Eddy Price - Content


30 Jan 2019


Are your kids ready for a mobile phone?

Are you thinking of getting a mobile phone for your child? Well you’re not alone, a Roy Morgan survey found that 91% of teens aged 14-17 already own a mobile phone^. Even with so many teens already having their own mobile phone, there are no ‘one size fits all’ rules that cover all kids.

Here are some things to think about when deciding if it’s time for your child to have a mobile phone:

Does your child need a mobile phone?

Giving your kids their own mobile phone for the first time is a big step. You need to think about how and why your children will use it. Is it to keep in touch with them when they’re at school or visiting friends? Are they ready to manage their own social media accounts? There are many reasons, and they can vary from family to family. There are a few different types of mobile phone you can go with depending on the functionality your child needs.

If the phone is so you can keep in touch with your child while they’re at school, check your schools policy around mobile phones first.


Set rules around when mobile can be used

Before you hand a smartphone over, set some ground rules about when it can be used. You might want to set hours when the phone can be used. Examples of these kind of rules are:

  • No phones at the dinner table

    No phone use after 7pm

    Phones stay in a common area overnight

Educate your kids on the cost of owning a mobile phone

If your kids are not already familiar with how a phone works, you may want to teach them about the financial costs involved. You’ll need to show them how to check how much data they’ve used (and how much they have left in the billing period). It will also be helpful to teach them helpful tricks like connecting to wifi when it’s available to save data. Games like PokemonGo and streaming YouTube videos can use a lot of data, so being aware of data usage and how much they have to use is really important to help avoid a pricey phone bill.

When picking a phone plan you have a few options:


Happy Family Mobile Plans

Happy Family Mobile Plans by Woolworths Mobile make it easy to keep your family connected – with flexible plans that help protect your kids online>>. In short, they’re made to keep everyone happy.


Talk to your kids about being respectful online

Before your child sets off on their digital independance, speak to them about what personal responsibilities they have when they’re online. When communicating with others online, it can be easy to forget that they’re speaking to real people. Talk them through the importance of treating others with respect, just like they would if they were speaking in person. They should also know how to identify cyber bullying and what to do if they witness it. Cyber bullying can happen in many different forms. Some examples of cyberbullying are:

  • Leaving others out of online games or group chats

  • Gossiping or spreading rumours about people

  • Posting about or messaging people with threatening messages

You can read more about cyberbullying from the Australian parenting website here.

While your kids are online, it's important that they're also aware of their own privacy and not giving out personal information, by not giving out personal identifying information such as where they live, their school. Their friends or relatives will already know this information.


Parental control on mobile phones

It’s a good idea to monitor your child’s phone use, including what apps they’re using and how much screen time they have. Family Zone have a mobile app which includes a range of parent controls. Some key features of the Family Zone mobile app are:

  • Track internet behaviour

  • Restrict apps and in-app purchases

  • Restrict social media use

  • Monitor and set screen time

  • You’ll receive an alert if your child tries to access something you’ve restricted or tries to remove the app

With every Woolworths Mobile plan, you will receive a free 12 month subscription to Family Zone to manage screen time, internet and social media. Find out more about Family Zone smartphone here.

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>> Free Family Zone Protect for 1 user, 2 devices is for eligible new and recontracting Woolworths Mobile customers from 22 Jan 19 (RRP $1.94 per month). Customer moved to Family Zone Insight at the end of 12 months period (no subscription fee) unless terminated by the subscriber, with option to subscribe to Family Zone Protect at cost at time of subscription. 
To maintain free Family Zone Protect for the period, the Pre-paid plan must be recharged prior to credit expiry or your Postpaid payments must be kept up to date.  
Customers will receive a registration email from Family Zone for Family Zone Protect within 48 hours of activating their Woolworths Mobile service.