It should come as no surprise that almost half of Australian parents considered buying their kids a smartphone for Christmas.
Many of these parents followed through, giving their kids access to the world in the palm of their hands.
Research by the Telstra Foundation found children aged 12 were most likely to be getting their first smartphone, with a quarter of parents believing this was the right age to give a child their first device.
The decision to purchase a smartphone comes with great consideration – and safety, both online and offline, is front of mind for many parents. Almost two thirds of parents said the main reason for giving their child a smartphone was to keep them safe when they were out of the home.
While parents have a genuine reason for buying their kids a smartphone the research also found parents had great concerns about smartphone safety and balanced usage of digital devices.
Parents’ top smartphone concern was their child would spend too much time on their device, followed by breakage woes and excess data usage, and online safety worries.
Head of the Telstra Foundation Jackie Coates says it is important for parents to set an example of healthy smartphone usage.
“The truth is there is no right age or right way, every child and every family is different,” Jackie says. “We’ve put together a range of tips, tools and advice to guide and support parents through this journey.”
“Tech is changing family dynamics. We’re seeing the emergence of the ‘connected family’ and ‘connected independence’ for young people. Two-thirds of parents said the main benefit for children owning a smartphone was to give them greater independence – while staying connected with family.”
To help equip parents with real and practical advice on smartphone safety, the Telstra Foundation has created a new Smartphone Safety Hub, with tips, tools and information from experts and parents.
You’ll find articles such as:
- The guide to eParenting
- How to counter child cyberbullying
- How to manage your kids’ personal information online
- How to keep your kids’ digital footprint clean
- How to manage kids’ screen time
Visit tel.st/smartphonesafetyhub to read more!