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    • Former MSE Sam M
    • By Former MSE Sam M 27th Sep 16, 10:59 AM
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    Former MSE Sam M
    MoneySaving Poll: At what age should kids be given their own mobile?
    • #1
    • 27th Sep 16, 10:59 AM
    MoneySaving Poll: At what age should kids be given their own mobile? 27th Sep 16 at 10:59 AM
    Poll started 27 September 2016

    At what age should kids be given their own mobile?

    Times are a-changing and what was once a novelty is now commonplace.

    Of course it depends on the child, but we want to know what age you think is acceptable for a child to have their first mobile phone.

    Perhaps you think they're a tool that allows kids more freedom. Or are they just another digital distraction?

    So how old do you think they should be before they get one?



    Did you vote? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below. To see the results from last time, click here.

    If you havenít already, join the forum to reply. If you arenít sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.

    Thanks!


    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by Former MSE Sam M; 27-09-2016 at 11:55 AM. Reason: Question title tweak
Page 1
    • apfelkirsch
    • By apfelkirsch 27th Sep 16, 1:33 PM
    • 20 Posts
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    apfelkirsch
    • #2
    • 27th Sep 16, 1:33 PM
    • #2
    • 27th Sep 16, 1:33 PM
    I seem to be in the clear minority – but I voted for 6 years (not having kids).

    I remember that I got my first phone when I was 11 (in 2001) and back in the days that was obviously not a smartphone. Before that I always had to make sure that I had money on my telephone card and look out for a phone booth if I needed anything from my parents. My parents both worked full-time and it was an absolute nightmare when I forgot my keys or similar.

    The reason why I voted for 6 years is that this is the age that children start to go to school in Germany (where I am from) – I think it makes sense to give them a way to contact me as soon as they are more independent than before.
    It's most likely not going to be a smartphone or anything that allows them to access the internet but why would I want to make it more difficult to call me? In the 90s I still had phone booths, they are basically died out nowadays.
    July 'Take Your Lunch To Work' challenge 3/12
    • Mrs Arcanum
    • By Mrs Arcanum 27th Sep 16, 2:16 PM
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    Mrs Arcanum
    • #3
    • 27th Sep 16, 2:16 PM
    • #3
    • 27th Sep 16, 2:16 PM
    Bit stuck on the poll as I have one child under 18 and one over 18.
    Truth always poses doubts & questions. Only lies are 100% believable, because they don't need to justify reality. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Labyrinth of the Spirits
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 27th Sep 16, 2:44 PM
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    DigForVictory
    • #4
    • 27th Sep 16, 2:44 PM
    • #4
    • 27th Sep 16, 2:44 PM
    Looks like most of us seem to regard a mobile phone as part of secondary school uniform. Which makes sense.

    Remind me not to tell my younger two this - we live a few hundred yards from their school so if they want to have tea with a pal, they can drop in & say so. They're both doing GCSEs...
    • Sg93
    • By Sg93 28th Sep 16, 5:55 AM
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    Sg93
    • #5
    • 28th Sep 16, 5:55 AM
    • #5
    • 28th Sep 16, 5:55 AM
    I have a 6 month old. And she will be getting a mobile as soon as she starts going to secondary school because i want the contact with her. For example..shes staying at an afterschool club. Or if shes at a friend's and i need to pick her up. I had my first in year 6..im 23now (a good old nokia) i used it for snake and nothing else. And i wasnt allowed to take it to school.
    • kathrynha
    • By kathrynha 28th Sep 16, 6:44 AM
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    kathrynha
    • #6
    • 28th Sep 16, 6:44 AM
    • #6
    • 28th Sep 16, 6:44 AM
    My daughter is in year 6, and she has just got a phone over the summer. This year she is starting to get more freedom, walking to her primary school on her own, going to the chippy instead of her Dad when we have a chippy tea, being allowed out to her friends houses a bit later than before, etc.
    No point waiting until they start secondary school to give them a phone, and some freedom. They need to gradually build up to it during their last year at primary
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    • elsien
    • By elsien 28th Sep 16, 6:48 AM
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    elsien
    • #7
    • 28th Sep 16, 6:48 AM
    • #7
    • 28th Sep 16, 6:48 AM
    They don't need a phone to have some freedom, just a bit of common sense.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Nickyhusky
    • By Nickyhusky 28th Sep 16, 7:40 AM
    • 2 Posts
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    Nickyhusky
    • #8
    • 28th Sep 16, 7:40 AM
    • #8
    • 28th Sep 16, 7:40 AM
    I would distinguish between a smartphone and a basic phone - I'd put off the smartphone for as long as I could (I think my son was around 15), but a basic phone is useful from whatever age they start being more independent. I think my son was around 11 or 12, but he used to borrow my phone when necessary before that.
    Last edited by Nickyhusky; 28-09-2016 at 7:41 AM. Reason: Missed a word
    • happyinflorida
    • By happyinflorida 28th Sep 16, 8:20 AM
    • 776 Posts
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    happyinflorida
    • #9
    • 28th Sep 16, 8:20 AM
    • #9
    • 28th Sep 16, 8:20 AM
    Well I won't be clicking on any buttons in this poll as it doesn't have the answer I'd already made my mind up was the correct one before clicking on it - I'd give my kids a phone as soon as I knew they were old enough to have one. Some kids are more sensible than others and do what they're told more than others, so you know you can trust them with a phone!
    So you're not getting any buttons clicked from me as there isn't that option.
    • kathrynha
    • By kathrynha 28th Sep 16, 8:43 AM
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    kathrynha
    They don't need a phone to have some freedom, just a bit of common sense.
    Originally posted by elsien

    I know, but it is part of the growing up, and it's for my sake as much as my daughters

    I would distinguish between a smartphone and a basic phone - I'd put off the smartphone for as long as I could (I think my son was around 15), but a basic phone is useful from whatever age they start being more independent. I think my son was around 11 or 12, but he used to borrow my phone when necessary before that.
    Originally posted by Nickyhusky
    Totally agree with that. My daughters phone is an old basic one with a new sim.
    As a Guide leader it always surprises me how many 10-14 year olds have the latest phones.
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    • Domina356
    • By Domina356 28th Sep 16, 12:33 PM
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    Domina356
    I allowed my son a basic mobile at 11, when he started travelling to and from school on the bus by himself. He has a tablet and a laptop for homework and gaming, do the phone is purely to keep in contact with us.
    • mameha
    • By mameha 28th Sep 16, 12:55 PM
    • 64 Posts
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    mameha
    I voted for 11 but was very surprised to see that get the highest % of votes, as in reality I look around at my kids friends and they have all had phones since 7/8 or so. Mine will not get a phone until secondary school. I think a better poll may have been 'at what age DID you roll over and give your kid a phone?'

    I think it is important to expose children to technology rather than bury head in the sand and pretend it is still the Victorian days where only paper books exist and there are no calculators or spell checkers. Times change, and accordingly so do skills required to thrive.
    • kathrynha
    • By kathrynha 28th Sep 16, 1:15 PM
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    kathrynha
    I voted for 11 but was very surprised to see that get the highest % of votes, as in reality I look around at my kids friends and they have all had phones since 7/8 or so. Mine will not get a phone until secondary school. I think a better poll may have been 'at what age DID you roll over and give your kid a phone?'

    I think it is important to expose children to technology rather than bury head in the sand and pretend it is still the Victorian days where only paper books exist and there are no calculators or spell checkers. Times change, and accordingly so do skills required to thrive.
    Originally posted by mameha
    From my experience with my daughters friends, most that had access to a phone when younger, it was a family phone, not the child's.

    In the last 6 months it seems have gone from none owning a phone, to about a quarter owning one now at the start of year 6, and most parents are talking about buying their child one for Christmas, or next September for starting secondary.


    Totally agree with exposing kids to technology, it is how we can best prepare them for the future, although I do think screen time needs to be limited too.
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    • carlislelass
    • By carlislelass 28th Sep 16, 1:52 PM
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    carlislelass
    Mine got theirs on starting senior school
    • Frjack
    • By Frjack 28th Sep 16, 4:04 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Frjack
    Not had kids, but my fiancee has 2 adult kids. Her tribe are from rural North Yorkshire. They bought their own phone, using Xmyth and birthday money saved up.

    My opinion is similar. If I had kids, they could have a phone when they can afford it AND the bills. If circumstances dictated the NEED for a phone, I would get them an absolutely basic phone (or give them one of my old basic phones) and a PAYG sim and put £5 per month on it. However, as soon as they were old enough to get a part-time job, they would have to look after their own costs.
    • Queen.For.A.Day
    • By Queen.For.A.Day 29th Sep 16, 5:57 AM
    • 22 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Queen.For.A.Day
    I'm amazed some people are voting "Five or under".

    I voted "17+" as I don't believe children should have mobile phone or indeed, unsupervised access to the Internet.

    Parents: Do you want your child to have access to hardcore pornography?

    If so, give them a mobile phone.

    Do you want your child to be available to !!!!!philes?

    If so, give them a mobile phone.

    Do you want your child to be bullied?

    If so, give them a mobile phone.

    Do you want your child to be mugged?

    If so, give them a mobile phone.

    Mobile phones make parents feel they are making their child safer.

    In fact, mobile phones make children a target.
    Wow, lots of space here!
    • kathrynha
    • By kathrynha 29th Sep 16, 7:37 AM
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    kathrynha
    I'm amazed some people are voting "Five or under".

    I voted "17+" as I don't believe children should have mobile phone or indeed, unsupervised access to the Internet.

    Parents: Do you want your child to have access to hardcore pornography?

    If so, give them a mobile phone.

    Do you want your child to be available to !!!!!philes?

    If so, give them a mobile phone.

    Do you want your child to be bullied?

    If so, give them a mobile phone.

    Do you want your child to be mugged?

    If so, give them a mobile phone.

    Mobile phones make parents feel they are making their child safer.

    In fact, mobile phones make children a target.
    Originally posted by Queen.For.A.Day
    Because kids were never exposed to porn or !!!!!philes before mobile phones?
    Because there was no bullying or muggings before mobile phones?

    No mobile phone at secondary age would put a child more at risk of bullying, and it also gives them a means of getting help if they are in danger.
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    • apfelkirsch
    • By apfelkirsch 29th Sep 16, 2:41 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    apfelkirsch
    I'm amazed some people are voting "Five or under".

    I voted "17+" as I don't believe children should have mobile phone or indeed, unsupervised access to the Internet.

    Parents: Do you want your child to have access to hardcore pornography?

    If so, give them a mobile phone.

    Do you want your child to be available to !!!!!philes?

    If so, give them a mobile phone.

    Do you want your child to be bullied?

    If so, give them a mobile phone.

    Do you want your child to be mugged?

    If so, give them a mobile phone.

    Mobile phones make parents feel they are making their child safer.

    In fact, mobile phones make children a target.
    Originally posted by Queen.For.A.Day
    Apart from the fact, that a phone doesn't necessarily mean internet access and that we live in a world, where internet access is a completely normal thing, I believe that education is always better than prohibiting them from using something.

    Telling a child that there are dangers and what not to do is way more important than potentially ruining their future by putting them in a situation where they don't know how to navigate the internet by the age of 17+.

    Phones and the internet has increasingly become a big part in our communication, so even if you don't feel like the internet is a necessary part in becoming an adult, your child's teachers, employers and friends might think that way.

    I saw my first hardcore porn film on my friends computer by the age of 12. Trust me, my parents could have done nothing to prevent that. A pedophile could live around the corner and target my child. I'd rather have them call me, instead of being to scared to give them a phone because that could make them a target. I don't see the mugging bit an issue, if I am constantly scared of that I should probably also not give them money, a wallet or trainers.
    July 'Take Your Lunch To Work' challenge 3/12
    • suroben
    • By suroben 30th Sep 16, 12:01 AM
    • 27 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    suroben
    My children are adults now but I think these days a basic phone is a useful tool for when your children want to go to the park with friends etc. as a way of them making contact if they need to or for parents to contact them. My boys used to have to come home every 2 hours to check in as mobiles weren't around then.
    A smart phone is entirely different and should be for 12 upwards in my opinion with parents keeping check on what they're used for and a strict limit on how much they may spend monthly.
    Last edited by suroben; 30-09-2016 at 12:11 AM.
    • Murphybear
    • By Murphybear 30th Sep 16, 5:20 AM
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    Murphybear
    Being from a non phone generation and never having kids I didn't really know what to vote. I agree with the sentiment that times have changed and children need a phone to contact parents. If I had been taken ill at school I have no idea how they would have contacted my mother as we didn't have a phone at home.

    I would like to see some common sense instilled in children so they understand while they are walking and texting they must also be aware of roads and traffic. Just yesterday we drove past our main secondary school at 8.45 and witnessed a very near miss where a child was so busy texting they crossed the road in front of the school, completely ignoring the crossing, didn't look at the traffic and were very lucky the driver they nearly walked into had good reflexes and good brakes.
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