I would call cell phone for children a privilege. Because during my time as a kid, I never had a phone.
I would also say that the cost of the telephone bills should partly be borne by the parent and partly the child.
The child must learn how to minimize his/her phone usage and pay for the heavy bills himself.
For me, as a parent, I'd give the child some bill discount but would not cover the entire phone bill.
It's a privilege. Personally my thoughts on it are before they are 18 if the kid wants a cell phone then they will be earning it either through a job or saving up via chores or whatever. Same thing if they want a personal laptop instead of using the family computer and really any piece of personal technology. It's expensive yes, but you can get cheaper plans with limited talk and text and older phones or payment plans on newer phones and it teaches them very early on the value of their money. I don't mind getting the kid a super basic phone that's only capable of dialing 911 and a few other numbers like mine and my work number or whatever in case of emergencies because those do exist, but that would be all it could do. No texting, no internet browsing or games, ect.
If they're paying for it at home I don't care what they do with it as long as they're not disturbing anyone else. At school it's up to the school - if their policy is no phones then that's the policy. If it's a thing where if you get caught with it it'll be taken away and a parent has to come with you to get it.....well, let's just say I'd let that teacher keep it a week or two just to get the point across, and of course I'd let the teacher know this was my plan as well. It may suck, I know it did when I was in school, but if it's the school's policy I can see why it's reasonable and it teaches them there are consequences to their actions.
It is never a right or even a necessity for kids. They don't need to complain if they don't have their own phones because they don't even have the money to buy them. It is not a basic need. Besides, children aren't responsible enough in using phones. Give them when they really need it. If you have given them, set a limit. It is clearly just a privilege that they should value. If they don't, then parents has the right to confiscate it.
Getting Cell phone is surly a privilege for children. We as a kid does not use cell phone and we were cool with that. But it's true that today's kids need cell phone for doing all the trendy stuffs like taking photos, sharing it, downloading.
We have to understand in what age they can do all such stuffs. I think kids under 10 have no need to have a social media account and share all certain things on it. And browsing internet should be under supervision.
There are many smart devices and watches now a days to communicate, track or locate your kids, just use that instead of cell phone.
I may sound very rigid as a parent. But I believe it's for their own betterment we should not give them cell phone in certain age.
I would consider it a privilege, as I do not see any reason for a child to own a cellphone. They should learn how to use a computer from an early age on, because it is essential in our day and age. But they do not need to own a cellphone.
Definitely a privilege. The best advice I have heard lately is to just get them a simple feature phone. This way they can still text you and call you and get in touch with you when they need to, but they can't do all of the social media stuff that leads to social/emotional issues as well as bullying etc.