What age should a kid have a phone?

What age should a kid have a phone?

At what age have you, should you or will you introduce your child to the world of smartphones?

I put this question out there on social media and the most interesting thing I found with the many responses was, only one person said ‘When you feel your child is mature enough to be responsible with one’, which was the way we made our decision.

Our girls are 11 and 12 and are at high school, they both have an iPhone with a contract. We decided we would judge them based on their maturity and attitude towards technology and social media, rather than what number they are. With their contracts we have peace of mind that they will never run out of credit thus will always be able to contact us should they need to. They spend time away with their Dad and sometimes go on holiday and it’s nice to know they can contact us on a personal basis rather than having to borrow their Dads phone etc. Their school is very forward thinking and they use tech devices a lot, phones on field trips, tablets and Chromebooks, so tech is a massive part of their education also.

 

Your first thoughts when I say they have contracts is ‘What if they run up huge bills’, well they’ll only do it once!! It’s the same as the possibility of cyber bullying, if there was ever any suspicious activity coming from either of them then the luxury of having a phone would disappear. On the flip side, do I worry about them receiving dodgy messages from strangers or them being bullied online, no I don’t. You see we live in a world where the majority of people like to blame ‘things’ rather than people. For example, ‘It’s those games they play that make them grow up and stab people’, ‘It’s Facebook that causes fall outs’, are you crazy?! It’s people that cause all of this, not technology. If you play a game then go stab someone, that’s because you’re a moron that needs locking up. If you’re caught having an affair or slagging someone off on Facebook and it blows up in your face, that’s not Facebooks fault, again it’s because quite frankly, you’re a dick. So again, we’ve decided to judge our children’s maturity and who better to judge them than the people that are guiding them. We teach them exactly what to look for and how to handle themselves online to stay safe. If you knew Abi then you’d know, she ain’t keeping any secrets, she’d explode! Kiera on the other hand would shrug off any nonsense whether that be online or not, so no I’m not worried because they’re prepared and educated.

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Sure there will be bumps along the way, that’s parenting. I think the mindsets of people may need altering slightly when it comes to tech. We know how we grew up and there wasn’t much tech at all, mainly a football and wrestling figures for me. We are the first generation of parents that are having to gauge these major advances in technology, we’re the first parents making decisions blindly, we don’t have a similar childhood experience to look back on to use in our own parenting.

The way I like to parent is that I’m willing, within reason, to let the kids be their own person, let them make decisions for themselves. Kids are constantly told what to do, how to do it, when to do it, where to do it and this continues throughout the education system. So from my point of view why not let them have a little freedom to express themselves with an online persona, would we have liked that opportunity, I would. Of course as parents we still have the responsibility to monitor our children, they both know that we are to have details of any passwords or passcodes. I believe the key is to monitor, not control.

It’s all trial and error, there is no right answer to this question, however when your little one asks ‘Can I have a phone’, just try to respond to them, not their number.

Let me know what you think… As always, thanks for reading and see you online @dadvworld

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18 thoughts on “What age should a kid have a phone?”

  • I’m with you, it’s got to be when they can maturely handle the responsibility of using something independently that is both very expensive and connected to the Internet and all of the issues that that throws up. I’m a secondary school teacher so can well see the educational use of smart devices but I also see a hell of a lot of bullying done through the medium of smart phones. Luckily my two kids are both under three so I don’t need to worry just yet. That said by the time they’re teenagers I’m sure it’ll be a whole world more complicated haha. #binkylinky

    • Our girls go to XP School on Doncaster, it’s very new and forward thinking. There are only 50 children per year group so the usual teen issues are dissolved into a much smaller environment, this obviously plays a part too. I’d maybe feel a little more worried were they in a usual sized secondary school. The world’s changing at a great pace, I’ve no idea where it’ll be when the little ones are older!! Thanks for readingπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘πŸ˜Ž

  • My 8 year old used to frequently ask when she could have her own phone. Her dad asked if he could get her one last Christmas to which I said no way! She recently said she knows why I don’t want her to have one and that she doesn’t need one. I’ve explained that until she starts going out without a parent or adult then she doesn’t need one. She has a tablet which she’s allowed to use with guidance in no YouTube without checking with me and I’m trying instil honesty and no secrecy such as emailing without checking with me, no social media and an awareness of the dangers of the Internet which she’s also covered at school. Sounds like you’ve taken a good approach, very reasonable and fair but equally if they take the mickey then you can withdraw the phones! #binkylinky

  • I have no clue when I’ll give my daughter her first phone! She’s only 3 so it is definitely no where near but the times are definitely changing and seem to be getting worse so by the time she’s 10 she may actually need a phone depending on how things are. I’m glad I don’t have to consider it anytime soon though! #binkylinky

  • Ours were 10, 11 & 11 1/2 years when they had their phones. Basically once they started going out more on their own & in time for senior school. Ironically the youngest had to wait the longest but that’s more because 1) when our eldest was 10, almost 8 yrs ago, her 1st phone cost us Β£25 & was there for calling/texting, whereas our young’uns is a contracted iPhone with all its modern tech & pricetag attached and 2) being Home Ed for a few yrs up until starting seniors next week, meant that she was rarely out on her own until recently, choosing to stay with her older siblings a lot of the time & so didn’t need a phone. Plus internet access was (safely &) readily available to her if she wanted it.
    Maturity & necessity I think are the key!

    • Thanks for reading and you comments! Yeah times have changed, especially in the last 5 years prices have escalated quickly and so has technology. I think the average looking at responses to my post is, in time for secondary school, seems fair. Thank you! πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘πŸ˜Ž

  • My girlie is two so got a bit of a way yet. I think as long as they are mature and will use their phones responsibly then age may not matter too much. As with tablets and anything you can restrict and take control if needed. Great post x #binkylinky

    • Thank You Sarah! This question has received very varied answers which I expected. Some kids are more mature than others, thankfully our girls are pretty mature πŸ™‚ Thanks again for reading πŸ˜€

  • MIne was four when I first bought her a cheap tablet to play on and at five she’s already asking for a phone. I think its important that they get introduced to these things early enough that it just becomes a normal part of life and not a treat to play with and be on constantly. I don’t know when she will get her first phone, but the way the world is heading and how quickly things are changing, I’d be the answer is “sooner than I think now”

    • Yes definitely. I was watching an interview with Marques Brownlee a tech reviewer the other day, he’s 22 and only knows of a world with Internet and phones etc. The last 5 years, technology has gone mental and our children will have endless possibilities right from the word go. Thanks for commenting and reading πŸ˜€

  • Totally with you on this one when they show responsilbility then ok but in our world it’s going to sooner than later great read Thanks for linking to the #binkylinky come back next week please

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