Is My Child Ready for a Wireless Phone?


Sprint is providing a one-stop resource to help parents determine the right time to buy their child their first wireless phone. With the launch of “Kid’s First Phone” website (, Sprint is providing expert advice, an online quiz and other information to help parents make this decision. There is even a customizable parent-child mobile contract to set parameters and agree upon rules and limits for uses of a mobile phone.

Even though my daughters are just 3 and 5 years old, I love this idea. Honestly they will probably be getting phones before the age of 10 because it will be easier to keep track of them and to be able to get a hold of them when I need to. I love this website that Sprint put together, and have already spent a lot of time checking it out.


Did you know? According to Influence Central, in 2016:

  • The average age a child gets their first smartphone is 10.3 years old.
  • 64 percent of kids already have internet access via personal tablets/laptops.
  • 1 in 2 kids will have a social media account by age 12.

In today’s world, the question of when to purchase a child’s first phone certainly deserves attention. A wireless phone means growing independence, ease of logistics/scheduling, safety and security, but there are also concerns about cyber-bullying, inappropriate content and even out-of- control spending. Sprint’s “Kid’s First Phone” website serves as a trusted advisor for parents and includes expert advice from Katie Hurley, LCSW, psychotherapist and author of “The Happy Kid Handbook.” Parents can take a quiz to determine an individual child’s readiness for a wireless phone, download and customize a wireless phone contract for themselves and their child, and read/experience third-party commentary on this topic.

Advice from an Expert
“This website is a great opportunity to sit down with your child and engage in a thoughtful discussion and even sign a wireless contract to set rules and limits,” said Hurley. “One of the first things I advise is asking yourself why you want this for your child. Is your child mature enough? And, what is the specific need for the wireless phone? Start from there and you’ll be off to a good, healthy and fruitful discussion for the entire family.”

Commitment from Sprint to Parents
Sprint is making a major commitment to help parents navigate the purchase of their child’s first phone. “We hope this site better arms parents with information to help them navigate the many questions they may have on whether or not the time is right for their child to have a phone and all the responsibility that goes with ownership,” said Roger Solé, chief marketing officer, Sprint. “This is a one-stop shop to enable parents to make a crucial buying decision with peace of mind.” Sprint has long been a leader in terms of family offerings and currently offers its customers several apps that help parents stay in touch with their children and monitor their phone usage. Sprint Family Locator allows you to track up to five devices. Sprint Mobile Controls lets you monitor, limit and block content on Android phones. Sprint Drive First helps keep your kids safe by stopping distracted driving and keeping focus on the road. Family Wall for Sprint helps everyone stay connected with an all-in social app that allows families to share and connect via their own private social network.

About Sprint
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served more than 58.8 million connections as of March 31, 2016, and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to- talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at or and

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    • I am not sure that there is no real age that a child should have their first cell phone. It really depends on the child and the parents needs or circumstances.. We got our boys phones when they started middle school because we felt they were responsible enough at that point. The great thing is that for them they have a phone and for us we can keep tabs on them :)
  2. I really think 11 or 12 is the best age. It all depends on how busy the child is though. Thank you very much for the offer. I love the way you write!
  3. I think when you are old enough to pay the monthly bill that's when you're old enough to own a smartphone.
  4. While I agree that it depends on the persons (parent and child) involved, I think it also depends on the device. There is a big difference in the capabilities of different phones and the consequences that go along with that. Something else to keep in mind, though, is that this can't just be looked at from a "how the parent feels" perspective. I didn't get a phone until college and definetely missed out on a lot of social activity because of it, and that was years ago (and frankly I did resent it at the time). Granted there is a difference between high school and young children. Phones also can do so much more now - I regularly use mine as a fitness tracker, compass, and to control electronics that we set up in the workshop. I think trust goes a long way for a child. It should also be said that parents who are concerned about their child's "exposure" need to realize that that is really not something they have any control over anyway - you can't control everything nor should you. My kids will be getting phones (older used ones mind you) as soon as they can demonstrate that they can use them responsibly.
  5. Pamela Garcia on
    My child is 10 and has his first phone. His father and I regularly go through it from time to time to ensure it's being used appropriately. We have yet to run into any problems
  6. Kristine Hart on
    My daughter got her 8 going on 9. Mostly for keeping in touch. She spends a lot of weekends at my parents. She likes to be able to call us when ever she wants. And she works for it. :)
  7. I don't know if I will be ready to give my child a phone at a young age. Sometimes technology takes over imagination and creativity. There will come a point... And it will make itself known.
  8. I think it depends on the kid and the type of phone. They make wireless phones for kids that have limitations and are really just for making calls. I think those are good for younger kids.
  9. shannon fowler on
    id rather they wait till they are driving and might need it for emergencies, but it seems like socially they would have a hard time since most kids text to make plans now
  10. Emily Endrizzi on
    I would say 12 or 13 would be an appropriate age to get a smartphone. My oldest was 16 when he got his, if I recall. My younger two have devices that are not connected to a cellular network so they only work with wifi and cannot make or receive phone calls.
  11. I think when a child can show complete responsibility then they should be able to have a phone. So, maybe somewhere in the age frame of 13-16 give or take.
  12. Depends on the child/maturity; I would say a starter non smartphone for when my child goes to her friend's house, grandparents, school in case she needs to get ahold of me and not for personal use until she's older and is responsible enough to help pay/work for the phone (otherwise it would just be that ultra cheap phone company that only charges you for what you use).
  13. Darlene Wright on
    I think at around 12 they should have one to keep in touch with parents when theyre at activities or friends homes.
  14. Amanda Alvarado on
    I think sometime in middle school if they are involved in a bunch of after school activities. Otherwise high school and only then if they prove they can be responsible with an expensive phone!
  15. I still haven't gotten my twin girls phones yet because they are autistic. I'm considering getting one of them a phone because she's a little more responsible. Both of my girls are 14 years old so in response to the question I think it depends on the child. I don't think it's the same for everyone.
  16. My daughter was 11, which sounds young, but that is when she started middle school, which was all the way across town, so for me it was a matter of safety with her being so far! I have other children that aren't at this age yet, so I guess I will do the same when they go off to their new school!
  17. I think when a child gets their 1st phone really depends on so many different things: the maturity of the child, whether one of the parents is home during the day, the household budget, and quite frankly WHY the child needs one. A child shouldn't get one just for playing games or texting with friends. My children were at the end of middle school/beginning of high school when they got theirs. They really had no reason to have one before then.
  18. Secret word for today is Sunshine. Kids grow & become mature at different ages - so I really make my decisions on how mature they are.
  19. Daniela Plume on
    I think 11 or 12 is a good age for a first cell phone. I left it up to my kids. My youngest didn't even want her first cell until she was 16.
  20. Great article with a great topic to discuss. I've had this conversation before, what age really is a good age to give a kid a cell phone? I guess it's just up to each parent to make that decision. Whenever your kid starts to venture more out into the world with friends would probably be a good time
  21. Celeste Herrin on
    I accidentally hit continue when trying to put my word of the day in... Which is flowers for today. I probably shouldn't try to do it on this tiny phone screen! It's way too easy to touch the wrong area. I didn't want you to think I cheated! So sorry :(
  22. Oops. I noticed the "L" was left off of my email in the gmail part on the first entry. Sorry. Hope if I win, that isn't a problem. Long shot, but hey someone here will win. I think the right age depends on the child. Some are ready earlier, while others should be older in high school even before they are mature enough to where it can help rather than be a nuisance that interferes with things like homework and having proper online etiquette. Some are ready fairly young though too.
  23. I am really old fashioned. I think a child should get one when they are old enough to pay for one. young children do not need a phone. Like I said I am old fashioned. My kids didn't have a phone and they managed without one. I know in this day and age it is different.
  24. My kids will have a phone the day they're born... This is so much more than a phone nowadays. #parentsmarter!
  25. I dont think there is a specific age, I think it depends on the child and the circumstances. Your child needs to be mature enough and responsible enough with it. I think it also depends in your situation and if you are savvy enough with technology. you can limit a lot of access on a cell phone and even track stuff on it so you know how its being used. I had my first phone around 12-13 back when they were giant bricks. hahaha
  26. i feel the child should be almost 16 years old to get their own phone so that they know the value of it and not misuse it like its any kind of a device.
  27. I think when they start Middle School is a good time. Of course it really does depend on the child and whether they are responsible enough to have a phone. I find that it is a good way to stay in touch when they are out at their various activities and of course checking their phone regularly is always a good idea.
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