Should you buy your child a smartphone for Christmas?

Tech has been topping the Christmas lists of tweens and teens for a few years now – with smartphones becoming the hot favourite for many children.  But when is the right time to introduce your kids to mobile technology?  Surely Christmas should be all about board games and novelty pyjamas? But I’ll bet a smartphone for kids is top of loads of Christmas lists.  Enter the Monqi Kids Smartphone.

Monqi Kids Smartphone - Little Girl playing with a smartphone

Getting their first smartphone is now a major milestone in a child’s life, something that they negotiate, nag and pester their parents for, for many months and even years before they finally cave in!  A survey last year found that the average age for a UK child to get a smartphone is 10 – however, they are browsing the internet as young as five!

There’s no denying that technology is and will continue to be a part of our children’s lives and because of this parenting needs to adapt too – teaching our children to be safe online, introducing them to technology and encouraging healthy mobile habits is now a fundamental part of modern parenting – just like crossing the road or tying their shoelaces!

Parents are understandably concerned when it comes to handing over a smartphone, what about the costs? Will they be safe? What games are appropriate? How do I restrict apps and usage?

There’s a new kids’ smartphone on the market that promises to address these concerns for anxious parents.  Monqi looks just like a proper smartphone, with a sleek design and all of the latest features.  However, it is controlled via an app (available on IOS or Android) on the parent’s phone.  Because the parental controls are baked into the phone itself, they can’t be switched off or bypassed by even the most tech-savvy child – unlike other phones on the market…

Monqi Kids Smartphone - little girl playing with a mobile

The app allows you to parent your child through tech, setting schedules for screen time – no phone during school, mealtimes and an hour before bed for example!  You also approve all app downloads and contacts and can even remotely lock the phone if you need to.

The Monqi Kids Smartphone has been awarded ‘Mumsnet Rated’, which means the product has undergone testing by a panel of real parents and children who in turn have then recommended to other mums.

Your kids will love the fact that they’ve got a decent camera and access to the Jungle Store – a curated app store that only contains age-appropriate apps with no in-app purchases or ads. There are 150 free apps to choose from – with all the latest educational games and entertainment, including YouTube Kids.

Rather than being nagged until you give in, why not embrace this new rite of passage this Christmas? With technology like Monqi, you can make that smartphone purchase a positive thing for you and your child.

The Monqi Kids Smartphone is available exclusively at Carphone Warehouse, SIM-free £149.99.

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linda

Ex marketing professional turned family lifestyle blogger. I live in Cardiff with hubby Mat, Caitlin (10) and Ieuan (8).

Find me on: Twitter | Facebook

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MELANIE EDJOURIAN
Guest

This sounds like an interesting idea. Mine have our old phones but just for home use to play games and take pictures on. Online safety is important I keep an eye on what my little ones are doing all the time.

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes
Guest

Its such a tough one, in a technology driven world what age is right? The Monqi is a fantastic idea as a starter phone for kids 🙂

sarah
Guest

This sounds like a great idea. My son recently asked when he could have a phone – though he revealed that he didn’t know that phones were for “talking to people” he just thought they were to play games…. so I guess I have a while before I will need to buy one 😉

Mel
Guest

That looks like a cool smartphone and great for keeping your children happy without giving them advanced tech that you don’t really want them having yet

Bread // Queer Little Family
Guest

That’s a really good idea. Somewhere between an actual smartphone and an old nokia! Love it.

Patrick
Guest

Personally I wouldn’t let my kid have one until they were 14 and I would never allow them to bring it to school or any family outings or social settings.

Melanie
Guest

This is a tricky one as technology can be a bad thing but then again you want children to be able to use and understand tech. Also ideal for children to communicate with parents and keep them updated x

Rhian Westbury
Guest

That’s a really good idea that there’s no in app purchases for the games as I know too many people who have had massive bills due to their kids x

Stephanie Merry
Guest

What a fab idea! Both my niece and nephew are asking for smart phones this year x

beautyqueenuk 👸🏼 (@beautyqueen_UK)
Guest

I am glad my nephew, who is 10, has one. He is quite sensible and it gives my sister a peace of mine x

Thena
Guest
Thena

The struggle is real on this one. My daughter insists everyone has one, but I’m not there yet. Such a tough choice in life.

elizabeth
Guest

Such a great idea! I will definitely be showing this to my sister.

Elizabeth
Guest

That sounds like a super first smartphone, and a lot more reasonably priced than some of the others on the market. I’ll have to show this to my husband for our 8 year old!

Hannah
Guest
Hannah

It looks great for kids. As christmas is coming this would be a good gift

Jess
Guest
Jess

It really is a tricky one isn’t it. I think it comes down to monitoring exposure, so this app sounds great for parents! I’m not one of those people that kids shouldn’t be exposed to tech, the world is changing and actually it can be educational for them. It really comes down to what they’re using it for and parental control.

Francesca
Guest
Francesca

Oh wow this is such a great way of still having control but also allowing the children to think they have the freedom of a smartphone, very clever!! I’ll be looking into it myself!

Rachel Evans
Guest

I think this is a really good idea. I think I got my first phone at about 14, back when snake was the best again and there were no colour screens or internet access via your phone. I can only imagine how many worries

Becca Talbot
Guest

I’ve not heard of Monqi before – sounds like an interesting product for those debating whether to get their child a smartphone or not. I got my first mobile when I was 16 and was old enough to pay for it myself and put credit on it myself – it was a Nokia 3310, with Snake on it. I think kids these days would laugh at that kind of phone, but for its time, it was THE phone to have haha! x

Zena's Suitcase
Guest

I agree with you. I think that kids should have phones when they are old enough to have the responsibility and with support they can be kept safe online