DC2 is 9 and in 6th grade. There’s a lot of extracurricular activities and so on in 6th grade and we decided we’d be more comfortable if DC2 had a way of contacting us if something fell through or there was a miscommunication about pick-up etc.
When we finally decided to bite the bullet to add hir to our plan, we discovered that Ting had added the ability to add all four of our retired outdated dumb phones to the plan. Back last year when we switched to Ting we actually had to buy new phones which is both why it took us so long to switch and why I am now addicted to an iphone. But we were pleasantly surprised that we didn’t have to buy a new phone this time. Zie is using my 2 phones ago phone because it has the strongest battery (I had bought a replacement battery right before DH decided to get new free phones when we renewed our plan many years ago).
/start rant One thing that annoys me about DH’s current school (as opposed to paradise) is that they often have “bring your own devices” days. Kids are encouraged to play with their smartphones or to bring ipads or, to a lesser extent, hand-held game systems. DC1 doesn’t have anything like that and we made the conscious choice not to give hir a phone with such things. I have to say I’m really annoyed about something like that that makes kids whose parents can’t afford to get them iphones or kids whose parents are crazy hippies stick out in a negative way. Last year in paradise, each kid had an assigned notepad device (I don’t think there was one for each kid–they didn’t all use them at the same time since there were 3 classes of fifth graders), but our school district isn’t rich enough for that, I guess. But it is rich enough to do things that could hurt poor kids. I really appreciate how the Paradise school district made everything equal for everyone. It was a relatively rich district, but our school had a high population ELA and school lunch eligible and there was a lot of redistribution, which is how it should be, I think. So my bottom line is, if you’re going to allow kids to play games in class, you have to provide the games. /end rant
Anyhow, if DC1 behaves hirself and doesn’t lose anything, having an extra cell line should cost us an additional $6/mo, and possibly the cost of an external battery charger since if DC1 treats hir cellphone like I did (leaving it at home and letting the battery run out), it won’t be much use.
What age do you think people should get their first cell phone? If it depends, what does it depend on?