#parent | #kids | When should you get your kid a phone? 28 mums share.

6. “I’m not a parent, but I asked my older sister this question last week. She is 33 and has four boys under nine. She lives in Wagga Wagga, so she drops them to school and does most activity drops off herself at this stage. She’s planning to wait until her oldest son is in year 7 to get him a phone. She said that if they were in a metro area and the kids had to get public transport to school, she’s consider a phone in the next two years.” Isobel.

7. “I gave my son a ‘block’ phone when he started leaving the house in grade 6. He also had an iPhone to use at home for games etc. I chose a block phone over a smart phone as I was concerned he’d be on the iPhone when walking along streets and across roads and lose focus. For his 13th birthday, we moved the SIM card from the block phone to the iPhone.” Kate. 

8. “We got our three kids a mobile each for high school when they had to catch public buses. We also put them on pre-paid plans so that they get a set amount of data and can’t rack up huge debt on a post-paid plan. All three got our old handsets and if they want the latest model, they can save up and buy it for themselves from their part-time job money. All of the phones are linked through family sharing with parental controls so they have to request to purchase apps or spend anything through the app store.” Cathy.

9. “I got my first phone when I was in year 6 in 1999 but it was always off and in the front pocket of my school bag. It was just for emergencies but I never needed it. I only had it because my dad liked gadgets and so he bought one for my brother and me. Throughout high school, more of my friends got phones but we didn’t text each other. It wasn’t a thing back then for us. I finished school in 2005 and maybe around that time I finally started using it. As for my kids (aged three and five), they won’t get one until high school at the earliest, I think. I just don’t see why they would need one before then.” Madeline.

10. “My son is just a toddler, so we haven’t had to worry about getting him a phone yet but I got a phone when I was in year 8 and age 13. I can’t even remember the brand name, it was OLD AF. BUT I used it to make the most of Optus Free time – 19 minute calls from 9pm until the early hours of the morning. Those were the days!” Nicolle.

11. “I have twins who are now 13. My daughter got her phone when she just turned 11 in grade 5 as she increased the amount of hours spent dancing – the dance studio is secure, however if she needed me or anything there would be no real way for her to get into contact with us. My son got his phone at 12 when children in Victoria went back to school after COVID lockdown as pick up points were often different and he was not in the same class as his sister.” Connie.

12. “I just got my 12-year-old a phone this week. The phone itself isn’t new, it’s one of our old iPhones (iPhone 6, maybe?) and we just got a $10/month prepaid SIM card for it. He’s starting high school next year and will be taking public transport to school so we wanted him to have one for then. He’s been going for lots of bike rides with friends during lockdown and on two occasions recently has had to use his friend’s phone to call us for help – one time he damaged his bike and couldn’t ride it back home, and another time he injured himself falling off. So we decided now was a good time for him to have a phone!” Laura.

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