SmileTutor Blog Parents Key Decisions When Should You Buy Your Child Their First Smartphone?

When Should You Buy Your Child Their First Smartphone?

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Smartphones did not become such an integral part of our lives until two decades ago, and they will still be as important in your child’s life.

However, choosing the correct time to buy them their first smartphone can be difficult.

Even though smartphones offer a huge number of benefits, there are also potential risks associated with exposing them too early to technology.

Therefore, if you do not think carefully about whether they are ready for one, you may not be able to manage them when it gets out of hand.

However, do not worry. Here are some factors to consider to help you decide if your child is ready for one:

Maturity And Sensibility

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One of the most important factors to consider is whether you think your child is at a level where they are mature and sensible enough to handle having a smartphone. 

Getting a smartphone brings many responsibilities, such as managing screen time as well as one’s online behaviour. If your child is already exposed to other devices, such as tablets or computers, do take time to observe how they act with them. 

If your child has not been exposed to any digital devices, do take the time to sit down and talk with them about your concerns.

One key thing is to also assess their maturity and sensibility as a whole, such as their judgement on different life matters and how they treat others.

Knowledge of Potential Risks

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Before you decide to buy your child a smartphone, make sure that they have at least some basic knowledge of digital safety

Otherwise, regularly educate them about digital literacy and how to avoid or handle dangerous situations online, such as cyberbullying or scam messages. 

It’s important that they understand all of these so that they can browse the digital world safely.


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Another factor to consider is the exact reason why your child may need a smartphone at their age. 

Is it because their friends already have their own, so they are affected by peer pressure? Or is it because they will need it to communicate with others easily? 

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Regardless of the reasons, you will have to decide for yourself if they justify buying your child their first smartphone. 

Their General Behaviour

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Observe how they behave in general or on other kinds of matters.

For example, see if they obey the rules and do not cross boundaries set by you.

Additionally, if there’s mutual trust in the family and they will turn to you whenever they have problems, it’s a healthy sign for them to start having their first smartphone.


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If your child really requires a smartphone for reasons such as online learning or communications, but you don’t think they are 100% ready for one, you may have to start monitoring. 

There are many free applications out there that provide several functions to monitor and are usually affordable, such as Google Family Link

However, if you plan to monitor your child’s phone usage, make sure that they know about it. 

Sit down and have a talk with them, explain to them clearly your reasons, and address any concerns or anything they are unsatisfied about. 

Effective communication is key to ensuring they use their phones responsibly without affecting your relationships with them negatively.


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Deciding when you should purchase your child’s first smartphone is not an easy task since you will have to take multiple aspects into consideration, such as those mentioned in this article.

Do note that not everything here may apply to every child, so assess the situation first before following the advice given.

Remember to set appropriate guidelines and maintain open communication with your child. Lastly, children learn the most from their carers, so setting a good example for your child is also crucial.

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.