When Do You Give a Kid a Cell Phone?

I had the opportunity to review a Kajeet cell phone just over two years ago. At the time, I felt my nine-year-old son was a bit young for his own phone, but I thought it might make for an interesting experiment.

Now a strapping 11-year-old with a growing sense of independence and increasingly busy schedule, I think it's time to activate the phone for reals. I mentioned this to DH, who responded by asking if junior high kids typically have cell phones. And you thought I lived in a cave.

Yes, many (most or all if you ask my son) junior high students have cell phones.

If my boy is going to be at school after hours working on projects or going places with his friends (without me!) I want him to be able to reach me.

I need to spend time over at the Kajeet site to see what's changed, but a quick trip to my friend Stacey's blog, Tree, Root and Twig, indicates it operates much the way it did two years ago. That is, we can start the service and cancel at any time without messy contractual obligations. We can set time limits and budgets on phone calls and texting.

Actually, Stacey tweeted about the need to take the phone away from her text-obsessed teen daughter the other night, which motivated me to look into this. I think the downloadable games are more likely to be my son's downfall.

Though I'm not pleased about adding extra expenses to our budget (did I mention the free oil change I had where I was informed my car needed $600 of repairs? We had this confirmed by a second source which offered a *slightly* less expensive repair option. Sigh.), I think the time is right.

And when I say the time is right now, I mean I hope to be organized enough to get this going by Halloween because he's hoping to go trick-or-treating sans adult.*

*That makes me nervous, but I think we started going on our own by 4th grade back in the day.
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