The issue of what age is appropriate for a child to have a cell phone can be explosive.  Some parents absolutely refuse to allow their middle school student to have one, while there are preschoolers in other families walking around with cell phones they clearly don't know how to use.  We've all seen it.  So What age is the best to finally give in to your child's constant begging for one?

I really think that depends on your child.  We allowed my daughter to have a cell phone in the fourth grade when she was 9-years-old.  Some friends thought we were crazy, but it proved to be a good idea for her.  So many of her friends' communicate via texting, she would be left out of the loop without one.

Will they use it?

My son also got a cell phone in the fourth grade.  Now, two years later, he rarely uses it.  His friends mainly live in the neighborhood, they are more likely to ring our doorbell than text.  For his friends who live a bit further, they often play videogames on the PlayStation Network and that's pretty much where they do all of their talking.

In either case though, I think it's a great idea for my kids to have them.  I'm at work early in the morning and it's so difficult for them to call me so a text is perfect in an emergency.  And, there are plenty of emergencies like where is my Hollister shirt, or you didn't make cookies for my party at school!  Texting is perfect for work, quick short replies get the job done and allow me to feel like I can still be a mom and be at work.  Well, most of the time.

Bringing us Closer

I'm not sure there is an "age" that is appropriate for a cell phone.  I think it depends on you and your kids.  I feel better knowing my kids can reach me quickly with a text or a call at anytime.  I think my daughter and I are actually closer because she can text me when she needs more for just about anything.  My son too, even though he doesn't really use his phone all that much.

One other great thing about a cell phone, it teaches responsibility.  They have to remember to charge it at night, they need to know where they laid it down last and they have to be responsible for its use as well.  Plus, it's the first thing I take away, at least from my daughter, for disciplinary reasons.  Since she hates to lose her phone, we don't have many problems!

So what do you think about kids and cell phones?