Counsellor & Psychotherapist
Masters of Counselling & Psychotherapy UofA
Member of the ACA College of Supervisors
Level 3 Member Australian Counselling Association
This really depends on the family situation. I have a friend who is divorced and her son has had a phone since he was 9 so she could contact him when he stayed at his dads. My daughter is 15 and I bought her a phone when she started high school. Mainly for safety so we could contact each other if needed.
I don't think a child should have a mobile phone until they start travelling to school by themselves, and at that point, only for calling parents in an emergency. The amount a child uses a phone should be regulated so that they don't spend loads of money on pointless calls, and so they are not constantly a target for thieves. Then there is the amount of texting, which can cause RSI and arthritis in later life.
Under 10 kids have to be supervised anyway, so I don't see why they would need a phone before then. If they're catching public transport or travelling to school alone then they would need one for safety, but if they're still being driven to school one wouldn't be needed.
Children don't really need a mobile until they're old enough to be out without their parents/an adult to supervise, when they might need it to call home or in case of emergency. So... eleven or twelve maybe. Though reading Thriftyfrugalfun's post it makes sense that a child who lived away from one parent might want a phone to contact them.
13 is the age I think is best,they are a Teenager.
Any younger, is totally not needed....As far as a child having one to contact the other parent, while staying over....that's Not a great idea.
I have gone through that time, and my son would be phoning me all the time,
if he had -had one.
That is a 'time' there should be no interfering, as it is the other parents time.
Children sometimes can make a storm in a tea-cup....and it add's to the angst, when parents have separated.
13 was the age I gave my son one, and he felt very grown up.His attitude got better too.