At what age is a child ready to own a cellphone?

While cellphones could be an effective way for parents to communicate with their children when not at home, they could also open up doors to cyber bullying and inappropriate Internet use.

But at what age should children be eligible to own cellphones? Parenting expert Nikki Bush, speaking to Redi Tlhabi, said parents should not give their children cellphones until they turn 13.

Listen to the conversation below:

Our children have a choice of using these powerful devices either as weapons or tools. We really have to focus on helping our children become excellent decision makers.

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert

According to Bush, parents should evaluate their reasons for giving their children cellphones - is it for a good purpose or is it because other children are having cellphones?

She said if a primary school child has a cellphone, the device should be handed over to the teacher and be given back to the child after school.

We're putting restrictions on our children’s freedom when we give them hi-tech and high value devices that they have to look after when they should be playing

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert

According to Bush, a cellphone for a primary school kid doesn’t have to be expensive but should have essentials like: long-lasting battery; mom, dad and au pair’s number; SMS service

Parents need to check what their children are up to on their cellphones.

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert

She said the easiest way to know what children get up to on their cellphones is to Google their name, which allows access to most social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We cannot 100 percent trust children on cellphones. Every child can be nasty or naughty online.

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert
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