READER REPORT:

Our 10-year-old has a mobile phone

ESTHER PRAILL
Last updated 05:00 27/05/2014

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Does your child have a mobile phone?

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When is the right time to give your child a mobile phone, and how do you monitor its use? We asked parents to share their views on this modern family debate.

Our 10-year-old daughter was given her phone for her tenth birthday before she went away to Auckland for the weekend with a friend.

She uses it to text friends who have gone on to intermediate (which has allowed her to maintain those friendships) and to call us when she wants to go to a friend's house or if we are a little late picking her up.

We have found the phone has made her more responsible and has meant that we can allow her a little more freedom.

She has also been able to let us know when she is upset or feels unsafe when she is out of the house. Once she rang from a sleepover at 2am because she was scared and we were able to calm her - she wouldn't have had the courage to wake the child's parents to make the call on her behalf.

We make sure she has no access to her phone after lights out - it charges on our hall stand and I have made it clear that I may read her texts. All her messages come though to me as well as her.

All in all, having a phone works for our family.


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