Mummy, when can I have a phone?

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Being a parent often means that we can expect to hear a range of different questions coming from the mouths of our offspring.

Examples I’ve received are:

Mummy, why do you wear a bra?

Mummy, did we both grow in your tummy at the same time?

How did the doctors get us out of your tummy?

These questions are fairly easy to answer, but when M asked me when she could have a phone, it was a question that caused a fair few tantrums.

You see our twin girls are 5 years old.

When I was 5, the last thing I would probably have thought about was when could I have a mobile phone?

I find it pretty terrifying that at such a tender age this topic has already risen.

I can understand why M asked and I have to be honest and admit that it made me feel really guilty, and made me question if I was a bad parent.

Being a blogger, I am on my phone a lot. Whether that’s answering emails, tweets or sharing a new blog post, but I do try so very hard to put my phone away when I’m with my children.

However, I’m only human and when they’re happily engrossed in a craft activity or playing with their toys, I may get my phone out of my pocket or from the kitchen, where I usually leave it, and have a sneaky look at what emails I’ve received.

I’ve heard people justifying their use of mobile phones in front of children by saying that it’s no different from reading a newspaper in front of them, so why do people frown upon mobile phone usage in front of children and not reading newspapers in front of children? I mean they both take time away from your children as you’re engaged in a story or tweet, but can the two really be compared?

Anyway, when I answered M and said that she couldn’t have a phone until she was a lot older, M wasn’t best please. She proceeded to ask if she could have a phone when she’s 6. No, I said.

“7?” said M. Again I repeated “No.”

“8?”

The conversation went on like this for a while!

I felt both saddened and guilty by M’s insistence that she wanted a phone at just 5 years old.

The girls never go on my phone. I simply don’t see the need for them too. They used to watch You Tube Kids on the iPad now and again, but my husband and I have stopped this, so they haven’t been on an iPad for months.

They do have handheld games consoles, but to be honest, they never use them. They prefer to play with toys or play in the garden.

Not only that, but would a five year old do if they did own mobile phone aside from play games on it and rack up huge bills?

After listening to M’s insistence, I feel that my husband and I both need to address our own use of our mobile phones when in front of the girls.

When I was growing up I never say my parents on a mobile phone. Yes, they’d read a newspaper, but I didn’t think anything of it. My parents would usually be found gardening, baking, cleaning or carrying out home improvements. That was the age I lived in. Does this still exist?

What do you think?

How much time do you spend on your phone when with your children?

Have your children asked for a mobile phone yet? How old are they?

Also, what age do you think is acceptable for children to have a phone?

4 thoughts on “Mummy, when can I have a phone?

  1. Ahh! I think 5 is far too young for a phone but they do like to copy what we do…
    My girls are 14 & 9. My teen has a phone. I got her one when she started secondary school as it’s a good 25 minute walk away. I wanted to know she could get in touch if something happened. My youngest has been asking for a phone but we have said no. Not until she starts secondary school. x

  2. I find it completely ridiculous that primary school age children have mobile phones, my youngest DD got herself one at 14 when my F died and left me some money, and yes she is now glued to it! She says her own children wont have one till secondary school. I think thats probably about right and agree with Kim. people told me at work years ago 8 year olds should have them “to keep them safe” and so they could keep in touch.My feeling is an 8 year old shouldnt be out shopping etc without an adult. Small kids have the ability for the techn ology but do not understand the conpect that these things cost money!

  3. My 7 year old daughter has asked for a phone…because a few of her friends have them!
    We’ll let her have a phone when she’s in secondary school. She does use a second hand iPad for games and sometimes watching a bit of TV – it has the kids BBC iplayer app on it – but we limit time on it.

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