16 parents at what age to give your child a phone.


5. Kate A.

“We gave our son a phone to the end of year 6, so it was less of a novelty going into 7th (high school). The main reason he even got it for 7th grade is because he started busing to school and my ex and I shared care, so we could remind him where he needed to be. I believe it helps with friendships and group stuff as long as you watch everything because it has its downsides too. I also have Life 360 ​​on him so I can follow him on the weekends!”

6. John.

“My children are in year 5/6 and we have a “family phone” that stays on the charger and they can take it when they need it if they are going to a friend’s house or to a sports activity and they may need to contact me. It has no social media apps. He only has an Aldi prepaid SIM card and we hardly need to top it up as they only use it occasionally.”

Listen: How to reduce your family’s screen time on the Help podcast! I have a teenager. The post continues below.

7. Shell.

“My boys got a phone for Christmas between 6th and 7th grade. They are now 7 and 10 years old. My youngest forgets to charge it and mostly uses it to watch TikTok videos. When he was in 5th grade, we bought him a smartwatch on his bike ride to school and we wanted him to have a way to contact us and vice versa.”

8. Kate H.

“From memory, we gave away our children’s phones when they started high school, but my advice is that if you get one for them, make sure they know it’s YOUR phone, not theirs. Do not give phones as birthday or Christmas presents. It’s your phone that you allow them to use and you can take it, monitor apps, use blockers, etc. It’s much harder to do that if it was a gift, which they rightfully consider their own.

9. Sarah.

“I would say what a lot of people miss is the difference between having a phone and being on social media. Both of my kids got a phone for year 5 when they were changing schools and needed to communicate about transportation issues. The eldest is now in grade 7 and can text her friends but does not have, or have requested, social media.”

10. Jo.

“Our youngest got a phone when she was at year 6 (now in 7th grade) but we recently removed her because she was being bullied online and at school. The biggest problem is social media, especially Snapchat and TikTok, and it was affecting his mental health tremendously. She doesn’t miss it and realizes that she actually doesn’t need it. My boys are fine with their phones, but they’re older, so maybe it’s just a girl problem?”


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