There have been many concerns regarding how old a child should be to get a phone. Parents often keep these in mind and become reluctant to get their child a phone.
Do you want to get a phone, but aren’t sure how to convince your parents?
The following advice is sure to get you the answer you want!
How old should you be to have a phone?
Most parents agree that age 10 to 14 is usually appropriate for children to have a phone, but it often depends on maturity level more than age.
You have to understand not only how to take care of the phone itself, but also how privacy settings, cyberbullying or a lack of face-to-face contact come into play. In other words, you need to fully understand the consequences of your actions.
The right age for your first phone can also depend on when you start regularly being away from your parents. For example, you may stay home alone every once in awhile or participate in activities on the weekend.
If you think you are ready based on this information, here is what you need to do.
Planning for the conversation
Show them you are responsible
Before you plan on convincing your parents to get a phone, you have to show signs of responsibility. This includes not being addicted to devices you already have and taking good care of your belongings, such as school supplies, video games and clothes. Remember to do your homework and chores every day. You can even start doing chores they didn’t ask you to do.
Start doing research on cell phones and look into buying a used cell phone from a trusted company to save money. You can even check for phone plans within a reasonable budget and see if their current service provider offers family plans.
Think of convincing reasons
You are more likely to convince your parents to get you a phone if you have good reasons, such as giving you some responsibility. Safety factors are also highly appreciated by parents. A cell phone can be used to call them or emergency services if you are in trouble.
People tend to associate phones with slacking off, but they can also be used for educational purposes. There are educational apps to learn a language, help you organize your homework and tasks or do brain puzzles.
It will also give you a way to communicate with friends for leisure purposes or if you miss a day of school. They could then easily send you notes and assignments or pictures of a book you forgot.
Communication with extended family members such as aunts, uncles or cousins may also improve. Telling someone to have a nice day may not be worthy of a call but can be sent as a text to brighten someone’s day.
Put yourself in their shoes
Think of reasons they might not want to get you a phone so that you can counter their arguments calmly.
- Lack of finances: If you are willing to get a job to help pay for your phone, or have allowance saved up, you can offer to pay for half your monthly bill.
- You’ve broken another device in the past: Tell them you are older and more mature. You now understand the importance of taking care of your belongings.
- You will become addicted: If you already spend a lot of time in front of a screen, they may be worried that you will become addicted to your cell phone too. You can promise to keep your phone off after a certain time or play less video games if you get a phone.
Once you have all your reasons and arguments ready, practice what you will say in front of a mirror to make sure you are prepared.
Talking to them
Choose a good time to talk to them. Make sure they are relaxed rather than busy or stressed out. Certain times of the day can also increase your likelihood of getting the response you want. For example, people tend to be more agreeable right after breakfast or lunch or when the weather is nice.
Be polite and direct
When you start talking to them, do not beat around the bush. Address the topic right away by starting with something like “I wanted to talk about having my own cell phone”.
Be polite and show gratitude throughout the conversation. Do not start arguing or interrupting them as this will show immaturity. Show that you are aware that they are trying to do what’s best and you appreciate everything they do for you regardless of the outcome.
Use the reasons you prepared
State the reasons you planned out and apply them to your own daily tasks and activities. For example, if they have to pick you up from school or extra curricular activities, you can call them when they have to pick you up instead of them having to sit around waiting.
You can promise that you will never go over your plan limit so that they do not get any surprises on your monthly bill. Pre-paid plans can also be a good way of avoiding extra fees.
You can also let them know that you are aware that this is a privilege, not a right.
Accepting their decision and compromising
If your parents seem hesitant at the end of your conversation, you can tell them to think it over for a few days. On the other hand, they may have already made up their mind.
If they refuse
If they refuse, ask them why calmly and how you can eventually earn it. Perhaps you can do extra chores, increase your grades or make a deal to wait for a holiday or birthday.
Most importantly, do not argue or react on impulse since this will make matters worse. They may eventually change their mind if you continue showing responsibility and maturity.
If they accept
Let them establish restrictions if they want to. For example, they may want to check the apps you download to making sure everything is appropriate and/or free, or check who you are messaging.
Let them track your phone so that they can get some peace of mind and benefit from you having a phone.
You can also agree not to use the phone during dinner or other family activities. You also should not bring your phone with you if you know you won’t need it. This will prevent you from losing your phone.
Why not get a used phone from Recycell?
Make sure to stick to the conditions you and your parents set together. Continue showing responsibility and maturity, and over time, they will likely remove some of the restrictions.
Getting a used phone is a great compromise to make. You are also more likely to get the phone you want at a fraction of the price.
Contact us to find the right phone for you or for more information!