When to Buy your Child a Smart Phone
Blog - July 1, 2019

boy holding a smart phone This is a Sponsored post for Verizon, however all opinions are my own.

My son (Thing 1) starts 2nd grade this year and I just don’t know where the time has gone! We are big on electronics in our house, however, we limit time and content.  Our tablets have settings according to their age and have restrictions on in app purchases. But I have always let my kids use my cell phone.

But now I have to think about them having one to themselves? Just when I thought I had one thing down as a parent too.  It just doesn’t ever stop, especially with technology advancing so much.

So, when is the right time to buy a child a smart phone, if ever?

Boy, have I been cautiously anticipating this conversation!

I asked him below on IGTV what he thought about it and to my surprise, he didn’t seem to think he needed one in general.

 

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He knows the rules when it comes to the tablets in the house, so I am sure he knows that having a smart phone will not be a “free for all.”

The Truth is – We Don’t Know What the Right Age is for a Kid to have a Cell Phone

I think it is a very personal choice.

Below Monica Villa from TheOnlineMom.com  and Heather McMechan from LocalMomScoop.com (who says everybody’s family has different situations) discuss the three C’s: Content, Contact, and Conduct.

Content

Make sure your devices have filters for content. They are only 2 clicks away from a disaster.  You can’t “unsee” stuff either.

Contact

Don’t accept friend requests or chat with people. Explain to your children that a social media handle doesn’t automatically make someone a friend or that you know them.

Conduct

What is the right behavior for group texts, taking pictures and how you treat people online? There is social media etiquette.

You can find more info about this topic at the Family Online Safety Institute.

boy opening front door to verizon wireless

We went to the Verizon Wireless store to check out the Just Kids Plan.  The plan provides filters, prevents in app purchases, sets time limits automatically that you can control. I’m happy with the 5GB of data and all the parental controls.  I believe that they need trusted contacts too.

boy looking at cell phones in a shop

I want my son to be able to get a hold of me when he needs to (like after a sports activity at school).  I want to teach him responsibility and how to handle social media and the online world eventually.

The question is when?

boy standing in front of a verizon sign with arms up smilingWhen is the right age to hand over a smart phone? I wish I had the answer and I still can’t tell you my decision but knowing that Verizon Wireless had a just for kids plan puts me at ease so that I can jump right into it feeling like I have all the tools I need.

Sets time limits.

Provides filters.

Prevents in app purchases.

boy at cell phone store

What do you think is a good age to buy a child a smart phone?

12 Comments

  1. I agree it is a personal choice for each parent. I allow my son to use my phone to do pre-selected activities, but he won’t get own phone with service for several more years.

  2. My son is entering 4th grade and has been begging for a phone. Personally, I feel his iPad is sufficient for his needs right now. I bought my older daughter a phone when she entered 6th grade and started after school extra curricular activities. We plan to do the same for my son, too. It’s good that you are establishing boundaries. That’s so important.

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