PARENTS

What's The Right Age For A Child To Have A Mobile Phone?

09/03/2010 22:21 | Updated 22 May 2015

I recently changed my mobile phone, and my ten-year-old daughter's eyes immediately lighted on the old phone. Since I no longer needed it, she asked if she could have it instead?

Does your child have a mobile phone? What age do you think is a reasonable age for a child to have their own phone? And who's going to pay for it when they do?

My daughter's reasoning for wanting one seems to revolve around the fact that many of her friends have got one. I don't think that's a good enough argument.

What surprises me is that so many parents will happily hand out electronic gadgets, yet are so cautious about other things. I know children who have their own phones and laptops, but aren't allowed to play out in the street alone or walk to the local corner shop. Yet which of these has the most potential for danger?In my mind, I feel that going into secondary school should be the minimum point at which a child has any need of a mobile phone. The only exception would be if their parents are separated and they are spending time in more than one home. If this is the case then I could see how there would be more need to keep in touch easily.

But for your average nine or ten-year-old, who are they going to call? And is having that phone pressed up against their ear really the best thing for a growing brain? Wouldn't using a normal phone or email be a better way to develop their social skills?

But my child claims that many of her classmates have already got their own phones, as have many of her Junior School peers. So do I risk my child being the odd one out and perhaps suffering socially as a result?

Leave a comment and have your say about children and mobile phones. If your child has one, why do you think they need it?

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