There has been a great deal of debate on the benefits of giving a child a mobile phone. What is the right age for them to have one? Do they really need a smartphone? The answers to these questions are simple – it is a down to personal preference and choice.
If a child regularly travels to and from school without their parents then a mobile phone is a good idea, although it is important to instill in the child the importance of not using the phone while they are in school. There is no point providing a phone if the child ends up having it confiscated. Most schools have very strict rules about the use of mobile phones and there is no need for a child to be using it while they are there, after all, most of the people they would want to communicate with are in school with them!
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Phones for children are a good investment for safety reasons. Phone boxes are quickly disappearing as fewer people are using them so in an emergency a mobile phone may be the child’s only way of getting some help. However, this is only the case when the child is going to be out without one or other of their parents.
Until they get to 11 or so this is generally not going to be the case as most children out playing will be very close to home anyway. Once the child is at secondary school then they may need one. After-school activities will often keep them out later and a mobile phone is peace of mind for both the child and the parents.
What Kind of Phone?
So if you decide they do need a phone which one do you get? A smartphone is a popular choice – mainly with the kids! However, they do not really need to be on the Internet and will generally want the phone for calls and texts. Getting a pay as you go phone is generally a better option as you can more easily monitor what is being spent on it and if they can pay for their own credit from their pocket money so much the better. They will begin to appreciate the cost of the calls and learn that continual texting and calling are not cheap.
Basic handsets are often the best option. Nokia, Samsung, HTC and Sony all do basic handsets and it is possible to pick them up for just a few pounds. As the child gets older they will be more interested in a smartphone with touchscreens and all the extras, but even these can be purchased at a very low price if you shop around.
Do not be swayed by the ‘but my friend has such and such a phone’ argument. It does not matter what you buy, they will always know somebody who has something different, and probably better. This is just a case of the grass being greener on the other side. They will be perfectly happy with the phone they have as it will do everything that they need it to.
This article is contributed by Phil Turner and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of www.cyberockk.com, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,