Nowadays, most teenagers have cell phones. However, the age at which kids start to want phones seems to be falling at an alarming rate. A friend of mine recently told me his 8-year-old can't wait to get a phone and while he isn't quite at the begging and reasoning stage, he's definitely eager to get his hands on one because several of his friends have cell phones already.
Eight is extremely young to be asking for a cell phone but it's not at all unusual for 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds to have phones. The New York Times cites a recent study that says 58 percent of 12-year-olds now have a cell phone. Safety appears to be the biggest reason for parents purchasing cell phones for kids. Whether it's camping trips with the Girl or Boy Scouts, birthday parties at bowling alleys or walking home from school with their friends, parents want to know their children can contact them if there's an emergency.
That said, there are always disagreements among parents about the right age to buy a child a phone. Some prefer to to give their son or daughter a 'house' or communal cell phone when they go away on trips. This solves the safety issues without actually having to buy them a phone. Others like the idea of the Firefly phone, a handset that can only call a handful of numbers (such as Mom, Dad, and Home).
Today's Question of the Day is: How old was your child when you bought him or her a cell phone and what made you buy it? If you don't have children, what age do you think is the right age?