(This is a partnered post) One of the hardest decisions you will have to make when your child is growing up is whether or not they are old enough to have their own phone. Whilst it may not have been the norm to have a phone so young when you were a child, children are becoming more and more reliant on technology in their day to day lives. In some cases, children are even required to have laptops and iPads in order to study. Whilst it may be a tough call, this post is designed to help you make your final decision.
With this in mind, here are some things you may need to consider when deciding when your child is ready for their first phone:
Have they started school yet?
One of the most important factors is whether or not they have made the jump to middle or secondary school. As this jumps allows them to become much more independent, you may find that having a phone at this stage is vital. Whether it’s texting you to ask if you can pick them up later than normal or letting you know that they have lost their lunch money, people able to contact you without going through the school principal will make things much easier for both of you. For a guide to your child starting middle school, you can visit this site here.
Do they have to go places on their own, like walking to school?
If your child has to go from one place to another on their own, you may find giving them a phone is the best way to ensure their safety. Even if they’re just walking a couple of blocks to school, your child having a phone will help put you both at ease. Make sure you let them know not to have it on show, and to only use it in case of an emergency.
Can you set up a parental block for downloading apps and accessing websites?
If you’re worried about what your children are going to be able to access using their phones, you may want to consider setting up a parental block. If this is the deciding factor, check which phones have the option to block the things that they’re doing. In some cases, you can set it up so that you have to approve every single app your child downloads. For a guide to parental blocking phones, you can visit this site here.
Do they need it for travel or a school trip?
If your child is going on a school trip that lasts a couple of days, or they’re travelling somewhere without you, you may want to consider letting them have a mobile phone to keep in touch. Even if it is just a simple smartphone with an unlimited data plan, you want to be sure they can contact you no matter where in the world they are. For a guide to phones with a data plan, you can visit SMARTY SIM here.
Do their friends have one?
Although this shouldn’t be the deciding factor, finding out whether or not their friends have phones could help you when it comes to making a final decision. If they do have phones, you may want to consider testing it out on a trial basis.
Are you thinking of getting your child their first mobile phone? What do you need to do to ensure they’re at the right stage in their life for one? Let me know in the comments section below.
If you need a little bit more help on the technology side of things with the kids, we do have a few other resources for you as well:
- A guide to managing screen time; to hopefully give you some ideas about how you want to work through it in your house,
- Some ideas for screen free activities for boys, and
- How about a free trial to Audible to get them listening to some audio books!
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We trust you will be back soon as well – otherwise, we will miss you?!!?