A smartphone for a teenager that really necessary?
By Linda – When is it time for a child to have a smartphone? About five years ago I was quite firm about this: from secondary school onwards. At elementary school a child doesn't need a phone yet.
If he wants to meet up, he'll cycle to that friend to see if he can meet up. And furthermore, I could think of no reason why my child needed a phone before the age of 13. In the meantime I have had to change my opinion a bit.
Ten years and a smartphone
So now my two ten-year-old boys both have phones. For several reasons. Not a brand new one by the way, because I didn't think that was necessary yet. They each got an old smartphone. If you don't have an old smartphone lying around, there are now quite a few new smartphones available for a reasonable price.
Especially if you want to include a subscription for your child, the iPhone SE2, for example, is an interesting smartphone. The iPhone SE2 is manageable for kids because of its size (not too big) and with a monthly subscription is not too expensive. Then, of course, you have to want a subscription for your son or daughter, but that's something you have to make your own choice about.
You can also choose to purchase a separate device without a subscription, but then you'll spend a bit more money at once, of course.
Why a smartphone for a 10-year-old?
In the beginning it felt like a small dip in my education, a smartphone for a 10-year-old. Because I was the one who always shouted so loudly that a phone in elementary school is really nonsense. But that changed when my husband and I decided to stop having the boys go to BSO on Monday afternoons, after school. They didn't really like the BSO and we both worked on Mondays. So we went together with Daan and Jesse to see how we could do it differently.
All four of us thought it was a great idea to try if the boys could stay home alone for an hour and a half after school. But I really wanted to know, while I was at work, if the boys had come home after school. We didn't have a landline phone and so the idea of a cell phone was soon born. Send an app when you get home.
A good solution for everyone, and so it came about that the two gentlemen received a smartphone at the age of ten.
Appen, TikTok and gaming
Of course, in the beginning the phone was only used for the weekly app, but soon this changed. The kids discovered TikTok through a friend at school and I was fine with them installing this app on their phones. It also included some games like Brawl Stars and even a phone number of their best friend.
I didn't expect things to work out the way they did with their smartphone use, but now that a year has passed I can say that I'm actually fine with it. They are handling it super well so they are already learning to use smartphone responsibly. That's another great thing about raising me!
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