Should I Let My Child Have a Mobile Phone?
**This is a collaborative post
Mobile phones allow us to keep in touch anytime and anywhere. This is obviously an advantage for parents who are starting to give their children a little more freedom, but when is the right time to let your child have one? Read on for some helpful advice from Manor Lodge School…
- There is no legal age for owning a mobile phone. The right age to allow your child to have their first phone is really up to you as parents. To help you decide if it’s the right time, it is important to consider the following: Do you believe your child is mature enough to look after a phone? Do you trust them to use one sensibly? And finally, do they really need a phone?
- It is common for parents to wait until their children start secondary school before they let them have their own phone. At this age, children begin to make their own journeys to and from school and socialise with friends in their spare time.
- If you are considering purchasing your child’s first phone, a basic ‘feature’ phone could be a great option. This type of phone will allow your child to call or text, without the risk of browsing the web unsupervised. Feature phones are also a cheaper alternative to smartphones, which may lessen the worry of the phone becoming lost or damaged.
- On the other hand, a smartphone has the added advantage of GPS technology, which can allow you to use a tracker app to monitor your child’s location. This useful feature will not only contribute towards your child’s safety, but it can even help you to locate your child’s phone if it is lost or stolen.
- If you decide that your child is ready to have a mobile phone, it is essential to discuss the importance of using it safely and responsibly. You should also help your child to set up their phone and add important contacts in case of an emergency.
- If your child will have internet access on their new phone, be sure to add any necessary parental controls and discuss online safety.