Our society is getting more reliant on technology every single day. Smartphones and laptops are now used to handle just about every important detail of our lives. Since technology is virtually everywhere, kids are now learning how to operate a smartphone before they can read. After years of borrowing phones from relatives, there is going to come a time when your child wants their own phone. You are the only person that will be able to know if your kid is ready for this responsibility. These are the five things to consider when buying your child’s first phone.
Get Phone for Right Reason
It is important to only get your child a smartphone for the right reasons. You need to have a serious discussion with your son or daughter to see why they want the phone. They need to come up with a better answer than complaining that all of their friends have them. You also should not quickly coward to their demands just because you are tired of getting pestered about the phone. Once your kid has reached a level of maturity that they can form a legitimate argument for their phone needs, it is time to go shopping.
Teach Kid About Online Safety
Since they have not been exposed to the evils of the world, kids can be extremely naive at times. While this helps them keep their youthful innocence and exuberance, it can also create a lot of problems once they have constant access to the internet. There are a lot of bad people on the internet that like to take advantage of young children using several popular social media apps. This is why it is so important to teach your kids about online safety before handing them a new phone. You must stress the dangers of talking to strangers online.
Buy Them a Prepaid Phone
Your kid is naturally going to want the most expensive phone on the market, but this is obviously not a reasonable purchase. Kids are prone to breaking and misplacing objects all the time. You are getting your child a phone to give them a little more independence. It is not bought as a status symbol to make them look cool at school. This is why prepaid phones are the best option for young children. You do not have to worry about paying an expensive contract if the phone gets lost or broken. Prepaid phones also have built-in security to prevent your child from making expensive purchases or using too much data.
Use the Parental Controls
Since smartphones can be used to do just about anything, it is important to take advantage of the parental controls. These settings will allow you to prevent your child from using or downloading dangerous apps. You will also have the ability to see what they are doing on their phone at any time. This is a great way to eliminate any uneasy feelings about the phone purchase. If you want to get the most advanced parental controls, then it is best to opt for an Android smartphone. You will have far less control over the phone if it uses another operating system.
Set Strict Usage Rules
The new smartphone is likely going to be your child’s first form of independence. It is vitally important that you do not let them take advantage of their newfound freedom. The best way to do this is by setting strict usage rules. These rules need to be fully discussed before the phone is purchased. A few must-have rules are no phone usage during school or after bedtime. It is also important to limit their screen time on a daily basis. If they are unable to follow the rules, then you need to take the phone away immediately. They are only going to continue to push the limits if you let them get away with breaking the rules without any negative consequences.