Should You Give Your Kids A Mobile Phone?

by Heather

Kids and PhonesPhoto credit: Pixabay

This is the question that plagues the life of every parent at some point. As they creep closer to those terrible teens you’ll find that the issue of owning their own phone becomes more and more present in their minds. They’ll tell you that all their friends have them, and they may not be lying. But it’s still important that you establish whether owning their own telephone is good for your child at the age they’re at. You need to think through all of the risks, whilst also thinking about the possible benefits. Your kids could learn from the responsibility of owning something so valuable and useful. Or maybe you’re rightly worried that they aren’t yet mature enough to be using a smartphone with internet capabilities on their own.

In either case, there are a lot of things to consider in response to this question. Here are a few of the things that I considered when I was deciding whether to furnish my young teen with their first phone.

Are they mature enough to use their phone for the things that they should be using it for? Will they be mature when it comes to receiving and making calls without an adult present? If you’re worried about them talking to strangers, there are plenty of reverse cell phone lookup services. These allow you and your child to see exactly who’s calling before they pick up. But think about whether your kid understands the relevant dangers in being a minor with their own phone and private internet connection. Don’t be afraid of sitting them down and having a frank conversation in this respect.

Will your child be able to responsibly look after this expensive piece of technology? Are you going to regret letting them have their own phone when they drop it on the floor a week later and smash it to bits? Think about whether they’ve shown you how they can look after things like this in the past. Also think about whether they know how to use the phone responsibly. Do they understand the problem with cyber bullying? Do they need lessons on how to use the internet responsibly? Should you be considering installing filters or parental controls to make sure you can control what it is that they’re doing on their phone?

But make sure that you aren’t just thinking about this in negative terms. Giving your child a phone can also be an extremely positive experience. It will afford them a sense of freedom and independence from you, which can be great for their self-esteem. It will also give them a sense of privacy, which can be a huge thing for teenagers. You should also think about what giving them a phone will say about your relationship. It lets them know that you trust them, and that you want them to live up to certain expectations that you have of them. Giving your kid a phone can be a great way of letting them know that you’re giving them a chance to grow and prove themselves to you.

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1 comment

Heather Swarthout December 12, 2014 - 1:00 pm
My daughter uses my phone to play educational apps, but that's it. I do not let her play with anything else. She's almost four but I trust her to play just her educational apps.

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