So the time has come. It’s time to get my son a mobile phone.

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine said she was getting her son a mobile for when he started secondary school. I’d never considered it before, but that seemed pretty sensible. So that was my plan. But, actually, my son wants one for his birthday later this month, so that’s a result.

Yeah, I know, we DIDN’T HAVE THEM IN OUR DAY. But in our day we used to say ‘I’ll meet you outside Marks & Spencer’s at 11’ and we met them outside M&S at 11, come hell or high water. Now there’s just a vague ‘I’ll see you in a bit,’ followed by a phone call. And if anyone’s phone runs out of battery or they leave it at home – DISASTER!

There are kids in his class who have had phones for ages – he reckons since Year 2, but I think that’s a slight exaggeration. There are kids in his class who have BLACKBERRYS. Why would an 11 year old child need a Blackberry?!

Anyway, we’ve got to the point now where my son is going off places and I am starting to worry about him and wish I had a way to contact him. He’s just going into a different shop to me and then he’s gone two or three minutes later than I would like and I start to panic and wish I had a way to contact him. Yeah, I know, in a way my mum and dad weren’t able to contact me, but that’s not really the point, is it? We all have mobile phones now, it’s a very different world, and as he starts secondary school I think that’s the right time for him.

Recently, my son, daughter and I were in town and my daughter needed to go to the optician’s (as she does at least once a month!). My son hates the opticians, being the non-glasses wearer who has spent far too much of his life hanging around there, so I said he could go into WH Smith. We were in the opticians for a very short time and I realised we hadn’t actually arranged where we were going to meet my son – in the opticians or WH Smith.

I was all for waiting, my daughter was all for going and I just really, really wanted to phone him. My fear was that we would miss him – as the stairs going down are not next to the escalator going up and we could end up chasing each other backwards and forwards all day.

So the time has come. He needs a phone. Not a smartphone, just a basic phone for calling and texting at (hopefully) reasonable rates.

There are phones in Tesco for only £12! Personally, I don’t think he should have one quite as cheap as that – he has his image to think about (and I’m only slightly joking about that) – but my husband is all for it. If he loses it, it won’t matter. I’d go for a £30 or £40 model myself, it is his birthday present after all, but we need to do our research.

So my son will have his own mobile phone. Yet another sign that he is growing up. I won’t ever lose him or worry about him again. Well, maybe not, this is my son we’re talking about and that relies on him a) remembering to carry it b) remembering to charge it and c) not losing it.

We may have some way to go yet!

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. My 7yo is forever nagging for a phone. A girl in her class (Year 3) is getting an iPhone 4 for her birthday (it’s true, I’ve asked her mum) which is ridiculous. I’ve said mine can have a very basic one when she moves up to secondary school and has to get a bus but it’ll be for calls and texts only and will have a limit. No angry birds, no camera, no apps – God, how Victorian do I sound? I agree with getting something that isn’t expensive but not so cheap it makes him laughable. Good luck with the phone bill though. 🙂

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  2. I was the same. I refused a mobile phone when it was just as a must havefashions item,up until the point my daughter started going out without me! Which was about 11. Mind you- now she is 15 and ignores my texts half the time anyway…

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  3. Thanks very much for commenting, ladies! TD – I can’t believe a child in Year 3 would have an iPhone 4! That is shocking. Pointless and completely spoilt! (I’ve been campaigning for an iPhone 4 myself, but it hasn’t happened yet!) So maybe my son was right that kids had phones from Y2 – makes a Blackberry in Y6 seem not so bad!
    I agree with both of you – I think the time is right now, but we’re going basic all the way. I might let him have a camera on it, but nothing else!
    No doubt he will ignore my texts too! Kids, eh!

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  4. We did exactly the same thing in the summer before our son moved to his secondary school. It’s worked brilliantly: so good to know we can keep in contact when buses get missed etc. He has been very sensible with his phone and hasn’t spent much on it (don’t know if girls are more tempted to over-text?)

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  5. That’s good to know, Trish. Was slightly concerned about him running up a big bill, but I’m guessing as he doesn’t communicate much verbally (and hates writing) texting isn’t going to be high on his list of priorities! Thanks very much for commenting.

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  6. Same here, my son ‘needed’ one at about yr 5/6!! We finally relented but more because he was off out and about the local area and it was a good way of keeping in touch. Now at secondary school it is essential as he can finish any time between 5 and 7.30pm !

    The wife went into vodafone to see the best way of doing it and ended up only paying £10 a month by adding it to her account. He got a decent phone (HTC wildfire) and he doesn’t generally ever go over the limit (and if he does his pocket money takes a hit!). And don’t be fooled, he will need a good phone, if he hasn’t already it won’t be long before he has email addresses, facebook and twitter accounts and blogs like his mum !!!

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  7. Thanks, Glenn! I’ll investigate possibly doing a deal with one of our phones. He’s already been warned that he will have a limit and any more will come out of his own pocket.
    I am hoping (perhaps deluding myself) that we can hold off facebook etc until year 8, so stick with the basic phone for now and maybe move up to something more advanced in a year or two. No doubt I will keep you posted!

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  8. This is something I am always wondering about – what age is the right age! Now I know mine are too young (2 and 4yrs) but I have heard children my nephews age (nearly 7) asking for them and even owning them!

    I will be looking towards other parents (mainly bloggers as we are so varied) for guidance! I think you have picked a great time to do it, seems sensible in time for secondary school!

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  9. Thanks very much for your comment, much appreciated. It looks like most people agree secondary school is the right time.
    As for 7 year olds, words fail me… My younger son is 8 and I’m pleased to say he has never asked for one or expressed any interest in one. Long may it continue!

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  10. My son is 11 and although I hate mobile phones with a passion, he has one now, just a basic one so that we can keep in touch and feel he has safety on his side.
    I would go for a cheap version so there is no drama if he loses it.

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  11. My 7 year old asks for one all the time but it’s not the phone he wants it’s the apps – if there was a cheap, indestructible device he could have a few free apps on I’d consider it but I refuse to get a phone!!

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  12. Good advice, Kate! We just want to know where he is and don’t need to spend a fortune to do that.
    There must be a gap in the market for a device with apps, Emily. DS and stuff are so expensive and apps are just throwaway. We’re not big apps users in our family, so that particular issue hasn’t cropped.
    Thank you both for commenting, I really appreciate it.

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  13. Hello, We did exactly the same thing in the summer before our son moved to his secondary school. It’s worked brilliantly: so good to know we can keep in contact when buses get missed etc. He has been very sensible with his phone and hasn’t spent much on it (don’t know if girls are more tempted to over-text?)

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