Is your child ready for a phone?

As your child’s friends start getting their own phones, your child might want one too. There are no set rules about the right age to give your child a mobile phone, as a parent, you must ask yourself a few questions.

Here are a few questions to guide you when deciding if to get your child a phone;

  • Is your child responsible in other ways? for example, does your child look after their belongings?
  • Is your child reliable? for example, can your child get ready for school on time in the mornings?
  • Is your child respectful to family and friends?
  • Does your child usually follow your family rules? Will they be okay with the rules about phone use?
  • Does your child talk to you about things that worry them?
  • Does your child understand phone safety? for example, do they know how to block messages and calls from people they don’t know? Do they know not to click on internet links in text messages from people they don’t know?

These questions can help you understand the benefits a phone might have for your child:

  • Would a phone help to keep your child safe, for example, while your child is walking to and from school or if they need to text you when they get home from school?
  • Would a phone give your child more opportunity to stay in touch with family members or friends that they don’t see regularly?
  • Is having a phone important for your child’s social life? Does your child feel excluded from conversations, events, and online activities because they don’t have a phone?
  • Would a phone be useful at school – for example, for taking pictures of homework or keeping track of learning and other tasks?
  • Could your child use a phone for wellbeing activities, like mindfulness meditation or fitness tracking?

Once you have answered the above questions, you should be able to decide on buying that phone or waiting till they are a little older.

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