What Age Should Your Child Get a Cell Phone?

What Age Should Your Child Get a Cell Phone?


My 4 year old can easily flip thru all the apps on my iPhone, play games,  call people and take videos/photos.  When I was 4 I was playing with with an old mustard colored rotary phone.  Times have changed and our kids are growing up with technology in a new way.  They may be able to use the latest cell phones, but when should your child actually get their own?  Here are some great questions to ask yourself to answer that question:

  • How independent are your kids?
  • Do your children “need” to be in touch for safety reasons — or social ones?
  • How responsible are they?
  • Can they get behind the concept of limits for minutes talked and apps downloaded?
  • Can they be trusted not to text during class, disturb others with their conversations, and to use the text, photo, and video functions responsibly (and not to embarrass or harass others)?
  • Do they really need a smart phone that is also their music device, a portable movie and game player, and portal to the Internet?
  • Do they need something that gives their location information to their friends — and maybe some strangers, too — as some of the new apps allow?
  • And do you want to add all the expense of new data plans? (Try keeping your temper when they announce that their new smart phone got dropped in the toilet…)

When making this decision, be strong and remember you are the parent.  Weigh the pros and cons and decide what’s best for your child and family.

What do you think the right age is for getting your child a cell phone?

Thomas Brogan

Thomas Brogan, a native of Des Moines, was the original founder of Des Moines Parent and is a father to an 8 & 10-year-old. In his free time, he likes to explore nature, try new local restaurants and enjoy life as best as he can. Check out more of Thomas at www.broganlist.com.

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