Cell Phones and Parental Controls: What to Do When Your Child Wants a Phone

Phone for kids

Your child comes home from school and asks for a phone, and you thought you had a few more years before you had to decide… So how young is too young for a kid to have a phone?

The age at which children ask for cell phones keeps getting younger, and many elementary school children now have cell phones. It may be easy to say ‘no’, but before doing so, consider that it may actually make sense for your child to have a cell phone. Also consider that there are a variety of cell phone parental controls that you can enable to protect your child.

Here are some of the benefits of a phone for kids:

A cell phone will allow you to reach your child when necessary and will allow your child to do the same. It is also a great tool to allow your child some much valued freedom while still allowing you to keep in contact with them.

Sheila dropped her son off at soccer and went to run some errands. Halfway through her errands, her son called to tell her that practice was ending early.

Jed was hesitant about letting his 13-year-old go to a football game at the local high school by herself with her friends. He knew she was responsible and it was appropriate to give her some freedom, but he still worried. The solution? He told her that she had to keep her cell phone turned on and told her he would call her every hour.

Many children approach their parents complaining that they need a phone since much of their classmates’ social activity happens online. For persons growing up before the advent of social media this may seem rather strange, but we should remember that our kids have a point. Lacking the ability to join their friends online may be just as detrimental as being permanently grounded was when we were young. (Remember, if you decide to get your child a smartphone, talk with hi or her about online safety and consider investing in an online child phone protection app, such as Jiminy).

A Phone for kids doesn’t have to be costly

Cost may be another factor in your decision. Getting a phone for your kid may not be as expensive as you think. Look into your current cell phone plan and see what other options may exist. Many carriers offer family plans with discounts for multiple lines. If you’re ready to upgrade your phone, you may be able to give your child your old phone or there may be discounted or free phones available for adding a new user. Remember, your child doesn’t need the newest or the most feature-full gadget out there, and if you are unsure about their safety on their new mobile device, check out the available child phone protection apps available, such as Jiminy.

Bottom line? Parents know best

So, is your child too young for a cell phone or a smartphone? You know your child best, and can appreciate his or her level of maturity and trustworthiness. If they are high enough, perhaps it is time and if so, check out the cell phone parental controls on different devices to see which works best for you. If you are concerned with their safety on their new mobile device, then don’t forget to check out the child phone protection apps that are available as well. If they are not, stick with your negative response, but reconsider your decision in a month or two. In such a case, tell your child why you are declining, and that may serve as an incentive for him or her to change those few bothersome behaviors you’ve noticed.

Whatever you decide – a child phone protection app like Jiminy is a must for parents who wish to understand how children use their phones and keep them safe.


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