When is the right time to get your child a cell phone? The new age question lots of parents are asking themselves.
My two-year-old wants a phone
If you’re anything like me and have a child at almost any age these days, they all seem to be asking for the cell phone. It might be my two-year-old asking for my phone so she can watch netflix or youtube. Yes, unfortunately, my two-year-old can navigate her way through youtube on my phone, probably better than I am able to. My six-year-old reminds me all the time that a few of her classmates have cell phones in their backpacks at school and that she might need one soon.
What are your thoughts on a six-year-old having their own phone?
Now my oldest child will be ten very soon and she has asked for a phone in the past. We have always told her she can when she gets to junior high school, which for her will be 3 more years. She will be 13 at that time. What do you think is an appropriate age for a child to own their own cell phone?
Every child is different and families have so many different dynamics
Now if we are talking about my six-year-old she probably won’t be ready for a cell phone until she is in junior high school. She has a tendency to not care about items so much or at least not for very long. She also likes to donate and give things away, so I could see her giving the phone to a classmate that convinced her that they were more in need of her phone.
I personally know some families whose five and six-year-olds have phones, mostly because they come from a family whose parents are separated and the phones allow the kids to be connected with both parents whenever they need.
There are also families where children are not allowed cell phones at all until they can afford to pay the bill on their own phone. In other families everyone has a cell phone (even the baby!) or an extra phone acts like a house phone.
One particular family I know of in this type situation ended up giving their two-year-old a phone because it was cheaper for them to have a family plan with five lines vs three lines which is what their original plan needed.
How many cell phones does your family have? At what age will your kids own a phone? According to this article on WebMD 31% of children 8-10 years of age have a cell phone. On the other hand, the article also goes on to describe the potential health and mental risks associated with childhood cell phone use.
My ten-year-old is getting a phone…kind of
I mentioned earlier that we had always told our kids that they could get a phone when they finished elementary school and would be going into junior high or middle school. Well, my oldest child will be turning ten and we have deceived to purchase her a cell phone for her birthday. Is ten a good age to own a phone?
Personally I still think closer to 13 is a better age, but there are a few factors why we decided that at age ten our daughter would be okay for a cell phone:
My daughter is always with someone: a parent, school, or daycare 99% of the time. However occasionally she takes the school bus home. A few months ago there was a situation that caused me to be late to work and became very stressed. It was then that we decided that maybe a phone wasn’t such a bad idea. There was an issue with the school bus and it was late getting to the school and then something happened with a child on the bus and caused an even longer delay. What is usually 20-30 minutes for her to arrive home via school bus took a little over an hour. As a parent, when something is off for over 10 minutes we begin to panic. Well at least I do.
The perfect starter “phone” for a child
Our cell phones are through Verizon Wireless, and with our phone plan it would cost us $10 a month to add a basic phone with no internet data options on the phone. However those phones without data are hard to find and still have a pretty high price tag, plus then there is a possibility of the phone getting lost or stolen out of her backpack while at school.
So after doing some research and looking at options that would be best for our family’s needs, my daughter will be getting the Verizon Wireless GizmoWatch phone.
A smart watch was the perfect option for our family and made a bigger push for us to get her a phone, or in this case a watch.
The watch phone will allow her to call or text (preset text messages) to I believe 10 approved numbers. It will also allow her to keep it on her at all times because of the fact that it is a watch. So she will be able to wear it at all times, removing the idea of it getting lost or stolen. On our plan the cost of the Verizon GizmoWatch is only $5.00 extra a month.
This is not a sponsored or endorsed post but you can see the watch that she will be getting here. It’s so cute and has the perfect Disney flare as it’s a Mickey Mouse 90th Birthday edition. Of course we love Disney so I think this is the perfect touch.
A tenth birthday to remember
At 10 years old, my daughter will be getting her first phone…well not an actual phone but a watch that acts like a phone. I hope that for our family it works out great. I feel that it will give us parents peace of mind when away from her, and I hope she has the biggest smile ever since she’s probably not expecting to receive a Mickey Mouse smart watch.
Do I think she is the right age for a phone? I guess only time will tell.
Let me know if you would like for me to write a follow up post on our cell phone experiences. Happy 10th Birthday baby girl, and cheers to 10 years of motherhood.