What’s the Right Age for Your Child’s First Mobile Phone?

In a world where kids using technology at a very young age, the question of when to give your child their first mobile phone is becoming increasingly relevant. Some parents opt for higher data mobile plans so their kids can use apps like Snapchat and Instagram. Others want their child to have a phone for emergencies only. There is no right or wrong answer, but it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons before deciding. Some parents find that their kid’s first mobile phone is a helpful tool, while others find it more of a hassle than it’s worth. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. But in this article, we’ll explore a few things you should consider before making the decision.

Factors to consider before giving your child a mobile phone


The first factor to consider is your child’s age. Most experts agree that children under 12 do not usually require their own phones. It relies on your child’s maturity and responsibility level if they are above the age of 12. Some children are ready for a phone at 12, while others are not until they are a few years older. Because there is no right or wrong age, it is helpful to trust your instincts.


Another factor to consider is whether your child needs a phone. If they take the bus to school, are involved in extracurricular activities, or have any other after-school obligations, a phone can be useful. It can give you peace of mind knowing that your child can reach you if they need to. On the other hand, if your child doesn’t have any after-school obligations, a phone may not be necessary.


To set your child up for success, it’s important that your child shows a level of maturity before having their own mobile phone. Some children are mature enough to handle a phone at a young age, while others are not. If you’re not sure if your kid is ready for a phone, consider giving them a basic mobile phone. Before upgrading to a smartphone, you might observe how they handle the responsibility of owning a phone.

If you decide to give your child a phone, you can do a few things to help sure they use it responsibly. Let’s explore a few of those things now.

Things to consider once your child is ready for a mobile phone

Choose the right phone

Once you’ve decided that your child is ready for a phone, the next step is to determine what type of phone they should use; a simple mobile phone or a smartphone. A simple mobile phone is perfect for kids who just need the essentials, to be able to make calls and send texts. It’s also a good option for kids who are not ready for the responsibility of a smartphone and may be likely to loose an expensive device. On the other hand, smartphones are better for older kids who are responsible enough to access the internet and use apps.

Limit screen time

One thing you can do to help make sure your child uses their mobile phone responsibly is to limit their screen time. There are a few ways to do this. You could set limits on the amount of time they can spend on their phone each day, or restrict certain apps or games known to be addictive. You can also encourage them to find other activities that they enjoy outside of using their mobile phone. You can help your child learn how to use their mobile phone responsibly by implementing these controls. 

Blocking certain apps

Another way is to block certain apps. This way, you can limit their screen time and what content your child has access to. You can also set up filters so they can only access age-appropriate content. Another option is to get a mobile phone plan that has low data. This way, you can limit how much they’re using the internet. By taking these steps, you can help make sure your child’s first mobile phone experience is positive.

Create phone-free zones

One way to help ensure your child uses their mobile phone responsibly is to create phone-free zones in your home. This means that there are certain areas, like the kitchen table or the living room, where mobile phones are not to be used. This will help to encourage face-to-face interactions and discourage the unhealthy overuse their mobile phone. You can also set up these mobile phone rules for specific times, like during homework or family mealtime. 

Limiting social media

Many mobile phone plans allow you to set limits on the amount of data your child can use each month, and this can be a helpful way to limit their social media usage. You can also talk to your child about responsible mobile phone use and explain why it is important to restrict their screen time. Children can also benefit from mini digital detoxes, so you may want to consider prohibiting your child from using social media on certain weekends or holidays. 

How to find the right mobile phone plan for your child

If you’re certain your child is ready for a mobile phone, you need to choose an appropriate mobile plan. To do this, think about how much data your child will need, taking into account any screen time rules you may have in place. It’s better to start with a lower data plan and then increase it if needed, rather than paying for a plan with unused data.

With plans from 1GB to 100GB data, there’s an option to suit every child; from surfing the web to simply making calls and texts.

Every Pennytel mobile plan includes unlimited standard calls & texts within Australia. Plus, if your child uses up the allocated mobile data for the month, there are no sneaky extra charges automatically applied to the service.

Our easy to use mobile app allows you to manage multiple phone numbers all at your fingertips. From tracking your data usage to viewing bills, you manage your mobile services all from your smartphone.

You should also consider the reception coverage in your area, this is especially important if you live in a rural area. Pennytel’s mobile plans provide a 4G coverage footprint of 97.9% and a combined 4G and 3G coverage footprint of more than 98.8% of the Australian population covering 1.62 million square kilometres. Use our map to see what coverage is offered in your area.

By taking these factors into consideration, you can find the perfect mobile phone plan for your child. However, if you didn’t get it right the first time, Pennytel plans have no lock-in contracts, so you can cancel, upgrade or downgrade your plan as you need to. Simple!