When Should You Give Your Child a Cell Phone?

With how prominent cell phones are in our society, it’s no surprise that your kid is probably asking you when they can get one of their very own. However, you may have some reservations. If your child is in elementary or middle school, do they really need it? Will they make use of it? And if they do, should you install a spy phone app on their phone to make sure they’re safe? I’m here to help you answer these questions, and more.

The Best Age for a Cell Phone

While it’s up to each parent’s individual discretion, there are a few basic guidelines to help you decide when to purchase a cell phone for your child. If they are 12 years old or younger, it may be best to hold off on purchasing a smartphone until they can understand the dangers that can come with using the Internet. Instead, your kid can use a very basic phone to send texts and make calls. This will help you keep in contact with them if they’re regularly staying after school, attending sports practices, and visiting their friends’ homes for sleepovers. Then, when they turn 13, you can sit them down and discuss the importance of responsible Internet use. If you feel that your child is responsible enough, it may be time to buy them a smartphone, equipped with a spy phone app.

Reasons for Having a Cell Phone

Pokémon GO is a popular mobile game.
Pokémon GO, a popular mobile game, may be one reason why your child wants a smartphone.

Does your child want a smartphone to stay in touch with their friends? Or do they want one so they can browse the Internet and play games? Your own personal priority might be getting in touch with them whenever they’re out at the mall, in school, or playing sports. They should be reminded that checking in with you via text/call is their number one responsibility while they’re out. You may also want to limit your kid’s data usage to ensure they aren’t spending too much time on their phone. A cell phone is a privilege, not a right. If they don’t understand this, then they’re not ready to own one.

Keeping Track of Your Child

Even if you give your child a smartphone, they might forget to call you and tell you where they are, leaving you worried. With a spy phone app installed on their device, you can track their location, see who they’ve been texting, and who they are talking to on social media. That way, you don’t have to stress if they don’t answer your texts or calls right away. Your kid will have the independence they crave while giving you the peace of mind you need.

Are you still unsure about whether you should purchase a cell phone for your child or not? Feel free to contact me with your questions.