Thinking of getting your little one a phone for the holidays this year? You’re not alone, as Telstra reports almost a quarter of parents are in the same boat.
Finding the right gift for the holidays isn’t always easy, but if you know what your kids want, you’re probably on the hunt for it. Toys from Disney movies, robots that are both gadgets and coding tools, and even phones.
Yes, phones are a big part of the holiday season, and according to recent Telstra, almost a quarter of parents agree, with research from the telco revealing just under one quarter of Australian parents plan to give a phone to their children for the holidays.
The same research revealed that safety was the main reason why parents were giving it, but just under half of those surveyed said it’s because the kids had asked for one.
Parents surveyed have also said 12 was the right age for a first phone, but 1 in 10 parents were comfortable with giving kids a first phone when they were under the age of ten.
“The truth is there is no ‘right’ age for a smartphone,” said Jackie Coates, Head of the Telstra Foundation, adding that “it really comes down to whether a child is able to demonstrate trust and responsibility by following agreed rules and handling the phone sensibly”.
“Before handing over a child’s first phone, it’s important to use the opportunity wisely to have the discussion with your child and lay out expectations on how your family uses mobiles and technology,” she said.
Those rules might be on when kids can use their phones, and creating a balance between using a phone and clocking off for the night. Ultimately, those rules should be decided on by the family, and may end up keeping parents involved with management of the phone.
Phones are generally considered a responsibility, and while they become part of a life very quickly, it may be worth considering setting up a child under a family account, so you can lock down apps for that balance, and even help make sure that they’re not necessarily spending up on games just using your passcode.