Parents should be given official advice warning them not to give their children smartphones.

Dr Jon Goldin claimed parents are being forced into buying the devices for their young children so they aren’t left out at school, shares Daily Mail.

The vice chairman of the Royal College of Psychologists said government guidance on when to give smartphones to children would help parents stand their ground.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he said: ‘Children often say to their parents: “All my friends are [getting phones] and you are not allowing me to do that.”

‘In that situation, parents do need the support of national guidance.

‘I don’t think we can legislate [to restrict it to under 11s] but this guidance would back parents up when they were having conversations with their 10-year-olds.’ Dr Goldin also called on the government to recommend that children under 11 should be restricted to two hours a day on social media.

The psychiatrist called on social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter to make it more difficult for young people to lie about their age and create accounts before they turn 13.

What age do you think is OK for a child to own a smartphone?

Share your comments below

  • the problem is not just phones. it is any access to internet via game, computer, tablet or phone.


  • I know a 11 year old who was given a basic mobile phone to be used in emergencies only. her parents found out they could lock appropriate phone numbers into it and lock everything else out.


  • I’ve already had this discussion with my eldest who will be ten this year. She knows she’s not getting a phone until she NEEDS one. We’ve defined needs as once she’s old enough to go to and from school on her own. She does have IDs in her year at school with phones already (none of which travel on heir own yet), it’s an unnecessary and expensive item to buy willy nilly for a child who will use it more as a toy than as a communication device.


  • My daughter got it when she started high school. She was 12 thus.


  • My 8 year old only got a tablet this year on her birthday & it’s an older reconditioned model so at some point will need updating but it does what she needs…. no way on a phone yet ????????


  • We gave our eldest 2 a mobile phone on their 13th birthday.


  • I don’t think it’s a matter of smart phones but internet usage in general


  • I think kids should be allowed to have smartphones after age of 18


  • My 7 and 9 year old both have smart phones but it has no calls except for emergency calls. We got them so they could use games/apps at home and out when necessary.


  • Agreed, everything posted is on the Internet for eternity. Giving children personal technology early in life begins secretive behaviour. You can tell children what is right and wrong but fact is they will hide the wrong because they presume the device will be taken away. With location services on a lot of apps things can go sideways quite swiftly. So whilst it’s nice being able to contact your children conveniently, it provides additional opportunity for others to locate them also. Plus there are the bullying elements they are not ready for and there is no getting away from it.


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