Is There A Right Age For Kids And A Cell Phone?

Deciding whether it’s the right time to give your child a cell phone is going to be different for every parent. Each set of parents and every child are different and act differently at certain ages. Some children reach a level of maturity a lot sooner than others, and this can sometimes leave you questioning whether you are just being mean for saying no to them having the responsibility for a smart device. 

Is There A Right Age For Kids And A Cell Phone from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

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So, what is the right age for your kids to have a cell phone? It’s entirely up to you! Your child’s maturity levels are more important than their age. They should be able to follow yours and schools rules, have a sense of maturity, responsibility, and understand your family values. It’s a very personal and individual decision to be made by each family. It’s important not to adhere to peer pressure and stick to what you feel is right for your children. You are giving your children the ability to communicate and create media that can be seen online, long gone are the days where all they could do is text or call. They can create images, writing, and videos that can be spread widely across the internet, so using tools such as Family Orbit can help you to keep tabs on what they are doing. Ultimately you need to make sure you are making the right choice and consider whether your kids are ready to use their phones responsibly and respectfully.

A few things to think about include: 

Your Family Values

You should think about your family values and how you already use technology. If your house is full of tech and you are continually using ti in a day to day situation, then chances are your children are dying to have their piece of technology and will be far more prepared than you could imagine to figure out how it works. You shouldn’t just think about how your family treat tech you should also make sure that your children understand your value when it comes to respecting the rules, the level of responsibility it will allow them to have, the rules about ‘no tech at the table’, you should really think about how you expect your children to treat the technology within your family

An excellent start to this is to introduce responsible device use as a parent, try showing your children how you manage your time around technology before introducing it to them. 

Talk About It

If you are thinking about introducing a smartphone to your child, it’s advised that you talk to them about it first. You can try talking to them about what they understand the tech to be such as how they see others using them, teachers using tech at school and how you’ve been using it as a family. Ask them what they enjoy and understand about tech, do they want it for communication perhaps? Or are they focused on games? In some cases, it may be that your child doesn’t understand the full use and responsibility of having a mobile device, talking about technology as a whole may allow you to figure out if they’re ready. 

Create Rules Together

It’s a good idea to sit and develop a set of rules together before handing over a phone. You should think about what they are going to want to use it for and what you expect them to do to stay safe. Think about things such as who will be allowed to know the password, will you be monitoring what they’re doing?, Who pays for the phone bill (as they get older), Are there going to be times when the phone is not allowed to be used? And what happens if it gets lost or broke? Discussing these before you hand the phone over will make things a lot easier as both sides will understand the rules and regulations behind the agreement.

Adapt The Rules

Think about your children as individuals; you already know that they act and respond differently to one and another, and this applies to the introduction of a mobile device. Try to think about how each child interacts with technology when deciding if they’re ready for their own. Just because their older sibling was ready doesn’t mean that they will be at the same age. Think about how they deal with the technology they have in the house already such as games consoles, if they tend to have a meltdown when they switch it off it may mean that it’s not the right time for a smart device to be introduced. 

Don’t be afraid to have a different set of rules for each child when it comes to technology. Just remember that children may question the differences so you may have to explain the reasons why. 

There certainly is a lot to consider when it comes to deciding if your children are ready for a mobile device. What sort of things have you been considering or did you feel before allowing your kids to have their own? Please share any tips and advice in the comments section below. 

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