When is a child old enough for a phone?
That is a question that can often cause debate in the playground!
With my eldest pair, we got them phones a few years ago. Mainly because my daughter has Type 1 diabetes, and I wanted her to be able to call me whenever she needed support, and to use various apps to help her manage diet and diabetic control.
Because she is a twin, I couldn’t get her a phone without buying one for her twin!
I remember setting them up.
In the same way you remember the pain of breaking a bone in your body.
Holy moly, for a self-confessed technophobe, I spent hours looking at ways to restrict illicit content, have app time constraints, and some form of control over what they can and can’t download. Because whilst I am not trying to look over their shoulder the whole time; I firmly believe the internet needs to be taught and grown into – not just given free for all access.
My liver thanked me when I eventually got the phones to somewhere near a level I was happy with.
For the reasons above, I planned on never getting my youngest a phone until she was old enough to vote.
It would seem the old saying, never say never, is applicable here.
Because there is a new smartphone in town….
One that promises to be age appropriate, suitable for kids but controlled by parents.
Most importantly – it is a dream to set up… Have a look at our unboxing video here.
Not a single glass of wine was consumed in the setting up of the phone!
The phone looks like a phone, it has a decent camera, and lots of age appropriate apps available on the jungle store…. But it is controlled by me. I have to approve everything my seven-year old can download, she cannot add a contact without my approval and I can see all her activity and set restrictions as I feel fit.
I can lock the phone at any point (this is my favourite evil parental trick!), via the app which is on my phone (available on IOS or Android). You can set time restrictions per app, set schedules of when the phone is unlocked, and limit screen time. The Jungle store offers a great range of apps including YouTube kids and Netflix – so my youngest is fully entertained on long journeys.
Of course, it also works as a phone, and can text and call pre approved contacts.
She loves a text.
I only need to leave the room and my phone pings with a “hi”.
But I adore getting them!
Honestly, I love the phone.
My daughter is only seven, but is tech savvy, she is frequently found playing on my phone, which is in no way restricted for kids. By having her own smartphone, she is off my tech and safe on her own. Plus Monqi feels to me, like bike riding with stabilisers. She has independence, but I have pure peace of mind.
The techy bit: The software is built into the phone, so even technical genius kids cannot break the parental controls. This is what makes Monqi unique – as soon as it is out of the box Monqi is set up to connect safely to the internet and block any illicit content. You can also disable YouTube and limit the child to YouTube kids only. As you can with all other apps…
If you do have any set up issues, the support via the parent app is quick and easy to use. My daughter managed to switch on airplane mode this week, and after a short episode of pulling out my hair, I remembered the support function, sent a quick text and it was fixed in seconds.
I see no point in fighting the tech war with my kids. As a divorced parent, the kids having phones mean they have easy access to each parent, and we have a way to keep in contact. Phones are great on long car journeys, fantastic for educational apps, and part of our world. Having a ‘safe’ phone, that is controlled by me and perfect for my child is amazing.
If you are thinking about getting your child their first smartphone and they are aged between 7-11, I would recommend Monqi as a great way to introduce your child to the tech world.
Let them grow, whilst retaining control!
Any questions about the phone, please leave them in the comments.
We were asked to review the phone, and were given the phone for the purpose of the review. You can purchase a Monqi phone from Carphone Warehouse either Sim free or on a pay monthly contract.