What Age Should Your Child Have A Cell Phone?
According to a survey by Retrevo.com, the majority of parents say kids should get their first cell phone between ages 13-18. But, your 8 year-old is already obsessed with the iPhone.
Here are some guidelines for when to give your kids a cell phone, and what rules to put around the technology:
Wait Until Your Child is 13 or Older. Most children under 13 can’t understand the level of responsibility that comes with a cell phone and will quickly lose or damage it. This is a general guideline that you need to weigh against issues of safety and your child's maturity.
Require Financial Responsibility Consider requiring your children to purchase their own phone while your pay for the monthly charges or vice versa. Children will be less likely to abuse this privilege if their own money is involved.
Set Firm Boundaries. Before you give your child a cell phone, establish firm boundaries for its use and consequences for misuse. Helpful boundaries include:
- No cell phone use while driving
- No phone use while in class or in school
- Consequences for exceeding monthly minutes or messaging limits - restricted or revoked phone use
- Cell phone use must be monitored by mom/dad
Stay Informed. Any technology can cut you off from your kids and expose them to dangers you may not know about. Explore technology that allows your to monitor your kids messages and activities (like My Mobile Watchdog), and talk to your kids about how they use their phone and what they are sending.