When is the right time to get your child a mobile phone?

In collaboration with Tesco/IMOS2 Mobile

When is the right time to get your child a mobile phone?

The key word for me in that sentence is “your”. This will be so different for every family and will depend on your child too but it is a conversation me and Trevor had have all too recently.

There is no denying we live in a completely digital world, Sophia knows how to use the i-pad way better than either of us and the majority of her school work and homework is done through an app or on the computer. I mean we even have to order school lunches through an app, what happened to just hoping for smiling faces everyday but getting a random square of cheese flan instead?

Anyway, we recently went to my cousin’s house for a BBQ and her daughter (age 11) just got her first mobile and well, it is naturally miles away from the brick Sony Ericson I got when I was her age. It is a regular I phone so has limited restrictions but at 11 (and a very mature 11) they felt this was the right time.

After we left it took Sophia all of 2.4 seconds to say “mummy can I have a phone” and we both said NO pretty quickly. The Christmas before last we got Sophia a toy brand digital phone (not really a phone at all) and she loved it for a few minutes and then realised it doesn’t actually do what ours does and she was no longer impressed – that one got blamed on Santa.

Fast forward a few weeks and I had seen some talk of the IMO on social media and did some investigating about their child mobile. I assumed it would be yet another “toy” but actually it is the best combination of a real life phone but with the app that provides all the restrictions to make it child friendly.

There is a family chat feature which means you don’t have to download any external apps at all, you can remote lock it which means if no more asking to back away from the screen because you can shut it down without even having the handset yourself oh and there is endless amounts of games (over 1500 to be precise) and none have any in app purchases or need to credit card details!

Sophia only has 7 contacts, Me and Trevor, her four grandparents and her Aunty. She is loving that she can independently call them when she is allowed her phone, although  recently she did call my mum to complain I had told her off haha . We have also found it is helping with her spelling when she is texting us because she keeps calling words out or really pushing herself to sound them out so she can get the message right.

For anyone considering the first mobile situation I would say go with your gut, manage it as you feel comfortable but certainly invest in a handset like the IMO S2 where at least the restrictions, safety and control are still in your hands. She is still so young so we limit the time on the phone massively (15-30 minutes after school and an hour a day at the weekends) but this is what works for us. Kids will be able to teleport to their friends before we know it so whilst Sophia is just over half the age I was when I got my first phone she is so far advanced technology wise than we were (and even still are) so it was the right choice for us.

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[Blog post in paid partnership with IMO however handset, line rental and all other associated costs managed by us directly. Phone purchased in Tesco Superstore] – Link provided is NOT an affiliate link

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