When Should You Buy Your Kid a Phone?

As almost any parent will tell you, once your kid has started asking for a phone, they won’t stop until they’ve got one. It’s understandable why so many children and teens desperately want phones—they offer independence, autonomy, and a chance to fit in and socialize with peers. However, many parents have significant concerns about their children’s safety online and are reluctant to buy them their own phones. If this is a decision you’re currently struggling with, check out this advice on points to consider when buying your child a phone.

What Will It Be Used For?

If your child regularly has to get home from school due to your work pattern, it may be worth buying them a phone so that you can keep track of them and so that they can navigate their way home, whether they’re walking or taking public transport. In this scenario, buying your child a phone can provide you both with some peace of mind, and it will also deliver greater independence to your child which can be a really positive thing.

Do They Need a Smart Phone?

When children ask for a phone, they mean a smartphone. Most teens are desperate for the latest, coolest model which can access every app they desire and take plenty of sharp, detailed photos. However, if you want to reduce your parental anxieties about the safety of smartphones, why not buy your child an old-school mobile? This will enable them to text and call you should they need to, but they won’t have access to the Internet. Of course, this option is unlikely to be popular with your kid, so it may take some negotiating and an agreement as to what age you will agree to let them have a smartphone.

Talk to Others

Before you make the final decision, it may be worth checking in with other parents and with teachers at your child’s school. It may turn out that your child’s peer group is currently struggling with some nasty cyberbullying via WhatsApp, or that parents in your circle have concerns about the influence of apps such as TikTok. Gaining this knowledge can help you to have conversations with your child about your expectations relating to their phone use, and it may even sway your final decision one way or another, so it’s definitely worth doing some investigating.