Twenty years ago mobile phones were rarely seen and only owned by a very small population of the world. Fast forward to now and smart phones are almost unavoidable! Although they can be beneficial for lots of situations and can be seen by lots of people as their lifeline there are certain issues and warnings that come with them. So is it safe for our children to own a mobile phone and if so what age is the right age?
Manor House, a private girls’ school in Surrey have provided some guidance on the subject to help mums make this important decision.
Firstly as with most questions about parenting the answer really comes down to each individual situation. Every child is different and has an individual set of circumstances that should be considered when deciding whether they should be allowed to have a phone or not. We have listed some things that we would recommend you consider before making your decision.
- Do they look after their current possessions? Mobile phones do not come cheap so it’s important that you trust your child to look after their belongings and not break or lose it.
- How mature is your child? Two children of the same age can have completely different maturity levels so it is important that you consider how responsible and mature they are rather than just go by their age.
- What do they need it for? Is your child always in your company or do they walk to school/ play in the park on their own? A mobile phone can be a great way to stay in contact with your child when they are not with you. You can even install tracking software on their phones so you can always know exactly where they are.
If you decide that now is the right time to buy your child a mobile phone just make sure that you set boundaries on what they are allowed to use it for and how long they should be spending on it per day. Also make sure you set up the child safety settings so you can have control on the type of things they can get access to.