Children aged 4 to 9 do not need a mobile phone 14

I was offered a mobile phone to review which is pitched at children aged four to nine.  Am I the only person that thinks that giving children this age a mobile phone is unreasonable?


Why does a child that age need a mobile phone?

Now I know the phone in question is a very basic one  which can be pre-programmed with up to 12 numbers that can make and receive calls only; no texts, Internet etc, but I still do not think that children need mobile phones.

Firstly my eight year old would not be seen dead with such an inadequate piece of kit.  He wants a standard phone, in fact he wants an iphone.  Not to make calls but for everything else that he could use it for.  I am standing firm and saying no.

Secondly, children this age DO NOT NEED mobile phones.  Both my boys play outside, however, initially we used walkie talkies to keep in contact.  Now they can both tell the time they have a watch and come back at a specific time.  It is their responsibility to do as I tell them too.  If they go to play at anyone’s house or or activity such as cubs or football I make sure I have the contact numbers of a responsible adult. I am their parent, so I make sure I look after them the best I can.  I do not put that responsibility on them at four or even at nine.  I do not feel that at four my children would have known when to call 999 and feel that it is unreasonable to give them access to the emergency services.

This is without bringing in to the debate concerns about the long term health effects of mobile phones or the fact that a first phone introduces them to technology far too early and that there are studies out there that prove that screens have an impact on our ability to sleep.

Children are bombarded with technology from such a young age and I want my children to stay children for as long as possible.  I want them to feel as though they can go play on their bike without worrying that they are carrying a phone with them that could make them a target for mugging.  What if they lose it.  This particular phone costs a minimum of £50, yes £50.  It is a lot of money to make them responsible for.  I also feel that it is just another way to make money out of children and their parents.

I survived as a child and a teenager without a mobile phone.  I appreciate things change and I am not against phones for teenager, but I do not want to expose my children to them at this age.

If you are worried about losing your children in places such as LEGOLAND or on days out I was sent some fantastic temporary tattoos with our mobile phone number on for the boys.  I have taught them to look out for a person in a uniform or a mum with children and to tell them that they have lost us and could they call us on the number on the boys tattoos.  Much cheaper than the £50 for the phone and it also meant that we had the stranger danger conversation too.

All of the above is enough for me without bring the following shocking statistics in to things:

  • According to the Cyberbullying Research Center (CRC), 25 percent of kids have been harassed or bullied with mobile calls or texts.
  • Only about half of the students who are cyberbullied tell their parents, also according to the CRC.
  • 15 percent of kids have received a sexting message from someone they know.
  • 60 percent of kids have sent texts during classroom hours.

I do not want to normalise or introduce my children to mobile phones at an early age.   Where do you draw the line.  I do not want my children to start taking a mobile phone to school or even preschool as that is the age this phone is targeted at.  In fact I feel that giving a nine year old child a phone like this would actually make him a target for bullying.  When I showed it to Maxi, who had seen it on CBBC Newsround, he said that his friends would laugh at him.

The Mad House
<div align="center"><a href="" title="The Mad House" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="The Mad House" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

It is also one of the reasons that I want my children to have a free range summer and as natural a childhood as possible.

14 thoughts on “Children aged 4 to 9 do not need a mobile phone

  • Being Mummy (@BeingMummyBlog)

    Completely agree with you on this one. The amount of unnecessary technology available for kids these days is ridiculous – these phones included.

    I couldn’t imagine the actual need for a child to own a mobile phone until perhaps 12? but no doubt by the time my 2 yo turns 4 she’ll be made to think she has to have one.

  • Kim Carberry

    I agree…Children that age do not need a phone!! Especially when it seems the names programmed into the phones are people they are close to and are probably with the majority of the time!!

    My eldest wants a phone…She’s 10!! I’ve said we may consider it when she starts high school next September as she will have to have a 10 minute walk from the primary school where I’ll be with her sister up to the high school – Just for safety reasons!….But there is no way she’s getting one before then….There is no need for her to have one!!

  • Sonia

    I was offered it and turned it down too! Quite appalled at it to be totally honest! The longer my children stay children the better! x

  • Purple mum

    Another who was offered it and turned it down here. I guess I think each to their own and if it prevents worry for a mum then perhaps it’s ok. I absolutely would not give my children mobiles at this age though for all the reasons you said.

  • Emily

    I reviewed these and love them although I do agree with most your points.

    I am of the school of thought that children don’t need mobiles yet at the same time I am reassured at the idea that they can get in contact with me if absolutely necessary. I like that this phone enforces the idea that that is the only purpose of a mobile – not games, cameras etc.

    Mine wore them to Legoland and have taken them to friend’s houses, clubs etc. This doesn’t mean I haven’t told them who to find or where to meet if lost and got the relevant contacts when they’re there.

    I think it’s just extra re-assurance for me that if they have a wobble or cycle to the park and fall they can tell me. I want them to have more freedom but writing this realise I am probably a little clingy and living in London so few other children seem to play out anymore that I like this as an extra safety precaution.

    Also my children and the friends they’ve shown like them and are happy to wear them – if they were embarrassed I wouldn’t force them upon them. We don’t have a 999 button as I think that’s asking for trouble!!

    Emily x

  • Josanne

    I agree completely with your thoughts about giving such young children a mobile phone, despite it’s very basic usage.
    I had a conversation this afternoon funnily enough with my 27 year old daughter about giving mobiles to children. I said that I would consider one for my daughter (who’s only 2 1/2 now) when she goes in to secondary school.

  • Cass@frugalfamily

    I completely agree that a child doesn’t need a phone – if my two are out anywhere then I know where they are and who they’re with and they know when to come home. I wouldn’t rely on a mobile phone for them to be able to contact me because so many things could mean that they couldn’t use their phone for one reason or another – credit, reception, lost phone for example.

    But…. both of mine have a smartphone. Miss Frugal has an iphone but she bought that herself by selling her ipod touch, camera and 3DS and she rarely uses it as a phone – it’s more about the games and the camera to her. With Mast F, he uses his to play games and watch youtube.

    So both of mine do have phones but more for the games and things – the smartphones these days are so good for this that they’re a better investment than an ipod touch or a tablet in my opinion.

  • TK

    I feel the same way about young children and mobile phones. I don’t want to get mine one, let alone an iPhone! It’s become more of a peer pressure thing and frankly, robs them of creative time. I love your idea about the temp tattoos!

  • jenny paulin

    i whole heartedly agree with you Jen kids do no need mobile phones and i think it is a ridiculosu notion to now bring out something like this aimed at even youger children. Like you, i was brought up in a non mobile phone era and i had to tell my parents where i was going, provide a phone number of my friends house and be back home at the time my MUm told me. why do things need to be any different nowadays?? great read x x

  • Ned

    I couldn’t agree with you more on this.. i really feel that children these days are getting too much too soon.we need to draw a line somewhere!

  • Hayley @hayleyfromhome

    Absolutely agree, I had my first mobile when I was 15 and they were just starting to become more popular. Lucas definitely won’t have one in primary school because he won’t be going that far without me or another adult! I’ll try and keep him away from them as long as possible in secondary, just seems unnecessary at such a young age.

  • John

    I totally agree – children shouldn’t have mobile phones – it still isn’t proven if they do long term damage to children – the simple fact mobile phones haven’t been around long enough for us to know – in another 20 years time what’s to say loads of people won’t be having cancer from the time they used the phone as a kid. Plus i think not haing a phone breeds more responsibility in organizing meeting times and locations…think of all those times kids used to spend just looking for their mates – I probably walked more looking for my friends than kids walk in their entire childhood. As an adult i cannot stand the phone…i barely use it now – i think adults should drastically reduce their phone use – people on buses / trams / walking along constantly messing with their phones – i feel like snatching them off them and chucking them at times – drives me nuts!

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