The age at which we become addicted to our cell phones is getting younger and younger. A recent report found half of teens surveyed say they can’t live longer than a week without their phones, and 36% said they check their phones at least once every 10 minutes.
Since cell phones have become as important as our right hands, is there an appropriate time for parents to get their child a mobile phone of their own?
In a recent Harris poll 22% of parents said they thought 10 was the right age to get their child a cell phone. 43% said between 10 to 12 years old was the appropriate time.
While parents might feel better knowing they can contact their kids anytime, having a mobile phone gives a child access to everything on the internet – both good and bad.
Ultimately it’s up to the parents to decide. Answering ‘yes’ to all four of these questions might mean the time is right for a child to have a phone:
1. Are there times when your child might be alone and an emergency could come up?
2. If you put limits on using the phone can you trust your child to abide by what you ask?
3. Does your child understand what types of apps are okay to download, how to safely surf the Internet and what they shouldn’t share online?
4. Have you taught your child about who they shouldn’t communicate with – like strangers?
Ultimately, whether a kid, tween or teen is ready for a mobile phone of their own is up to the parent’s judgment, but it’s also a big responsibility for both of you.