As a parent, it can be hard to know whether or not to get your kid a smartphone. Here are 5 things to consider before getting your kid a smartphone…
Your kids have to grow up someday, and one of the first signs of this will be when they ask for a phone. As a parent (and perhaps one that is sometimes too wary), your initial reaction might be Heck No; This is unlikely to deter them, though, and just the beginning of their daily requests.
And even though you try to be strong, you’re bound to wear down hearing the same thing every day. You might eventually think that buying a phone for your kids isn’t the worst idea you’ve ever had. But, it is not as simple as taking them to the mall to set up a phone plan. If you want to ensure they use their phone sensibly and maturely, you must consider these five things beforehand.
Do They Want or Need?
Most kids will follow whatever trend their friends start, and they might ask for a phone every minute of every day because their friends have them, too. Not wanting to feel left out is a thing, so getting a phone will make sure you’ll keep them in the loop with friends.
But, just because they want to doesn’t mean they need one. If your child doesn’t go out often or if you know that you can always collect them from clubs and school, then they don’t need a phone. However, if you want to give them more independence while still being able to contact them, then maybe a phone will make things easier.
Find Out the Why
You can also ask them why they think they need a phone. The usual thing like a need to keep in touch with friends is what comes up. If you ask them to explain why, and they cannot, likely, they never had any genuine reason.
Still, circumstances can change. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether this is a suitable reason for getting them a phone. If they are honest with you about why they need a phone – and the reason is not that everyone else has one – consider cheap, risk-free options, as any phone should be better than no phone at all if they need it.
Smart or Dumb?
It feels like smartphones have been around forever, but the first commercial smartphone released in 2008 (the HTC Dream), and the trend still took a while to catch on. Even now, many people who grew up with smartphones still lack the know-how to make their phones work for them and the benefits of understanding how it works and what it can do.
Considering this, ask yourself if your child needs a smartphone or a dumbphone; This will usually depend on their age. No eight or nine-year-old needs the latest iPhone, but teenagers looking for more independence have a more solid argument. Many parents will use dumbphones as a trial run before gifting a smartphone when they upgrade.
Agree On Usage
If you opt for a smartphone, you must agree on how your kid will use the phone. Many modern devices will come with parental controls, which is a symptom of kids getting smartphones when they are too young. These controls can take the form of locks and restrictions to underscore that you take care of your kid’s online health.
You can also look into how Family Orbit operates and use apps to track the usage; This isn’t a permanent choice, but you can use it for the first year so your child can prove how responsible they are and keep them safe from suspicious activity online.
Can You Educate Them?
The possibility that your kids know more about technology than you do. Some people pride themselves on being technologically illiterate, and this could be a problem when your child gets their first phone.
Teaching your kids how to use the phone safely; Will involve staying safe while browsing, not giving out their number to anyone, and even learning the basics such as connecting to wifi and identifying spam texts that reveal their information. If you don’t feel confident with your tech knowledge, it might be best to educate yourself before educating them.
The Digital Age
Resisting your kid’s needs to get a phone will be a losing battle. You can at least make sure they are ready to own one. Whether you ask them to prove their maturity by using a dumbphone or accept that a smartphone is probably more useful for their age, considering these ideas beforehand will give you the peace of mind you need.