Grab the Meic: My Parent’s Won’t Let Me Have A Mobile
What if you’re the only one in your year that doesn’t have a mobile phone? How can you persuade your parents? This is the situation in this week’s Grab the Meic. Here’s our advice.
Grab the Meic is your opportunity to ask us about anything that’s worrying you. We’re here to listen and give advice. If you want to #grabthemeic then check out this page, but remember this advice is not instant. If you need advice quickly then please contact the helpline.
I’m in year 7 and I’m desperate for a mobile phone like everyone else in my year. I’m the odd one out in school but my mum and dad still won’t allow me. It’s not fair! How can I convince them to let me have one?
Thanks for contacting us here at Meic. It can feel really unfair when parents make a decision that you might not like, but sometimes there are often really good reasons for these decisions.
Understanding their reasons
Have you spoken to them about why you aren’t allowed a mobile phone at the moment? There could be a number of reasons for making this decision. You feel that having a mobile phone would give you more independence and allow you to fit in with other people of your age. Your parents might think it could risk your safety or that it will be too costly. Perhaps you could try and see it from their point of view? Even if they don’t change their mind, you’ll have a better understanding of why they won’t allow it.
You might think a mobile phone is a bit of fun technology to own. But for your parents, this could be a very expensive item. Smartphones, even the cheapest ones, can be very expensive to buy. They are also expensive to run, and even more expensive to replace if they are broken, lost or stolen.
Before you approach your parents again about this, think about what you want from a mobile phone, and the reasons that you want one. Think about the benefits for you as well as for them. Write this list down and give it to them. If your reason is to stay in touch, for example, then maybe you could come to a compromise with your parents and get a more basic model. If you prove to them that you can use and take care of this responsibly, then perhaps they will reconsider and upgrade you in the future.
If you want an up to date smart phone with all the latest gadgets but it’s the hefty price tag that’s putting your parents off, then you could offer to save up for it yourself. This would show them that you’re willing to compromise. Also, suggesting to save for your own smartphone would show a level of maturity that may encourage them that you’re ready for a mobile phone. It also shows that you understand the value of such an item.
Your parent’s reasons may have nothing to do with finances. They may just be worried about the risks that come with using a mobile phone. If this is the case then you should research these risks for yourself. This will show a level of maturity and that you have an awareness of the risks. There can be some real dangers associated with a mobile phone: abuse, identity theft, online bullying etc. As a young person, it’s important for you to be aware of these dangers before and during your use of a mobile phone.
If you can show your parents that you’ve made an effort to research these risks, and understand them, then this will help you to stay safe and give your parents more confidence that you can be responsible.
Visit the Safety Net Kids website for tips on how to stay safe on a mobile phone as well as staying safe online. Perhaps you could look at this information with your parents. You could agree a set of rules for mobile phone use.
Check out some of our previous articles on Meic about how to stay safe online with specific apps. We have information and advice about the dangers of SnapMap, messaging nude photos, Facebook privacy settings and sexting and sexual exploitation.
Look at alternatives
If your parents biggest concern is your safety, but that you are really into your gadgets, then maybe you could compromise with a tablet? This would let you access all the fun apps and stuff that you can get on a smartphone, but your parents will be able to supervise you more. They can put parental controls on the device and make sure it stays in the house.
If you still can’t convince your parents to let you have a mobile phone, then you’ll have to be patient. Perhaps they need a little more time to get used to the idea. In the meantime keep yourself clued up on staying safe. This will keep you protected and prove to them that you are responsible and ready for a mobile phone.
All the best
The Meic Team
If you need to talk to someone about anything that’s bothering you, then call Meic to talk to a friendly advisor.
Meic is an information and advocacy helpline for children and young people aged 0-25 in Wales. We are open 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. You can contact us free on the phone (080880 23456), text message (84001) or online chat.