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Mobiles for kids

Discussion in 'Parents' Forum' started by FZR400RRSP, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    Was involved in a horrible situation yesterday, that made me think about people who've had a 'pop' at us for giving our 8YO an old mobile phone to use.
    Was in a large, busy shop in Aberdeen and I spotted a girl (around 8YO-9YO) walking around in an obvious panic.
    Her face bright red and obviously crying, although not screaming with it.
    Completely ignored by the hordes of oblivious shoppers, presumably because she was quiet, but I saw her.
    I instantly recognised the fact she'd lost her parent/s and was in a total panic.
    Honestly, the look of sheer terror on that poor girl's face will haunt me for ages.:(
    Anyway, I went flying over just as another (female) shopper got to her as well, and she sobbed her story out.
    So we took her to customer services and they put an announcement out.
    Unfortunately, the girl wasn't even convinced it was that shop she'd lost her mum in, it is a 'mall' type place.
    So it was quite some time (around 20 mins+) before her frantic mother heard the tannoy.
    Had that poor girl had a mobile, she could possibly have averted the panic in the first place, or certainly avoided the lengthy wait for her mother to hear an announcement.
    Honestly, I wish one particularly vociferous anti-mobile 'friend' of ours had been there to see a scenario where a mobile would have been priceless.:mad:
    Yes, we all know the girl shouldn't have become seperated in the first place, but these things can happen in an instant.
    I'm not saying mobiles should make you complacent by any means, I'm just saying they can play a vital role in an emergency.
    Our daughter's phone only has a handful of numbers on it, none of them her friends.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  2. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong Active Member

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    You can get bracelets which you can put useful info on that would help in this sort of situation.
  3. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    They'd be good for kids too young to use a mobile.:thumbsup:
  4. tonyrees687

    tonyrees687 Active Member

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    I suppose its a balance of when you think a mobile should be given to child. I tried to avoid it for a long time but gave in when she was 11. Maybe to early or to late. But tech moves at a high rate now and looks like mobile phones /devices are needed to get on in life and work. Kids use computers from a very early age, carrying an expensive moble around in public at an early age is a risk while the child is unsupervised. About the wrist band they are fantastic and had direct experience. My daughter was on Tenby beach with one of the wrist bands ,she went missing in the crowds and a guy called me to say that she had lost her dad and he called my number . The simple ideas seem to be the best. Might use this idea for my parents bless them .
  5. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    Balance as to when you give them, and balance as to what you give them.
    Anyone 'mugging' our 8YO for the battered LG she's covered in 'Hello Kitty' stickers is going to be sorely disappointed.:laugh:
    And, as I said, we are not ready to let her send endless texts to her friends, that can wait until she's a good bit older.
    It's only mum/dad/gran on her phone.
    The rest of the time, she uses it for photos and games.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  6. tonyrees687

    tonyrees687 Active Member

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    Yep Hello Kitty stickers are still all over the house. Im very suprised at how many texts my 12 year old gets ands sends to her friends and in super fast time.
  7. Dony

    Dony Active Member

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    Playing Devil's Advocate, but what if the little girl you had seen was a 3 or 4 yr old? Would you still feel that a mobile would have saved much stress to her family? My point being, at what age is the "perfect" age for a child to have a mobile. I honestly don't see how your example proves that you are right for letting your child have a phone, and your friends are wrong for opposing it.

    Also, regarding your own daughter's battered LG phone.....how would a 13 yr old toe rag know this if he spotted her with a phone up to her ear, and would he even care. To him it's easy pickings.

    We considered getting my 10 yr old a phone this Christmas, but have decided to hold off until the summer when he'll be preparing to go the secondary school (about 10 mile from where we live). Just today he forgot his lunchbox, which would have been an opportune time to use a mobile (if he had one). Instead though, he had to go to the school office and use the landline to call me.
  8. Sonic67

    Sonic67 Active Member

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  9. tonyrees687

    tonyrees687 Active Member

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    Hard time for me to , but watching my 12 year old fit in is great. We can all have forums and internet now. So now the kids are getting all this that we didnt have a few years ago, sure some will use it badly, most will use it in a positive way a great way. This is how we got here. Scary stuff .
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  10. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    Are you kidding?
    The 13 year old toe rags you mention could probably name the model from 50 yards away and quote mazuma's market value for it (which is about £8...)
    With regard to your other points, it would evidently be stupid to give 3 or 4 year old a mobile phone because they wouldn't recognise its significance in a scenario like I witnessed.
    Whereas an 8yo is perfectly able to think "ooh heck, this is a good time to use the thing"...
  11. Dony

    Dony Active Member

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    £8 would buy a few litres of cider and a packet of smokes. That's enough reward for any scrote.

    I'm not saying a phone wouldn't have helped in this case, but it's not as clear cut as you make out. My wife has a mobile which she never hears 75% of the time (if it's charged). You are also assuming the child knows exactly where it is so that they can let the parent know. That's fine if they are familiar with the shopping centre, but at this time of year especially, parents takes kids to towns and shopping centres they wouldn't normally know (at least mine does).
    Children get separated from their parents all the time but somehow manage to get re-united without the need to have a phone.

    If your child having a phone gives you peace of mind, then fair enough, but to say your example is categoric proof that all 8 yr olds should carry a mobile is a bit wide of the mark.
  12. DIYlady

    DIYlady Member

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    Never came across the bracelets but when my son was little i used to put a piece of paper with my mobile number on it in his pocket. He knew it was there. Having said that he did wander off given half a chance. One occasion I asked why he hadn't used the number. His response was that he new where he was going (early learning centre) and would have got the shop assistant to call me when he'd finished! He was about 3 at the time and was only off the reigns because we'd stopped for some lunch and I didn't put them on before paying.

    He also used to like to get "lost"(would hide behind the rails) in m&s cos they used to give sweets to lost children
  13. IronGiant

    IronGiant Moderator

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    Not sure why a phone would have helped unless it had a GPS tracker in it that the parents could home in on. Not saying there is anything wrong with having one, but by the time she realised she was lost may have got her too upset to use it. I like the armband idea a lot, will look into that.
  14. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    I think an 8yo has the sense to use a mobile very quickly, in the scenario where they become seperated.
    Or you call them the second you realise.
    Your heightened senses in that scenario may even hear the ringtone, as they don't have to be far away to be invisible.
    Bands are a one-way option that rely on your child asking for help, when they may be scared to do so
    Too low tech for me for older kids.
  15. Dony

    Dony Active Member

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    My 2 older children have my business card in their wallet/purse. Our home address, landline number, and my mobile are on it while my wife's number is hand written.
  16. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    All very well, but what do they do with this information in the event they get seperated from you?
    Find a phone box?
    Approach a stranger?
    Or have they been told to look for 'authority figures', in which case they may wander around looking for one?
    Can't you see how a mobile would take all of this away?:confused:
  17. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy Active Member

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    Our boy is 5 and already has his own mobile phone.
    Hook set...
  18. Dony

    Dony Active Member

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    They would hopefully look for someone of authority (we've always told them to go to the cash registers if they get lost).
    However, in your example above, you and the other shopper would have brought them to Customer Services, and they could have given over the card with our numbers on them. The CS representative could then try calling the numbers, saving the 20 mins making tannoy announcements.

    Remember, I'm playing Devil's Advocate here. My son is 10 and wouldn't have a problem using a mobile, but my daughter has just turned 6 and I wouldn't be so sure that if she was in a panic that she'd know what to do.
  19. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    I can accept a 6YO might not know how to make a call in a panic.
    But she'd surely know how to answer a call from you.
    Then you've got an instant line of communication with her and others able to help her.
    As things are, you're relying on others contacting you.
    And until they do, you're in a panic.
    Surely two-way communication is better than one?
  20. Dony

    Dony Active Member

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    Which brings us back full circle as to what's the best age to let a child have a mobile phone. No way is my 6 yr old getting one. She's too young, not responsible enough, and I wouldn't want to put her in danger off someone snatching it from her.
    Anyway...I'm jumping off this roundabout now.
  21. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    I think 6YO is reasonable for a basic mobile with limited numbers.
    But only you can tell if yours are responsible enough.
  22. craig1912

    craig1912 Member

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    I think 5 or 6 is too young. My ten year old got one last summer as he was out and about and he could phone and let us know where he was and we could phone him to come in for tea.
  23. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong Active Member

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  24. Kebabhead

    Kebabhead Active Member

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    i disagree with giving kids mobile phones for safety reasons

    It's just namby pampying

    How the did parents of yesteryear get on without such devices
  25. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong Active Member

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    How did the adults of yeseryear get on without them?
  26. Kebabhead

    Kebabhead Active Member

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    Not sure but you survived didn't you as I and many others

    None of my kids yet have mobiles .It's more of a case of peer presure than safety as to why kids of today have them
  27. imightbewrong

    imightbewrong Active Member

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    Correct - like many things we got by without them, but that doesn't mean they aren't damn useful now.
  28. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    Maybe once they're older.
    But doesn't apply to young kids, peer pressure wasn't an influence on our decision to give our eldest a phone at all.
  29. tonyrees687

    tonyrees687 Active Member

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    I remember as a kid living in Wales my friends were miles away and with no phone we used to arrange things in school and hope mam and dad could take us there. When my dad did have a phone there was a lock on it and he had the key hiddden.
    But I survived and had a great childhood.
  30. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP Well-Known Member

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    We didn't have a car when we were young.
    We didn't have central heating either.
    We 'survived' too, albeit cold and never going anywhere.
    What's the point of all this nostalgia though...:confused:

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