 12, 2010 2:31 AM

How are you teaching your child to pay for their cell phone? I hope they are being taught responsibility in having a phone and texting!

(34) yesforcell, July 25, 2010 1:49 AM

Prepaid cell for kids is the way to go!

I totally believe in cell phones for kids and actually bought my daughter her first cell phone as a 5th grade graduation gift five years ago. It was the best decision. Not only am I able to reach her when ever, where ever, but feel a total sense of security that she can call me, a relative or the police should she ever need to. I started her off on TracFone, a really good prepaid plan that's been around for a while. At first she only had access to $20 worth of minutes a month, and she was pretty good keeping to her minutes. When she started high school, I upgraded her plan to $30 a month since she now does more texting. This buys her 200 minutes every month which is totally perfect for her. By now, she's learned to manage her time and minutes so well that she rarely runs out of time. So, my take on the situation is YES, definitely buy kids the cell phone, just make it prepaid and limit the minutes to something manageable.

(33) Anonymous, May 22, 2010 10:50 PM

12 aka year 7 for good safety reasons

(32) Anonymous, May 22, 2010 10:49 PM


(31) SusanE, May 20, 2010 6:37 PM

Does No one Explore Where Cell Phones come from?

Actually no one should support cell phone use, until the companies that manufacture them become responsible. You can use a computer so you have access to this knowledge. Have you read about the minerals and the blood spilled in getting them mined, just so you can give your children cell phones? If your children read this and still want a phone, what does that say about you and your kids? If you pretend to be responsible in promoting cell phones for children..... then do it right. . .

(30) Mark Douglas Obenour, May 19, 2010 8:51 AM

Deaf kids it's a great tool!

I had the priviledge of working at the MI school for the Deaf in Flint, MI as an employee of a state contractor there for 6 months in 2007. Todays modern radiotelephones or cellular phones can be used to text, also TTY is built into cell phones. These are excellent adjuncts for use by a deaf child. Personally I feel a deaf child should have one of these devices. It can provide communications and safety in a hearing world. I feel that is especially important for a deaf child in todays society. While I agree that you should hold off as long as you can for a hearing child...I think a deaf child with an "unlimited" texting plan would be immensely helped by this device. I have seen it in action.

(29) SiowHuat, May 17, 2010 4:38 PM

Cell Phone good and bad

Rabbi, I can't help but to agree with your advice regarding cell phone for kids. Yeah, they can live without cell phone and they won't turn bad. As for my kid, I will hold on to the cell phone until I feel it is absolutely a need for her to hold one.

(28) Pepe, May 15, 2010 9:18 AM


Kids should not own a cell phone--at all. What's that telling me is that their parents are very irresponsible that they need cell phones to protect and take care of their children. Cell phones are a big disctraction that don't let kids to focus in school--their future--and don't let drivers drive safely.

(27) Anonymous, May 13, 2010 10:34 PM

Raquel de Almeida

What planet do you live on? Cuz if you don't need a cel phone and there is no "danger" where you live, then tell me were it is, and I'll live there. You are so out of it.

(26) Rosen, May 13, 2010 9:03 PM

cell phone technology

Since I am 28 going on 29, it doesn't really seem that long ago when cell phones were more brick-shaped and more geared for car, which seems like the cell phone may be a bad idea to begin with - that's mostly how I remember cell phones growing up, either car phones or radio phones. Granted, cell phones are a convenience in technology, they can certainly be a big distraction to the point people get into car accidents, as well as reprimands on the job if used while working. What I would do is avoid texting while driving and avoid using my cell phone while I am at work. Sadly, there is a rudeness epidemic with either cell phones or otherwise.

(25) Elana, May 13, 2010 8:00 PM

"None when we were growing up"

I'm tired of reading comments about "none when we were growing up"; of course there were didn't exist. Neither did elecricity or gas ovens at one point...yet you have them don't you? What kind of nonsense is that? What about regular phones...u don't have that either? this life can be used for bad or good, internet, phones (yes, even landlines), etc. It is up to us, the parents, to demonstrate responsible behaviors will ALL things. To some, cells are a luxury, to others not. At what age? That depends on the family, the child, etc. And you can disable texting, web, etc, like I have done for my 13 year old; if I had money, my 10 year old would have it too also with the additional features disabled. (plus, it is cheaper that way). Rules need to be set...examples followed; ex. not in the car while driving. If my phone rings in the car, I ask one of the kids to pick it up and say, "you see, I'm driving"; then follow with a discussion as to why it is impt not to be distracted on the road. Be responsible and teach ur children...don't forbid them from things. That will just build up resentment in them!

(24) Raquel de Almeida, May 13, 2010 11:29 AM

I agree!

I do not own a cell phone! Therefore my children do not own a cell phone! My husband has a cell phone for work, but I have resisted and the kids, aged 6,8 and 11 don't even regard a cell phone as a "must have". There were no cell phones when we were growing up, there were "dangers" and strange folk about. What has changed? Is the world a more dangerous place now than it was back then? Arming our kids with mobile phones is not the answer to the perceived "dangers". Kids do mirror their parents, though.

(23) debbie, May 12, 2010 8:42 PM

when they're ready to go out on their own; it should be for the peace-of-mind of the parents, not the social-life of the kids. When my son began riding his bike to school, i insisted he have a phone and USE it to let me know he was safe.

(22) Estelle, May 12, 2010 7:45 PM

A cell phone saved this child's life!

This true incident was just posted today on The school trip for children of the Yisrael Epstein School in Ramat Aviv Gimmel could have ended tragically on Sunday when a 7-year-old girl who fell asleep was forgotten on the bus when the class returned to the school. Temperatures outside soared in the area of 31C (88F). The driver left the school and traveled to the garage in Netanya, where he locked his vehicle and headed home. Shortly thereafter it appears the small child woke up, surprised to see she was alone, in an unfamiliar setting. The young child however remained calm, and telephoned her mother, succeeding in providing sufficient information to locate her, and a taxi was sent to pick her up. Mom also phoned the school and after realizing what had happened, the child’s teacher was sent to the garage in Netanya as well. Baruch Hashem, the young child succeeded in remaining calm and the situation ended without injury or worse. Tel Aviv City Hall stated the incident was indeed serious and school officials must ensure there is not reoccurrence in the future. Ministry of Education officials are probing the incident and will release its recommendations. (Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

(21) pene, May 12, 2010 1:21 AM

see url:

It’s not surprising that cellphone makers would target the kids for models that are pretty much toyish in looks, design and function. One of these kids cell phones, Firefly Mobile on the Cingular network can be one of the best despite having a basic calling that’s just a throwback to the early 90s when cellphones where just taking root. It’s also carried by regional carriers Cincinnati Bell and SunCom.

(20) Anonymous, May 11, 2010 11:06 PM

adults, too

i have a pet peeve. i see mothers walking around with their precious children "yakking" on the phone. alot. who loses out - the child in the carriage. (the mothers too, but i don't pity them). the children lose time with their mothers, bonding, learning, enjoying each others' company. think about that while you contemplate the pluses/minuses of getting/or not getting your child's/teenager's cellphone.

(19) Anonymous, May 11, 2010 10:34 PM

At what age must I have one on me all the time ?

I' m a 47 year old child ( married with 9 children ) and I still don't feel I need one most of the time. I enjoy the freedom of thinking while I'm walking and even enjoying the opportunity to have some quiet and the freedom of being just with myself. Also I feel that it is not so terrible to remember a grocery list of three items or writing up a list before I leave, and rely on my common sense if something is not available. So when should I or my children always be walking around with a cellphone ? Maybe when they come out with one that can be planted in our brains so that then we won't have to have that silly looking "Bluetooth" in our ears !

(18) Dr.Anne Ruth Grunfeld Cohn, May 11, 2010 10:25 PM

Cell phones on have validity for reasons of security. Should anyone Adult or child feel they are in danger It is useful and often vital to be able to call for help. Nobody really needs to text,;it si only a precaution and a convenience if one is lat

It is ridiculous for every child to own a phone and cell-phones are only a convenience and to be used for a legitimate reason. No cell phone should be equipped with all the fanciful "imagined" needs like emails, the news, long protracted empty conversations and for amusement. They waste precious time and are very often a plain nuisance. Their use needs to be "shrunk" and the less they are used the better. We managed very well without them till recently and on the whole they constitute an unwelcome indulgence. They are used because of peer pressure and everyone feels they have to do, have the same as everyone else. Their prolifera ition is a time stealer and an invitation to slander and gossip. They are to be used with the untmost caution and care;misused, they are a real spiritual and possible threat to us at ALL ages! Age to own one, as late as possible, perhps not until marriage and having a faimily to look after.

(17) Steven Schrier, May 11, 2010 8:17 PM

Cell phones create danger for children

In the UK, rather than preventing crime, young children with cell phones are frequently mugged for their phones by older children!

(16) Anonymous, May 11, 2010 8:17 PM

Univ. of Pittsburg:study "Cellphones dangerous for children under 8"

If you wish, google University of Pittsburgh cellphone study. "Manufacturers report that cell and wireless phones emit electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic fields are likely to penetrate the brain more deeply for children than for adults.Young children are more susceptible to electromagnetic fields due to smaller sized brains and softer brain tissue." They also suggest using a headset if possible to reduce radiation exposure. Thank you Rabbi Solomon for bringing up this very important subject. One last point, it has been determined that over 90% of motor accidents happen when people take their eyes off the road for just - 3 - seconds! Whoa....something to think about.

(15) Eema, May 11, 2010 7:32 PM

When parents need it

Kids should get cell phones when it is more convenient for the parents for the kid to have the phone. This has to do with picking child up, knowing were there are etc. It will vary for each family and each child. Families without land lines should get the child a phone when he is old enough to be left home alone. In some parts of the undeveloped world phone land lines are very expensive to put in place, so cell phones are used instead of land lines.This may be why China has such a seemingly high number of cell phones. Israel has many phones available for short term rental by visitors artificially boosting the number of phones when compared to the population.

(14) David, May 11, 2010 6:31 PM

Kids should get cell phones when they provide benefit

My kids have had cell phones since early elementary school grades. As soon as we told them to travel to school by bus, we felt it was a good thing. My oldest daughter is finishing high school this year, and my youngest entering next year. Neither runs up more than an average of 5 minutes per day, usually they talk much less. My kids exercise good judgement; maybe your kids don't. The point is that when the phones provide a benefit, they should be used. If the kids don't use them appropriately, you have an opportunity to teach something.

(13) Jennifer, May 11, 2010 6:10 PM

No texting for any teen

I can say with 100% certainty that my 17-year-old never uses his cell phone for texting. We had texting disabled, not because we were worried that he would text and drive, but because I find texting highly annoying! However, we also have an agreement: no cellphone use of any kind while driving. If I phone while my teen is driving, he understands that I understand that he is driving and will call me when he is parked or pulls into a rest stop to phone me back. Although it's difficult to pinpoint an exact age when kids should be allowed the privilege of cellphones, I absolutely agree that holding off as long as possible is paramount. On the occasion when a younger teen may actually need a phone for safety, then the parent should loan his own. None of my children was given a cellphone until 16 years of age. For the record.

(12) Joy, May 11, 2010 5:42 PM

You are completely right!

I think that cell phones are very dangerous to our children... I live in Israel and I'm amazed at the young age that kids have them here. When I was a teenager (so that long ago) we used to manage just fine without them, and our parents slept at night while we where out. If we give them a cell phone when they are not mature enough we are exposing our children to very dangerous values, materialism (you gotta have the coolest one), time wasting (with games and inproductive calls), and the fact that we need them to be available any minute for us to check on them... I don't know... I don't like the idea of children using cell phones because I don't really see the need for it... But one thing is certain, they should most definitely be prohibited to have or use inside school!!

(11) Anon, May 11, 2010 3:44 PM

I don't know about the age, but NOONE should be putting a cellphone up against their head, and especially not children (which means up to age 20), as their brains are still developing. So if you are going to give one to your child make sure it has speakerphone or earphones.

(10) Anonymous, May 11, 2010 3:25 PM

to Beverly K an everybody else

Poor Beverly, I know we live in a world where people don't give much attention to people in a wheelchair. However, you are asking the whole world to change for your benefit. I will agree with you on several points: Someone who texts while crossing the street or driving is just plain stupid.. Unfortunately, a good part of the population is, well, stupid, and selfish. But let's get down to what's important. We also live in a terrible world, and we worry about our children. I can tell you several cases where I might have had a heart attack if I couldn't get in touch with someone. Case in point: My sister-in-law was on her way to manhattan on 9/11 . It took several hours, but we were able to locate her (she was still in Brooklyn). On the other hand, in 1989 my son broke his leg in school and they didn't know what hospital to take him to and I only knew about it HOURS LATER when I came home because there were NO cel phones at the time. Second question: What is the right age? My 14 year old daughter has one. She only calls me (from school) if it's urgent. Sometimes I make an appointment for her and forget to tell her so I text her. Sometimes she asks permission to get off the schoolbus to go somewhere, or there is too much traffic and she is 40 minutes late. What would we do if we could not communicate wih them? My 11 year old son, does not have one. I think it's WAY too early. I think every child in high school should have one (not in school, of course) and be taught when texting is appropriate. and ABSOLUTELY INAPPROPRIATE. Now, what you need, Beverly, is a change of attitude. If you live in a crazy busy place like New York City, then what do you expect? You should be living in a place that is good FOR YOU, living in a place that is more hospitable to people in wheelchairs, less traffic, etc. Nobody will change but YOU CAN.

(9) Dov, May 11, 2010 3:22 PM

Be responsible

A cell phone is a luxury and a privilege and should be approached responsibly. Abuse it by allowing it's use to interfere w/other activities (and safety as noted by Beverly above) and it should be taken away. Young children do not need a cell phone, but by middle school many do, as their social and school commitments tend to shift more frequently. Parents of elementary aged children also need to teach their children to trust in the school and in their teachers. If there is a need to contact the parent, the school will take care of this. As parents we also must ask ourselves whether giving our children a phone is for their convenience or for ours.

(8) Anonymous, May 11, 2010 1:40 PM

I agree, for health reasons.

Cell-phone radiation not healthy for anyone, but especially children. Many studies have been done on its effects on a young brain.

(7) Rose, May 11, 2010 4:47 AM


Why should your kids have cloths and food if they can't pay for it? I don't think we should think that way. What if we need to comunicate to our children or they need to contact us as an emergency? We never know what could happen.

(6) Beverly Kurtin, May 10, 2010 4:42 PM

I hate them with a passion

I think that people should get a phone when they are fifty. Just kidding? I'm not so certain. A few weeks ago a woman walked into the side of my moving car. She wasn't paying attention to what she was doing. She was TEXTING! Thank goodness there were witnesses who stuck around to tell the officer that the accident was caused by the woman texting with her head down, not looking around. I'm disabled and get around in a wheelchair (a Jazzy 1122 for those in the know) and I have had to SCREAM at people who were about to collide with my knees; they, too, were texting. Go to any grocery and you will see phones stuck to ears as though people were born with them. I had a friend who, despite my repeated requests, took calls during a meeting. I finally took him by the hand and took him home. I originally got a phone for MY safety's sake. I do not take incoming calls when I'm driving or even THINK of texting, period. The manager of a local store kicked a customer out of his store because he was yelling like a mad man on his phone as though he was in his private office. Worse, he was blasting his son. If I had my way, cell phones would be prohibited in cars and in stores. When I get a call I let it roll over. When it is safe to do so, I park the car and call them back. I give them my Skype phone number to call and leave messages ONLY. Or as our grandparents would say, "Feh."

(5) Anonymous, May 10, 2010 9:39 AM

Hear today....gone tomorow

We live in NY & my son, 11, now goes to school in NJ....the cell phone was to provide me with the security that if, for example, there was a problem with transportation, I wouldn't have to worry where he was. If I was traveling to NJ he could ask me to bring him some lunch, what Jewish mother wouldn't want her son eating a nutritious meal? Then tragedy struck...he lost his phone. He actually said he is OK with not having a on the other hand now needs him to have a phone!! We are creatures of habit!! And no one, no matter what age, is immune to losing his/her phone!!

(4) SusanE, May 10, 2010 1:47 AM

At What Age? When they can have their own account.

If kids want a cell phone, they can get one of their own. If they aren't old enough to have an account in their own name then they aren't old enough to have the phone. Sorry.

(3) Anonymous, May 9, 2010 8:54 PM

I am a teenager, and I think its a good idea to have a cell phone. Personally I do not have restrictions on my phone - i know my limits - but if your considering one, some people defenetly need restrictions.

(2) hi, May 9, 2010 8:34 PM

When they walk around alone

The appropriate age is as soon as you are letting the child get around town on his/her own. Some parents let their kids take the bus/subway by themselves at age 9, others don't allow until 15 or 16. While we can debate what's too young or old in terms of that, it seems pretty straight forward to me that if your child is going places without you, a cell phone is in order. There are plenty of ways to restrict usage if that is a concern.

(1) judith, May 9, 2010 11:16 AM

In Israel is was different

I gave my daughter her first cellphone at 7-8 years of age, at a time only grownups onwed one, and if, it was only one per household. This was almost 10 years ago when buses were systematically blown up by terrorists in Jerusalem and my daughter by that time was already using public transportation. As a single parent, I could not even dream to pay private transportation, and soon I became a nervous wreck. Definitely, cellphone helped.


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