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Family Accountability

Is My Child Too Young to Have a Phone?

by Ali Royann

Dear Ali,
My child asked for a phone because all his friends have them. What is an appropriate age?

Caring Mom

Dear Caring,

There really is no magic number. You will have a better understanding if he is ready by asking some of the following questions:

  • How much training have I invested in internet safety?
  • Have I discussed stranger danger?
  • What information can be shared with others?
  • Does he make wise decisions in my absence?

Give clear rules for when, where, and what purpose the phone may be used.

Teach him that owning a phone is a privilege and, if used improperly, it will be taken away. Give clear rules for when, where, and what purpose the phone may be used. I would also encourage the use of accountability software as a way to train him toward the right choices. It will give you the ability to supervise his activity and stay on top of any issues that arise. Having accountability in place will also allow for valuable dialogue about his choices.

As parents, we need to focus our influence on our children’s training while they are young. Equipping them now will be a valuable asset as they grow toward being successful adults!

Wishing the best for your family,

“Ask Ali” is an op-ed column answering common questions about accountability and related topics.

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