A phone is not a necessity even tho we all like to think it is. It’s a tool. Teach him what it’s for and how to properly use it. Once he sees it as a tool he then has to identify ways his 9 yo self can use it. If it’s always a tool and not a game or toy, it’s much easier to help them see. That said, dig up an old phone download a few tools and see what he does with it. No need for service. As an elementary school teacher, I see lots of pain a drama as a result of smartphones.
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