Rikki says her son is too young for a smartphone, but wonders if a stylish ‘dumb’ device will withstand peer pressure
My son is nine and beginning to hang out with his pals, some of whom sport smartphones. Despite his pleas, we have made it clear there is no way he’s getting one. Aside from delaying his unbridled internet access, our argument is that if he can look after a dumb phone for a year or two, we might consider getting him a smartphone when he starts secondary school.
I don’t want him to feel left out, and I’d like to get him a phone that – even though it lacks internet access – has a certain cachet, and perhaps some built-in games. But all the non-smartphones in the shops seem to be black and decidedly functional. Rikki
Dumb phones have very little cachet with children, unless you’re the first to have one, and it’s already too late for that. Your son may be happier if you involve him in buying a new phone, rather than giving him a hand-me-down, which is the usual parental solution. But unless he actually needs a phone, it might be simpler just to promise him a smartphone when he turns 11.