This is a question all parents consider and may even dread. At what age should my child be allowed to have a phone? The reality of this question is that many kids already have a phone by the time they get to high school. A study conducted in 2012 found that 60 percent of parents offered their children a phone by the time they reached the ages of 10 or 11, and ever since then, the age at which children have received their first phones has gotten younger and younger, with the amount of cell phones used by teens and tweens nearly doubling. Today, around 80 percent of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 have a cell phone or smartphone.
Some carriers are even marketing special cell phone devices, such as Sprint’s “WeGo” device, to children as young as 5 years old. As technology progresses, younger and younger generations are seen actively using devices starting from the ages of 2 or 3, so that by the time they are around 5 to 8 years old, they are already comfortable using phones and other smart devices.
So how young is too young you ask? We recommend a case-by-case approach.
Some children may be involved in a lot of out of home activities, so a cell phone is a necessary means for parents to keep in touch with their child at all times. Other cases may just depend on the responsibility of the child and when parents feel it is right for their child to have a phone. Before giving your child a phone, however, you should have a discussion with them about “digital hygiene” by discussing healthy online habits such as staying within data limits, avoiding inappropriate material, ways in which to avoid cyberbullying and prevent contact with strangers.
Mobile technology can be an asset to children, tweens and preteens when used in the right context. BulliPatrol is here to help. With our 24/7 monitoring technology, you will receive an alert anytime unusual activity is detected on your child’s social media accounts so that you can take action immediately. Stay in the know with BulliPatrol.