Tony Murphy
Tony Murphy

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, parents may find themselves grappling with whether to fulfill their children’s holiday wishes for a phone. The dilemma is more relevant than ever, as a recent survey reveals that 45% of parents believe kids aged 12 to 14 are at an acceptable age for phone ownership.

As a mother myself, I, too, have had to make this decision based on what worked best for my children and family. If you find yourself leaning toward gifting your child a phone this holiday season, here are three essential tips to factor into your decision-making:

1. Consider holiday promotions for optimal savings

The holiday season is an opportune time to save on a phone purchase, thanks to providers rolling out Black Friday and holiday promotions. For instance, at Comcast, new and existing Xfinity Mobile customers can enjoy a complimentary year of Unlimited Intro on one line—a substantial $360/year value—by signing up for a line of Unlimited now through January 10th. Furthermore, trading in eligible mobile devices can snag you up to $800 off select 5G phones.

2. Understand your provider/device’s parental controls

As your teens are taking baby steps into adulthood with their own devices, it is imperative to know the controls and assistance available to parents to help limit apps and screen time. For example, with Xfinity Mobile, you can set limits known as “downtime,” during which your kid can’t use the device (like after bedtime). You can also put time limits on apps (no more than an hour of gaming or social media, for instance), monitor device use, and, of course, block certain apps or content types.

3. Emphasize responsible usage and set expectations

Beyond technological controls, sit your child down for a discussion to instill a sense of responsibility in their technology use. Setting clear expectations is important. For instance, you might require them to send a brief text message when walking home from school or leaving a sports practice. It is best to encourage open communication about their digital experiences, fostering a healthy and balanced approach to technology.

By incorporating these tips into your decision-making, you can confidently gift your child a phone this holiday season, along with a well-rounded and informed approach to its use. To learn more about Xfinity Mobile deals, visit