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April 25, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

We Asked: Can You Wait Until Eighth to Give Your Kid a Cell Phone?

Lots of local parents responded: "My son just turned 9, and I pray I can hold out until he's 13 to get him a cell phone!" — Ashely Warner. READ MORE!

We Asked:

Can you wait until your child is in 8th grade to give him a cell phone?

Local Parents Responded:

“I am getting all my children cell phones when they have after-school activities so I will never again have to get home at 7 p.m. to see my 12-year-old sitting on the porch in the freezing cold because he couldn’t call me to let me know practice was canceled and he needed a ride.”

Pamela Earls 


“Definitely can do it. My kids didn’t/won’t get cell phones until they’re 16 and can drive! They don’t like it, but oh well.”

Angie Hood Tyson 


“There are not pay phones on every corner like there used to be when we grew up. (We waited until sixth grade as well, for the exact same reasons.)”

Amy Shields Massengill




“We waited. My oldest daughter got a Tracphone in eighth grade because she was going to all-state choir two-and-a-half hours away. She promptly lost it and didn’t get another until she was a sophomore. It wasn’t a good one, so we took it away and gave it to her freshman brother who was involved in activities after school. He dropped it in the creek while fishing and didn’t get another until he could pay for it himself. Younger son got one in eighth grade because of football. He also dropped his in the creek while fishing. Youngest daughter got one right before eighth grade because she was doing color guard and had to travel with the band. Thus far, she has been fairly responsible and respectful with it.”

Clarissa Moore 


“The relay device is a great alternative to a cellphone.”

Brittany Tobitt 


“I think it’s different for every family. For us, our kids got phones in sixth grade because that was when they started being involved in activities without parents around. That’s also when we started leaving them home alone some — and we don’t have a land line. In both instances, getting phones was about safety.”

Leslie Campbell Vaughan 


“At 11, my daughter has an older phone, but it’s because she rides a bus with an unpredictable afternoon schedule, and I use the GPS to get an ETA for her. When she stays after school or goes to another activity it helps us coordinate things. She’s not allowed to have social media or video streaming sites on it, and it’s out of her room at night. Each kid has a different situation and some of them need a phone sooner. But they may not necessarily need all the bells and whistles or unlimited access to everything.”

Katie Long 


“My son is in eighth and still doesn’t have one. He will possibly (depending on behavior) get one this summer when he starts band camp. (He has type 1 diabetes, otherwise I probably still wouldn’t let him.) My sixth grader won’t have one anytime soon. My sophomore has had one since seventh grade. I was a single working mom and she watched her siblings, so her grandma got her a phone. There are many days I wish she still didn’t have one.”

Ashley Turner 



Why You Should 'Wait Until Eighth' to Get Your Kid a Cell Phone

Put the Phone Down and Improve Communications!

About the Author

Susan Swindell Day, Editor

Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.