Published on December 17th, 2019 | by Alex Novus
A quarter of Aussie parents are giving their child a smartphone for Christmas
Aussie kids are on the nice list this festive season, with new research commissioned by Telstra revealing almost one quarter (23%) of parents are planning to gift their child a smartphone this Christmas.
The majority of surveyed Australian parents believe 12 is the appropriate age to purchase their child’s first phone; 1 in 10 parents were comfortable for children under 10 to receive their first mobile device.
The research found safety is the primary reason for parents choosing to buy their child a smartphone, with 62% believing it’s important for their safety. But parents admit to being swayed by social pressure, with 45% stating they’d buy their kids a phone because they’ve asked for one, while 24% say they don’t want their kids to miss out because all their friends have one.
The decision to purchase a smartphone doesn’t come without apprehension, with parents wary about cyber safety and usage behaviour. Spending too much time on the device was the top concern for parents (63%), closely followed by cyber bullying concerns (61%) and exposure to inappropriate content (61%).
Head of the Telstra Foundation, Jackie Coates says; “As a mother of two, I understand how difficult the decision is when weighing up whether to give a child their first phone.”
“The truth is there is no ‘right’ age for a smartphone – it really comes down to whether a child is able to demonstrate trust and responsibility by following agreed rules and handling the phone sensibly.”
“Before handing over a child’s first phone, it’s important to use the opportunity wisely to have the discussion with your child and lay out expectations on how your family uses mobiles and technology. It’s really great to see from our research that the majority of parents are prioritising having this conversation with their kids.”
“Using a guide like My First Mobile Agreement can be a great way to guide the discussion and get on the same page. The Telstra Foundation’s Smartphone Safety Hub is a great resource for parents looking to buy their kids their first smartphone with access to guides and the free downloadable agreement.”
 Research conducted by PureProfile amongst 1003 Australian parents, December 2019