Do your research on cell phones. Look up the kind of phone you want and see how much it costs. In addition to the basic cost of the phone, figure out any accompanying monthly bills.
See if you can find a deal on a phone. For example, look into buying used/refurbished phones on sites like eBay or Swappa. Older devices tend to be cheaper than the newest flagships. Also, your family's current carrier may be able to offer you a discount. This can be very helpful if money is a big concern for your parents.
Consider the reasons your parents might say no. To convince your parents, you need to sidestep their reasons. Think about what they might say so that you can plan a response in advance. For example, they might say no because you might have had other electronics in the past which might've broken but try to convince them that you're older and more mature now and that you can take care of your own belongings.
If your parents are worried about money, then they are likely to say that they can’t afford a new phone. Many parents have practical concerns in regards to cost and monthly bills when it comes to a cellphone. You can offer to pay for some of the phone yourself by getting a part-time job or save up your allowance to help with finances.
If you play a lot of video games, then your parents may worry that you’ll download too many gaming apps.
If your older sibling got caught talking to someone they weren’t supposed to, then your parents may worry that you’ll do the same.
Find ways to address potential concerns. After you've made a list of potential concerns, think about how to approach them. What can you do or say to ease your parents worry about you getting a phone? For every problem, think of a solution.
Plan your response. You need to counter your parents’ reasons why you shouldn’t get a phone, so find an argument against each of the reasons you just listed.
Show your parents that the phone won’t cost as much as they think, or explain to them how you will help pay for it.
Ask your friends for free gaming apps, or be prepared to promise your parents that you won’t download any games. If it’s the time you spend gaming that your parents are worried about, then promise to cut back on video games if you get the phone.
Promise to let your parents periodically check who you are texting or messaging.
Think of reasons you should have a phone. You’re more likely to convince your parents if you have a strong case, so plan to show them that your new phone is a necessity by brainstorming all the reasons why you need one.
Promise to be responsible with the phone. Let your parents know that you'll be upfront with them about what you're doing on the phone and will use it responsibly.
Promise to limit your time on the phone. You can agree to only use the phone for a set number of hours each day.
A phone would allow you to call your parents if you’re in trouble or to contact emergency services if you’re in danger. Also, it’s okay to exaggerate just a little bit but if you're too dramatic your parents might think that you're joking and are immature and not able to ask
Remind them that kids your age often encounter peer pressure, so having an easy way to contact them would allow you to have an “out” in such situations.
If you miss school, you could ask your friend for their notes and the assignments. Or if you missed a day of school and needed to catch up or maybe if you forgot a book or notes you need. Remind your parents that if you don't get your own phone, you're going to have to keep using theirs which is pretty annoying for them.
Identify the benefits of having a phone. Cellphones can have some benefits. If you emphasize how the phone can help you thrive, your parents will be more likely to allow you to have one.
Emphasize any learning possibilities from the phone. For example, you can listen to audiobooks or download apps to help you organize your homework.
Tell your parents unlimited texting can allow you to alert them of your whereabouts if you're ever running late.
Show your parents that you are responsible. Your parents need to know that you can take care of the phone, so think of how you’ve shown them that you are responsible in the past.
Remember to do your homework every day.
Do all of your chores without your parents asking and maybe even do extra chores that your parents would like.
Take care of your clothes, backpack, and video games.
Getting a job, if legally permissible, and won't interfere with your studies.
Responsibly spend your lunch money and save any money you receive as a gift.
Suggest requirements for keeping the phone. Present the phone as an ongoing reward that you will have to continue to earn. For example, your parents could require you to keep your grades up, do extra chores, or help pay for the plan.
Practice what you'll say. You don't have to have your speech written out word-per-word, but it can help to jot down your thoughts first. Practice what you'll say a few times in front of the mirror. This way, you'll go into the situation feeling a little more prepared.
You can start the conversation with something like, “Hey, I'd like to talk to you guys about something that's been on my mind.”
To introduce the topic of the cellphone, say something like, “I've been really wanting a cellphone for awhile now.”
Choose a good time. Ask your parents when they are relaxed and in a good mood. If they are busy, rushed, or having a hard day, wait to ask. Don’t interrupt your parents if they’re already talking to someone, whether it’s on the phone or face-to-face.
You can let your parents know you want to talk by saying something like, “Do you guys have a minute? I wanted to talk something over with you.”
If your parents are busy with an activity, it’s okay to let them know that you want to talk to them when they have a free moment. Say, “Hey, mom. I see that you’re making dinner right now, but if you have time tonight, I’d like to talk about something.”
Consider writing a letter to request the phone.
Be direct. It's always best to be direct. Instead of dropping hints, politely introduce the subject right away. Say something like, “I wanted to discuss me having my own cellphone.” You can also try something like, “I wanted to ask if you would let me have my own cellphone.”
Behave maturely. Be polite and sensible throughout the discussion. If you whine, argue, or storm off, then your parents will see that you aren’t mature enough for a phone.
Play on their emotions. You can appeal to their emotions in several ways, including their concern for your safety, your need for independence, and your need for social acceptance.
If you go out of town for a sport or activity, tell your parents that the phone will allow you to stay in contact with them while you’re gone.
Tell them a story about a kid who was in danger and needed to call someone. For example, say, “Remember last month when a stranger stopped that girl two streets down? She used her cell phone to call 911 and got help.”
Explain how not having a phone has negatively affected you socially, with making or keeping friends.
Present any information you gathered. Remember the information you gathered earlier and use it now. Talk about why you want a phone, how you'll be responsible when using it, and any benefits the phone my have.
For example, say something like, “I would really like to be able to interact with my friends. I'd be using the phone for socializing, so I wouldn't be doing anything irresponsible.”
Add any benefits. For example, say, “My friend has this neat app that helps them organize their schedule. That could help me stay on track with homework.”
Use logic. Show your parents that getting you a phone makes the most sense for your family. Incorporate the responses you prepared for their potential reasons against the phone.
For example, if your parents pick you up from practice, tell them that you could call when it’s time to pick you up.
Use your planned responses. Say, “I know that you’re worried that I’ll play on my phone during dinner, but I promise to leave it in my bedroom the whole time we’re eating.”
Bring evidence. Print out a news article about why kids your age should have phones. Choose a credible news source that your parents will believe.
Try a parenting blog that says you should get a kid a phone at your age or younger than you are.
Avoid posts written by other kids and make sure the adult that wrote the article is reliable.
Offer to take on more responsibilities. Explain to your parents that you will do more chores in exchange for getting a phone, and explain how you can use the phone to do more work for school.
Let your parents set restrictions. Your parents are more likely to say yes if you agree to their rules for using the phone and allow them to check up on what you’re using it for.
Suggest ways that they can check your phone to ensure that you’ve followed their rules. You may even suggest a phone tracking app so that they can track your location.
If your parents say that you're not allowed to do something like texting friends, don't get upset. Over time, they will allow you to if you show you’re mature and responsible, which will help when it comes to asking for other things, whether they're related to the phone or not.
Let your parents choose the phone and plan. Don’t be concerned about the type of phone or its features. Offer to let them select a pre-paid plan or cheaper phone model for your first phone.
Express gratitude when asking. Showing your parents you appreciate them can help increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. Tell your parents how much you appreciate everything they do. This way, it will not come off like you feel entitled to a cellphone.
For example, say something like, “I know how hard you guys work to pay for everything and I really appreciate that.”
Offer to help pay. If you have saved some of your allowance or gift money, offer to use it to buy the phone. You could also offer to forgo your allowance to help pay the phone bill or to contribute money that you earn from a job, babysitting, or mowing yards.
Listen to their perspective. Your parents have a right to express themselves and any concerns they have. If your parents have follow-up questions or want to make a comment, let them talk. Do not interrupt as your parents respond to you.
Ask for a reason if they refuse. If your parents say no, it's okay to ask why. However, do so politely to avoid seeming argumentative.
Do not say, “But why? Everyone else has one!” Instead, try something like, “Okay, but is there any particular reason you're saying no?”
Refrain from arguing or complaining. It's okay to try to compromise or persuade your parents if they say no. However, do not start complaining, raising your voice, or otherwise behaving in an argumentative fashion. This will only frustrate your parents and will greatly decrease the likelihood they'll change their minds.
Avoid phrases like, “It's not fair!” This can come off as argumentative.
Instead, try something like, “Okay, thank you for listening, but I feel like you're not hearing my side.”
Accept their answer. If they say no, don’t protest or plead with them. Show that you are mature by listening to what they say without reacting.
Stay calm, and take a deep breath before you respond.
Avoid arguments. Arguing with your parents won’t change their minds; instead, they’ll likely become more resistant to the idea of you getting a phone.
Understand their response. If your parents say no, remember that they have a good reason. They have your best interest in mind, or may just not be able to add the expense of a phone right now.
Offer to earn the phone. If money is a concern, offer to pay for some of the costs yourself. If you already have a job, say you'll save money from that. You can also offer to get a job to help pay for the phone.
You can also offer to earn the phone in other ways. For example, ask if you can have a phone in exchange for bringing your math grade up.
Say something like, “I could put $25 of my own money towards the bill each month.”
Ask for the details. Whether you get a yes or a no, you need to ask your parents a few clarifying questions to know what you need to do next.
If they say yes, ask them for their rules and expectations. Say, “I’m so excited about getting my new phone! How can I prove to you guys that you’re making a good decision?”
If they say no, ask them what you can do to show them that you’re ready for a phone. Say, “What can I do to show you that I’m responsible enough for a phone?”
Plan your next step. If your parents say yes, then talk to them about when you can go phone shopping. If they say no, take steps to show your parents that you are responsible and reconsider how you can show them that you need a phone.
If they say no, remember that you can ask again or they may reconsider, so try not to get upset. Instead, think about what you can do now to help yourself be successful the next time you ask.
Remember, when you are asking your parents for the phone, never disturb them by again and again asking to buy the phone. They won't be satisfied with your behavior.
Request they think it over. If your parents seem hesitant, request a delayed response. Say something like, “I can see you guys aren't entirely sure about this. Why don't you take a few days to think about it and then we can discuss it again?”
Accept a “No” for now. In the event that your parents are not at all willing to let you get a cellphone, politely accept this. If you accept a “No” with grace, this shows responsibility. Your parents may be more willing to change their minds down the road.
End the conversation by saying something like, “Thank you for your time anyway. I appreciate you guys listening.”