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5 Guidelines for Getting Your Child Their Own Cell Phone


So, you’ve finally caved in and decided to buy your child a cell phone. As apprehensive and scary as it feels, there are some measures you can take as a parent to ensure that your child is using their cell phone responsibly. Responsible cell phone use for kids means costs are being managed, time limits are being followed, and phones are used for a set purpose. You as a parent can guide your child towards positive cell phone use. Here are some guidelines you can follow:


  1. Be open about the dangers.

We discussed in our last blog that cell phones can be great tools and come with loads of benefits. But, there are also dangers attached to its use. Openly talk to your children about these dangers such as keeping a pin to lock their phone, not sharing personal information on the internet, about strangers online, not adding unknown people to their social media, posting or viewing inappropriate content, issues related to cyber-bullying, keeping their locations hidden, etc. Try to have regular discussions about internet safety so they also know that it is something you’re concerned about and they should be too.


  1. Discuss cell phone rules.

Since there is no exact age that is right for a child to have their own cell phone, you will have to gauge the child’s maturity level before taking this step. The decision should not be based solely on their ability to use the phone but also on the level of responsibility they can uphold of having one. Even prior to buying a phone, discuss and even write out rules together, agreeing on these rules and letting them have input to what the outcome may be if the rule is broken. Some rules could be always answering their phone whenever he/she is or away or no phones allowed in the bedroom or asking you before they download any apps and doing random checks on their cell phone. Whatever rules are outlined should be shared even before you hand over the phone to them.


  1. Set time limits.

One way to teach our children responsible cell phone use is by modeling responsible cell phone use ourselves. Plan times when all phones will be shut off or on silent, (including yours) such as during dinner or family game night. It’s a good idea to set a time limit on how many hours during the day they can use their phone and be sure to turn it off a few hours before bedtime.


  1. Plan a monthly allowance.

Getting your child a cell phone is a great time to teach them about financial planning and budgeting. Let them know that you expect them to take care of their cell phone and any damages will cost them. They should also be aware that they will get a simple monthly package but there will not be any extra payments in case they go over their minutes or data.


  1. Install parental controls and be vigilant.

It’s a good idea to install parental controls on their phone or better yet, purchase the newer cell phones designed to keep children’s safety in mind. This will help minimize the chances of visiting inappropriate sites or downloading certain apps. Even after installing the parental control, you will still need to do random cell phone checks to see from time to time to see if they are adhering to the rules. It’s also a great idea to be their friend on social media to see what they are posting and who they are friends with.


What You Can Do Next?


1. Subscribe to our Newsletter

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2. Register for my FREE Training (for children 5 – 9yrs)

Register for my free training, ‘How To Bring Peace and Calm To Your Home & Help Support Your Child’s Emotions Without Resorting To Yelling”.

I will support you with some easy tips to help you and your family, as well as provide you with some potential solutions in a free strategy session.

You will get some great information but also if there is a fit you will be offered a spot in our Masterclass 6 Month Program.




Internationally Recognised Emotional Literacy & Mindfulness Expert Tenille Bentley is the founder of The Emotional Literacy and Mindfulness Academy and the author of the children’s emotional literacy books with Jazzy and Pinky and The Energy Ball. Giving children a wonderful introduction to understanding their emotions and what to do with them.

Tenille has been featured on Channel 9 News and other major outlets. Her work has been recognized in the community by The Governor of Western Australia, The Prime Minister of Australia and Australian Financial Review.

As a child, she experienced severe anxiety and emotional traumas as well as bullying which left her feeling isolated and unable to understand why she was feeling the way she did. As an adult, this impacted her ability to make healthy decisions because she didn’t have the tools to understand her emotions. 

This is why she is passionate about equipping parents with the tools to support their children to make better decisions in life and healthy ones to help support and create a balanced home life.