50 percent of parents don't agree with kids aged under 10 having cell phones

Libby-Jane Charleston

Parents need to make decisions about when to give their kids a phoneMcKaela Taylor

When it comes to deciding which is the right age to give children their own cell phone, most parents are torn between wanting to please their kids and wanting to make a decision that is right for the family.

One one hand, cell phones and the internet encourage a new way to connect and learn, yet most parents have widespread concern that online devices given to children at a young age allows them to access inappropriate content, make their child susceptible to bullying, and with overuse, can lead to addiction to the device.

In making their decision, parents need to weigh up the negatives such as the risk of phone addiction, with the convenience of being able to stay in touch with their child.

A recent survey of over 1000 parents conducted by kids’ tech brand, Moochies, found that over 50 percent of parents believe that on average the most appropriate age to own a mobile device is over 10.

Despite parents’ reluctance, it seems cell phone ownership is getting younger as the years progress. A survey conducted by ACMA revealed after 2000 children were surveyed, that 47 percent of children aged 6-13 used a cell phone and that mobile phone access and ownership had increased to 82 percent of 10–13-year-olds in the sample.

“Finding the balance between “helicopter” and “free-range” parenting is a constant challenge for parents,” says Adrian Lisle, co-founder of Moochies.

“We created Moochies to alleviate this challenge by providing kids with a smart-watch that allows them to contact parents or guardians and vice versa if required, without giving them the responsibility of cell phone ownership, with all its distractions and temptations.”

Moochies smartwatches are marketed as being both a parents’ and kids’ best friend. The smartwatches are designed for kids aged 5-12 whose parents deem them too young for a mobile phone but still want to keep in contact with their children to make sure they’re safe when they're out and about without their parents.

“Deciding the ‘right’ age to give a child a phone is a complex and personal decision,” says Dr Rosina McAlpine, parenting expert and CEO of Win Win Parenting. “It depends on the maturity of the child, their need for a phone, and questioning whether if it will interfere with the child's overall development as well as their physical and online safety.”

Moochies features currently include 4G, voice and video recording, text and voice messaging, GPS tracking and safe zones, SOS alerts, class mode, a camera with gallery and a pedometer.

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I'm a journalist and author writing across a wide range of topics, including tech, travel, history, business/startups, relationships, beauty & fashion, British royal history, & local stories concerning Charleston, S.C (where I have a long family history on my father's side: hence my surname! ) Former HuffPost Assoc Ed, ABC TV, ATV Beijing correspondent and many more. Author of "Fatal Females." Mother of three boys: I will love them until the Statue of Liberty sits down.


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