Chances are, from the time your kids knew what cell phones were, they wanted one of their own to use to play games, use apps, take pictures, and basically just goof around. But at what age should a kid get a phone?
Is your chlid ready for a phone?It's a tough question – and one that every parent should consider on a per-child basis. That said, most kids get their first smartphones at about 10, according to the research firm Influence Central. Of course, that doesn't mean that every child should get a gleaming new smartphone for their 10th birthday. Instead, think of it as a starting point – and a great time to consider questions like these that can help you decide at what age it's appropriate for your child to have a cell phone:
Are there safety or social reasons your child needs a phone?
How responsible is he/she?
Can you trust your child to either not take his/her phone to school, or refrain from using it during class, or at inappropriate times at (and away from) school?
Can your child agree to adhere to any usage limits you might choose to set?
Do they understand the security risks associated with some apps – and can they be trusted to "lock down" any personal information?
Do they understand how to use text, photo, and video functions responsibly – so as not to embarrass or harass others?
Are you ready for the added expense of another cell phone?
Along with these questions, you can also take our quiz to help you understand whether your kid should have a cell phone. And if after talking it over with your partner, and your child, you decide that your family is ready for another smartphone user, you can browse our cell phones to find the right phone for your child – and your budget. You can also find the right phone plan for your family so you can add a line.
Need more guidance? Check out our other resources for parents: