Cell Phones and Gift Giving

Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S8 Smart Phone. This is one of those posts.

With the holiday season right around the corner, many parents may be considering getting their child a smartphone, or getting themselves a new one and passing down their old device.  I know one thing for sure…this little guy won’t be getting a phone.

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When our kids were teenagers, we often got them a cell phone.  It was an easy gift to give and goodness knows, they were elated.

U.S. Cellular recently conducted a survey regarding children and cellphones and the results may surprise you.  They sure surprised me!

On average, parents began letting children use their smartphones or tablets at age eight.  I believe this to be true for sure.  Some of my childcare kiddos have regular access to a tablet.  They don’t own their own tablets but they do have regular access.

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Participants said that the appropriate age for a child to get their first cellphone is 13, which is down from 14 years old just five years ago.  58% of parents had children with cellphones, and the average age of the child when receiving their first phone was 11 years old.  Safety was the top reason behind getting children their own cellphone, with 59% of respondents listing it as the top factor.  Safety was the reason our kids got a phone…but we didn’t get them for them until they were driving on their own.

Three out of four parents monitor their child’s cellphone usage frequently.  77% of parents have rules and guidelines for their child’s cellphone usage.

U.S. Cellular helps establish family parameters and guidelines regarding cellphone use.  If parents do decide to give a child a cellphone, U.S. Cellular encourages them to visit http://www.childphoneagreement.com to create their very own customized agreement, helping establish parameters and family guidelines for cellphone use.

Carver does love a cell phone whenever he can get his hands on one.  The second he picks it up he starts saying “Da-Da.”  Every night his dad, Craig, calls as he is driving home from work.  Carver associates phones with that important drive home and his chance to talk to “Da”.  It’s incredibly cute….but 14 month old is too young for his own phone!!  For now he’s having to share with mommy.

One thing I didn’t notice in the survey….When do parents kick their kids off their cell phone plan?  That’s the end of the spectrum we’re on.  Karl is our last straggler.  Our rule has been when you’re out of college…you’re on your own and have to get your own cell phone plan.

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6 thoughts on “Cell Phones and Gift Giving

  1. Jen

    I didn’t kick my son off the cellphone plan when he graduated. But, he now has to pay a part of it, and his younger brother pays a part of the data. It works out to be cheaper for all of us.

  2. Linda in NE

    My 4 yr. old grandchildren are pretty good on the iPhone & iPad. Holden is always watching his videos on the iPad & doesn’t need much help unless he accidentally taps the wrong thing and can’t figure out how to fix it. Hayden gets on her daddy’s iPhone and finds her music on Pandora or her little videos on youTube. She has also ordered a couple of things on Amazon so mom & dad have learned to
    keep logged off on that. :) I swear kids nowdays are born knowing how to use electronics.

  3. mary

    We are still struggling with a kid still on our cell plan. I think he will be forced into getting his own next month when my hubby retires and has to get a non-work phone. We are going to change carriers and deliberately not include our son. It feels mean, but he is 25 and living on his own, time to take responsibility for his own bills.

  4. Lisa B

    I have a female friend who is on her son’s business plan. She reimburses him each year for the cost. Way less expensive than having her own plan. My son is still on my plan but I’m self-employed and he works for me. One of the perks of the job. And it is less costly than reimbursing him for his plan.

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