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.
Margaret Postmus VerVelde: Freshman year for sure. My youngest got one in 8th grade so we could keep track of her while she was at club volleyball. —on Palos Patch Facebook
Cindy Eskra- Fogu: When they can pay for it. —on Palos Patch Facebook
Diane Pijus-Bolda: When they are a freshmen. And I definitely would not be buying them an IPHONE. on Palos Patch Facebook
Ashley Stachniak: My parents gave me a cell phone when I got my license. And when I didn't answer their calls I got the phone and my keys taken away! —on Tinley Park Patch Facebook
Mia Novoa: As soon as my son can afford to pay his own cell phone bill, he can have his own phone. Until then, he can use the house phone or my phone to talk to his friends. That's how I was raised too. —on Tinley Park Patch Facebook
Denise Ardisana-Tubeszewski: my son plays sports he never gets out at same time after practice so the phone saves me time sitting at the school. —on Tinley Park Patch Facebook
Larry Klein: I gave my kids phones when they learned how to drive. So 16. Each month they got $25 worth of service. If they ran out of service they either put more money on their phone, or they couldnt drive the car. They learned a lot from this practice. —on Homewood-Flossmoor Patch Facebook
Kate Duff: I think also this is one of those areas where parental modeling is really important. If your phone is just about surgically attached to your ear and you can't get through a meal without texting somebody about it, you can't really blame your kids if that's how they think phones should be used. And Jen, I agree about the phones being for the parent — the peace of mind in knowing my kids can always get in touch with me is SO worth it. —on Homewood-Flossmoor Patch Facebook
Rami SteadyMobbin Sneineh: It will teach them responsibilty, however could cause a major distraction from education and family time. There must be a limit in using it, like no phone allowed during dinner and homework time. —on Orland Park Patch Facebook