More than 90%. That’s how many children aged eight to 15 in the UK own their own mobile phone if the figures are to be believed.
And, as of this week, our nine-year-old is one of them.
Bluebell has been asking for her own mobile phone ever since she turned eight, and like many parents we resisted for as long as possible.
Apart from not wanting her to grow up too soon, reasons for not letting her have one included the cost, the feeling of being always ‘on’ and screen time.
She’s now approaching her tenth birthday and with so many of her friends already owning their own phones we’ve finally caved – and it turns out there are some unexpected benefits!
If you’re still in the should we/shouldn’t we camp I thought it would be fun to share some unexpected benefits of giving your child their own mobile phone – like the fact you’ll be able to reclaim your own!
5 unexpected benefits of giving your child their own mobile phone
1. They’ll stop asking to use your phone
It had got to the point, especially during lockdown, when Bluebell was using my phone more than me. And it was really annoying. Not only did she always seem to be using my phone when I needed it, I often felt like her PA fielding messages and calls. But not anymore!
2. They can manage their own Seesaw account
As a mama who gets a nervous twitch just logging into Bluebell’s school classroom app post lockdown, the fact she can now access it herself is a major bonus. Of course I still need to monitor what’s going on and make sure she’s doing her homework, but the fact she can see the notifications and messages day to day is priceless – and will hopefully prompt her to actually do her homework without me nagging!
3. They can teach you a thing or two
Like obscure acronyms and how to speak to them in their own language. G2G is ‘got to go’ apparently (which is so obvious when you think about it!) NVM stands for ‘nevermind’ and ROFL is ‘rolling on the floor laughing’. Who knew?!
4. It can help teach them the value of money
We’ve given Bluebell a pay as you go mobile phone and the deal is she has to earn the money to top it up. Which is a surprisingly good incentive when it comes to doing chores around the house! She can top it up in £5 and £10 increments which hopefully means she’ll start to understand the true value of money.
5. It gives them more independence
As she approaches 10 Bluebell has been asking to do more and more things on her own with her friends. Not having any way to see where she was or contact her made me nervous, but now she has a phone I can contact her and with location sharing switched on I feel a lot happier about giving her more independence to walk to and from after school clubs and go out with her friends.
Do your little ones have their own mobile phones? Have you discovered any unexpected benefits? I’d love to know what they are!