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10 Questions to Ask Before Giving Your Child a Phone

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Smartphones are one of the easiest ways to stay in touch with both friends and family, especially during the busy school year and the upcoming holidays. However, giving your child a smartphone can be a little daunting sometimes–after all, that’s a big step towards independence and requires a lot of responsibility to use properly. If your kid has been bothering you about a phone but you are still on the fence, here are some questions to ask first:

  1. Do they really need a phone or is it a want?
  2. How will the phone be used?
  3. Are they responsible enough to keep track of it?
  4. Are they responsible enough to use it properly?
  5. Will it be a distraction from homework?
  6. Who is paying for the phone and what will it cost?
  7. Will the phone be a privilege for the child or be something that they earn and pay for themselves?
  8. If you have more than one child, will the younger siblings want one too? Will it cause sibling issues?
  9. How are you going to monitor the usage of the device (if at all)?
  10. What plans will best suit the child’s needs?

While I’ve seen a lot of articles and sites that try and pin down a magical age at which children are ‘old enough’ for a mobile phone, at the end of the day I’ve found that it varies greatly from child-to-child. However, one thing is definitely constant: prepaid phones are the best bet. Not only are they less expensive but also easy to discontinue if the phone becomes a problem. Not to mention if your child breaks the phone, you aren’t on the hook for a ton of money.

What other things were of concern when you got your child their first cell phone? How old were they? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!