When is the right time to let your child have a mobile phone?

Technology has changed a lot in the last few years and when my eldest daughter first got a mobile phone, the worst she could do on it was play snake and run out of credit after spending hours on the phone to friends she had seen an hour earlier at school.

Then came the ability to take grainy photo’s which you wouldn’t share with your friends as sending a picture message would cost a fortune.

Fast forward to the present day and Smart Phones are like mini computers in your pocket. Not only can you keep in contact with your friends, but you can play games galore, take good quality pictures and keep up to date on social media.

Deciding when to let your child have their own mobile phone very much depends on the individual child and although we have always said we wait for them to go to secondary school, we have made the decision to let Isaac have one this year.

At 10, Isaac is becoming more independent and is starting to go out with his friends more. There have been a couple of occasions where he has not been where he said he would be, so having a phone with him gives me peace of mind.

As a family, we are all with O2 and they have just launched a new Family Plan, which not only includes discounts on each new connection added, but also gives you premium access to the Qustodio parental controls app, exclusive O2 Priority family offers and NSPCC trained Gurus for advice.

The Family Plan

Whether you want a new connection for yourself, or for one of the family, your loyalty can be rewarded with a Family Plan discount, saving you up to 40% on your airtime plan.

I was disappointed that I was unable to add my husband and Kian to the plan, as the discount is only available to new connections only, however they are both due to upgrade in the next few months, so will be able to add our phones to the plan then.

The more phones you add, the bigger the discount and you can add up to a staggering 20 connections.

About Qustodio

The real selling point of the O2 Family Plan is that you get free access to Qustodio Premium, the award-winning parental control app – a saving of £35.95. It lets you keep an eye on your child’s device from your own phone, and set rules with them for how to make the most of it.

Premium Features

    • Block Pornography Qustodio’s real-time internet filter blocks inappropriate content even in private browsing mode.
    • View Social Network Activity – Monitor time spent on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp and more.
    • Balance Screen Time – Easily set a time schedule or limits for how much internet time is allowed each day.
    • Control Games & Apps – Set time limits for games & apps or block apps you don’t want from running altogether.
    • Track Calls & SMS – See who your child calls or texts most, read text messages, and set a list of blocked contacts.
  • Location Tracking and Panic Button – Track your child’s location. In an emergency your child can use the Panic Button to call for help.


Parental Controls can be a nightmare to set up, but I found this really easy to do and the O2 Guru’s are there to help if you get stuck.

O2 Priority

We are huge fans of O2 Priority. It’s and exclusive benefit to O2 customers and brings you great offers from high street brands, tickets and experiences, as well as access to the best in entertainment.

Offers include:

    • Food and Drink
    • Shopping
    • Travel
    • Health & Beauty
    • Entertainment
  • Sport

You can also get Priority Tickets to thousands of gigs and events nationwide up to 48 hours before general sale. It is how we managed to secure tickets to go and see Ed Sheeran on his arena tour.

Ed Sheeran

Simply download the app, available on App Store and Google Play, for quick and easy access to priority. They also run some amazing competitions, although we have not managed to win one yet.

Isaac loves having his own mobile phone, but is yet to make a call using it – all he seems to do is take snapchat photo’s of himself with the funny filters and play the games on the app!


Disclaimer: I am working with Mumsnet and O2 to feature the new Family Plan Campaign. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

24 thoughts on “When is the right time to let your child have a mobile phone?”

  1. I think it’s all down to the individual. Lewis had a phone at 6 as it was his only means of contacting me when he was at his dads after we divorced. He literally used it just for me to ring him on!

  2. We let Lucas have an iPad for half an hour but only on a children’s app. He has a phone which has no battery in it which he is quite happy to chat into haha

  3. The family plan deal sounds really good. This is a topic I have heard lots of parents talk about having worked for CAMHS and in parenting services .I remember getting my phone when I went secondary school which seemed acceptable although there was nowhere near the risks there are now with chat sites and social media pressures – I just had snake to play and 5 free texts a day! Those were the days!

  4. I’m finding it difficult to stick to our “when you go to secondary school” rule. LP is 9 and is starting to go out with friends. He’s even asked about walking to school on his own. School is a little more than a mile away. We gave our eldest a phone when he was 11, the summer before starting Secondary School. It’s such a difficult decision but I do think it’s all about the child and what they’re doing. 🙂

  5. I think all these extra parental setting features are so important now – kids are having phones younger and younger which gives peace of mind but it’s great to also know that the phone isn’t going to present any new dangers x


Leave a Comment