Cellphone for 8-year old

migraineboy

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Jan 26, 2011
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So here goes:

My daughter's birthday is coming up soon and she has expressed a wish for a cellphone. I know that there are a lot of social/parental considerations including whether a child of this age is responsible enough to "own" a device like this, but I thought it would be an interesting exercise to throw it our there to MyBB fanbase. She is tech savvy in us much as a 8-year old can be.

My quesion is around the actual device type i.e touchscreen, etc as well as prepaid / contract and I am also quite keen to hear about the softer issues.

I am sure other MyBB parents/guardians have come up with this issue before (maybe for different age groups).

Keen to hear your responses!
 

SoTrue

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Ag no man, a girl that age must play with dolls, ride bicycle, play with friends, do sport, etc. She does not need a cellphone, she can only get into trouble with it at that age. If you REALLY have to get her one, get one that is limited to calls and SMS. Certainly no internet and WAP.

Would not recommend a cellphone for her before 11, even 12. Beware of peer pressure.
 

MightyQuin

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Oct 6, 2010
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So here goes:

My daughter's birthday is coming up soon and she has expressed a wish for a cellphone. I know that there are a lot of social/parental considerations including whether a child of this age is responsible enough to "own" a device like this, but I thought it would be an interesting exercise to throw it our there to MyBB fanbase. She is tech savvy in us much as a 8-year old can be.

My quesion is around the actual device type i.e touchscreen, etc as well as prepaid / contract and I am also quite keen to hear about the softer issues.

I am sure other MyBB parents/guardians have come up with this issue before (maybe for different age groups).

Keen to hear your responses!
Type of phone not really an issue here I would think...just insure it! I say give the phone to her...but with strict rules. It will be an awesome tool for discipline...when she messes up...just take the phone away. Also just be aware that she will dissapera from your normal everyday conversations as soon as MiXit is up an running on that new phone.
 

Venomous

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friends of mine gave their 8 year old their old phone. Put a new sim in but did not RICA it, that allowes the other features to function.

The child grumbles about not being able to call from it but is happy coz it can play music & take photos.... The friend says that good enough for now.
 

ruan567

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Feb 8, 2006
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I don't think buying a cellphone for an 8 year old is the way to go - kids already grow up way too fast - she should be playing with her friends outside, not socialising with complete strangers on mxit.
 

Mars

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Yea, I'm planning on giving my 3gs to my five year old daughter when I upgrade later this year. I will be disabling internet access, and she will only be able to phone people in her phone book (Myself and my wife).
 

viishrugged

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Feb 27, 2011
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I'd say go for a cheap or low range phone. The possibility of her losing it is quite large.

My parents got me my first cell-phone at 13(but cell phones had just gotten greater market appeal by then). A friend of mine is a Grade 1 teacher and there are very few children in her class without a cellphone.
The important thing for any parent of such a young child is to monitor the usage. It might not be breaching a child's privacy, but one needs to monitor sites like mxit and browsing usage. These may not yet be applicable to your child, but they'll soon become relevant. Oh and most service provider offers these cellphone tracking services nowadays, you might want to look into that. It might sound creepy, but a monitored child is much better than a missing one.

I'd say to get a contract. A kid on prepaid's phone will always have low to no airtime on it and the main function of a cellphone at this age is to ensure that she can call you in an emergency.

I'm not saying you should go all Orwellian on her, but cellphones make it so much easier for children to get access to really depraved things. Just make sure to know what your kid is doing with the device.
 

Cicero

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Oh please, its not that bad people.

Just get a *cheap* prepaid phone from pep or something - like a R150-R300 phone - prepaid only. And make sure its one WITHOUT GPRS/WAP or whatever, so no mxit nothing. It can phone and sms, KLAAR!

I think its a useful tool, as long as its not too sophisticated. Just monitor the airtime, calls and the msg's etc.
 

SoTrue

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Yea, I'm planning on giving my 3gs to my five year old daughter when I upgrade later this year. I will be disabling internet access, and she will only be able to phone people in her phone book (Myself and my wife).
What is the easiest/best way to disable internet access?
 

Bizkit87

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Oh please, its not that bad people.

Just get a *cheap* prepaid phone from pep or something - like a R150-R300 phone - prepaid only. And make sure its one WITHOUT GPRS/WAP or whatever, so no mxit nothing. It can phone and sms, KLAAR!

I think its a useful tool, as long as its not too sophisticated. Just monitor the airtime, calls and the msg's etc.
agreed, i will also block outgoing calls and restrict it to phone book, and if possible, block all "private number" incoming calls
 

ajax

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Oh please, its not that bad people.

Just get a *cheap* prepaid phone from pep or something - like a R150-R300 phone - prepaid only. And make sure its one WITHOUT GPRS/WAP or whatever, so no mxit nothing. It can phone and sms, KLAAR!

I think its a useful tool, as long as its not too sophisticated. Just monitor the airtime, calls and the msg's etc.
+1

A low-end phone incapable of internet access would do. Simply add a UYO topup line to your contract (R20 for R50 airtime/month) and teach him/her to do please call me should the airtime run out.
 

veethree

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Dec 13, 2004
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While MyBB is filled with nothing but kind, considerate souls ;), there are a lot of people out there who aren't like that. The minute you get a cellphone that has data access (even if it's just to send and receive an MMS), you're exposing your daughter to a whole lot of stuff I doubt she's ready for. Unfettered internet access would be even worse, but the general feeling here seems to be that it is indeed a bad idea.

Why does she want a cellphone in the first place? If there's peer pressure involved, a cheapie that only does calls and SMSs may not cut it, and anything more advanced just opens up the dangers again. If you want to reach her at all times (when would you not be able to do that anyway?), maybe you could get a basic one; if she wants entertainment, buy an iPod Touch and lock down internet and app access.

I know we can't wrap our kids in bubbles these days, but neither do we want to launch them into worlds they're not equipped to handle. At eight, I'd suggest rather waiting a couple of years.
 
K

kingrob

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Didn't I read somewhere that a child's brain can be fried more easily with a cellphone than an adult?
 

Dolby

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Yea, I'm planning on giving my 3gs to my five year old daughter when I upgrade later this year. I will be disabling internet access, and she will only be able to phone people in her phone book (Myself and my wife).
Is the '88' behind your nickname your date of birth?
 

cbrunsdonza

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@migraineboy My daughter was 6 when she got her first phone, she is now 11 and have never had issues. I would say touch screens are a bit over kill for her but look at something with a keyboard like the LG Chatterbox.

What I do with each upgrade is find out what phones her friends have and then decide on the most popular one. They like to share photos and pics (innocent stuff) so make sure it has a camera and bluetooth.

Ignore those paranoid parents. Responsible parents get involved with their kids. MXiT is a popular so don't block it, rather join in on the chats with her and make it clear she is not allowed to conceal her use of social sites. Best is to disable WAP and Internet on the phone. Also teach her not to ever SMS to shortcodes or browse WAP sites. I work for a WASP and I've taught my daughter never to do it.

I started my daughter on CellC 50 Control Chat and she is now on 100 Control Chat option. She still has loads of free airtime. I prefer CellC as they have the best deals.
 

Polymathic

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@migraineboy My daughter was 6 when she got her first phone, she is now 11 and have never had issues. I would say touch screens are a bit over kill for her but look at something with a keyboard like the LG Chatterbox.

What I do with each upgrade is find out what phones her friends have and then decide on the most popular one. They like to share photos and pics (innocent stuff) so make sure it has a camera and bluetooth.

Ignore those paranoid parents. Responsible parents get involved with their kids. MXiT is a popular so don't block it, rather join in on the chats with her and make it clear she is not allowed to conceal her use of social sites. Best is to disable WAP and Internet on the phone. Also teach her not to ever SMS to shortcodes or browse WAP sites. I work for a WASP and I've taught my daughter never to do it.

I started my daughter on CellC 50 Control Chat and she is now on 100 Control Chat option. She still has loads of free airtime. I prefer CellC as they have the best deals.
You strike me has one of those parents that let their child watch whatever movie they want and if you do have a son he is probably playing all the latest violent games on his console
 

Mars

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What is the easiest/best way to disable internet access?
I think its phone Dependant. The 3gs has restrictions that allow you to control whats going on on the phone. A more permanent way would be to disable the iPhone Apn at your service provider.

Is the '88' behind your nickname your date of birth?
Just a nickname :D otherwise i would be spring chicken
 

Mars

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You strike me has one of those parents that let their child watch whatever movie they want and if you do have a son he is probably playing all the latest violent games on his console
No, I think his point is: Rules and restrictions do not take the place of relationship. And where there is relationship there is often no need for rules and restrictions.
 
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