Welcome to "Hey, Mom and Dad"—a weekly feature in which we ask our Facebook fans to share their views on parenting. Every week we get the conversation started by taking a look back at a question we asked parents the week before on Patch Facebook pages from around the area:
Your child is 10 years old and insists he needs a cell phone in his life to keep him safe and in constant contact with his friends. What do you do? Run out and put him on the family plan? Or, tell him to wait until he can get a job and pay for it himself? That leads us to this week's question:
What is the appropriate age for kids to have their first cell phone?
Take a look at what people had to say and join the conversation in the Comments section.
Lee Ann Anderson: My daughter got her's in kindergarden she is now in the 7th grade . She was put on the wrong bus and was home alone thank goodness my neighbor was home I so up set that's when I got her one . Plus when was the last time you saw a pay phone . — Batavia Patch Facebook
Karyn Smith Wilson: When they are doing things with their friends going to the movies etc. (middle school or 5th grade) I want to be able to know where they are etc for safety reasons. (I'm not talking smart/iPhone here) — Elmhurst Patch Facebook
Kristen Norris Zimny: For us it was middle school. At middle school there are after school activities that the kids have to be picked up from and they needed a phone to get in contact with us. Before that there was no need. The kids school was close and within walking distance. — Geneva Patch Facebook
Julie Farrell: I told my girls that we'll DISCUSS it when they're 16, and even then it'll only happen if they're paying for at least half of it and only 'cuz payphones are few and far between these days. — Glen Ellyn Patch Facebook
Debbie Buelow: When they can pay the bill. — Lisle Patch Facebook
Michelle Sussman: When the kids are left without their parent - sports, practices, etc. — Naperville Patch Facebook
Devon Vida: Honestly, it depends on the circumstances. We have a blended family so our three kids are always splitting time between mom and dads...they are 9,10, and 11 and all have phones. — St. Charles Patch Facebook
Sue Stozek Mayeda: Depends on the individual child, I got my daughter hers when she turned 11. Better safe than sorry! — Wheaton Patch Facebook