Thursday, 23 January 2014

Phones for Teens

Yesterday, my five year old daughter proudly told me that Harry Morley (names changed to protect the innocent!) put a chocolate love heart in her lunch box. Our babies grow up so fast. Before I know it my little angel will be deeply immersed in the world of boyfriends and demanding the latest mobile phone to manage her social life. Parenting can feel like walking a perilous tightrope, giving your children enough freedom to grow and develop in a rapidly changing (sometimes quite alien) world whilst keeping them safe and protected.

It has made me wonder, what is the right age to give your child a mobile phone? There are plenty of polls and studies that reveal many seven year olds (and some as young as five!) are given mobile phones by their parents 'for safety reasons'. I can appreciate the advantage of your children being contactable but it does seem a bit extreme.

When I do feel that my daughter would benefit from having a phone of her own, probably not until her early teens, I would want to make sure that I chose the right one.

Recently, I was sent a Samsung Galaxy Fame Pay as You Go mobile phone on the Three network to review. It is a lovely little phone - neat and compact, easy start up, all the features I'd expect from a smartphone and some I have yet to fathom! It is, I believe, a phone aimed at a teen market and I can see no reason why it wouldn't be perfect for the job. I was especially impressed by the 5-megapixel camera - a teen essential for the ubiquitous 'selfie'.

The important part for me, as a parent, is the fact that the Pay As You Go option allows some flexibility over the contract option, gives control over cost and all PAYG phones from Three are automatically locked in regards to adult content.

It is not difficult for me to imagine my little Addy as a teen (she is one of those five going on fifteen sort of girls). If I were buying her a phone now, the Samsung Galaxy Fame PAYG would be a great choice. Thankfully, she is only five and I'm happy to say that a piece of cardboard with some numbers drawn on it will currently suffice!

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