At What Age Should a Child Have a Cell Phone?

There are many factors that must be considered when making a decision about when to give your child a cell phone. It’s a personal decision that depends on each individual and the needs of your family. Sometimes children require a cell phone early so that parents can reach them after school. The average age at which many parents choose to give their kid a phone is eleven years old. If you’re like most parents, you want to put off giving your kid a phone as long as possible. Check out the information below regarding different considerations.

Establishing Limits

If you decide to give your child a phone sooner than later, it’s best to set limits. For instance, you should make sure it’s clear when they can and cannot use the phone. Perhaps they cannot use the phone after 7PM or during school hours. Establishing these limits is a good way to keep the phone from interfering with daily life activities. Limiting screen time is something that can make a big difference in a child’s ability to do well in school, which is why it’s important to enforce any rules that you set. You might also consider installing a parental control app that allows you to monitor what’s happening on your kid’s phone.

Discussing Social Media

Accessing social media from a phone can become a problem because it can start to eat up a lot of time. Preliminary studies have shown that spending an excessive amount of time on social media can lead to psychological problems for people of all ages, but it’s more pronounced in young people, especially teens. This is partially because there’s a lot of hate, aggression and cyber-bullying that can seriously impact children. Just because your kid has a phone doesn’t mean they must have social media accounts.

Prohibiting Use While Driving

By the time you child has reached driving age, you’ll need to prohibit the use of their cell phone while driving. This is because texting while driving is just as dangerous as driving while drunk. Teens have not yet developed the skills needed to handle multiple tasks while driving. Quite frankly, even adults should avoid texting while driving, which is why it’s illegal in some states. Not allowing your kid to text or use their phone while driving should be non-negotiable.

In addition to the considerations already listed, texting is something that seems to be a rite of passage for many teens. Unfortunately, sexting has also become more common than most parents probably realize. It’s an issue that can have serious long-term consequences. By explaining the dangers of improper cell phone use, you can prevent your kid from experiencing some of the dangers that impact many teens.

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