Daily expectations for your child

Checklist: Signs Your Child Is Ready for a Cell Phone

By Lexi Walters Wright

Having a cell phone can help your child be more independent as well as fit in socially. And it can give you some peace of mind. But cell phones can be a mixed blessing. They’re distracting—especially for kids with learning and attention issues who may already have trouble with focus.

To be a responsible cell phone user, your child needs certain skills and abilities. The questions below can help you assess whether she’s ready. If you can’t answer “yes” to most of them, keep in mind that she doesn’t have to start out with a smartphone. Basic starter cell phones limit the calls kids can send and receive—and some don’t offer texting or Internet access.

Can your child handle the responsibility?
Does your child know how to use a cell phone appropriately?
Will your child be able to communicate effectively on a cell phone?
Does your child need a cell phone?
Are you ready for your child to have a cell phone?

About the Author

Portrait of Lexi Walters Wright

Lexi Walters Wright is a veteran writer and editor who helps parents make more informed choices for their children and for themselves.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Bob Cunningham

Bob Cunningham, Ed.M., serves as advisor-in-residence on learning and attention issues for Understood.

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