When Should Kids Get Their First Smartphone?

Smartphones have many benefits, but there are some things to think about before giving your kid one.

Today, kids use smartphones for coordinating schedules, completing homework assignments, playing games, and staying in touch with friends and family. But even though smartphones have many benefits, they may not always be right for kids. That’s why this decision is hard for a lot of parents to make. In this blog post, Total Wireless outlines a few things to guide you toward the best choice for your family.

Phone with school supplies

How young is too young?

Whether or not a child is ready for a smartphone is a very individual determination. As a parent, it’s up to you to use your best judgment. In general, most children under the age of six are probably not ready for a cell phone of any kind. At that stage, face-to-face interaction and physical activity are crucial. For slightly older kids ages seven to nine, a basic phone might be a good option. As kids get older and enter middle school and beyond, it becomes more common to get them their own smartphone.

Is your child responsible enough for a smartphone?

Before buying your child a smartphone, ask yourself if he or she is mature enough to handle the responsibility. If they struggle with following rules at home or school or have a hard time with self-control, they may not be quite ready for their own phone.

Likewise, make sure they're able to keep track of the phone without losing or breaking it. Handing down an older model when a parent upgrades can be a good way to give kids experience with phones at lower stakes. You should also ask yourself how you'll handle a lost or damaged phone. Make sure everyone is on the same page about these rules.

Why do they want a smartphone?

When kids ask for a smartphone, be sure to ask questions about why they want one. Is it because all their friends have phones? Do they want to play games? Access learning apps for school? Listen to music or watch videos? Understanding why they want a phone can help you set ground rules for how it will be used. For example, you may want to limit screen time and you should know their password. Parents and kids should also have a frank discussion about how to be safe with a phone, including never giving out personal information, avoiding content that is too mature, and how to handle apps that may encourage purchases.

Move forward with Total Wireless

Giving your child their first phone can be stressful, but you got this.

Giving your child their first phone can be stressful, but you got this. Total Wireless offers a large selection of phones from brands like Apple and Samsung, plus coverage on the nation's largest, most dependable 4G LTE network to keep your family connected. Is your child ready? Choose a service plan today with total confidence.