Deciding whether or not to buy your child a smartphone can be hard. As soon as they grow up a bit, kids start begging parents for a phone. However, the new-generation phones are not what they used to be. They are no longer used only for calling and texting. Smart devices are comparable to tiny computers. That means that they will enable your kids to stay online anytime they want and anywhere they are. In addition, most smartphone do not have a parental control. Here are a few things you should think about when you are deciding the question with smartphones and children.
The Child’s Age
Your child may not be old enough to carry such an expensive device or to be responsible for it. To determine whether your kids are ready for a smartphone, consider how often they lose their belongings like keys, money, pens, etc. If your child tends to be reckless or absent-minded, then you should wait a couple years more. The same applies if your kid tends to break things often.
Are Smartphones Safe?
Smartphones can be very helpful. They will always keep you in contact with your child. In addition, they have some useful apps that will show you your kids’ location in case they get lost. However, these gadgets hide some risks and dangers. The main one is the Internet. Again, there are mobile applications that will limit your child’s access to the web. But today kids often have more knowledge on technology and they can easily learn how to disable the parental control. Therefore, it is best if you test your child’s smartphone ethics and habits. For instance, see if your kids listen to you when you tell them to leave the phone or not to use the Internet before they write their homework. If they are trying to cheat you, then they are not ready for a smartphone.
Which Smartphone to Get?
Ok, let’s say that you want to get your kids a smartphone to try them out. Do not buy the latest model. Apart from being pricier, they are often not the model that your children truly want. Tell your kids that you will get them the latest edition of the device once they prove to you that they are responsible and sensible when they use and keep their smart device.
There are some settings that you should change before you hand your kid a smartphone. Set a password on the entire device, not only on its media files or contacts list. That will save your child’s privacy in case the phone get stolen or lost. Some smart mobile phones offer a separate password for parents. Use it and make sure it is different from the one you have set for your kid. Also, make a separate contacts list on the phone with emergency numbers.
Preserving the Smartphone
Put the device in a cover to avoid getting it scratched, broken or wet. Also, tell your children to keep their phones in a particular pocket of their backpack. In that way they will build a habit of keeping the gadget in one and the same place. This will reduce the possibility of losing the phone.
Set Up Rules
Come up with specific smartphone rules. For example, set a plan limit to avoid paying huge phone bills. Also, do not allow your kids to use the device when they are in bed, on the table or when they are writing their homework or studying.
All in all, smartphone can be useful for both kids and parent. That, however, required some control and habit building that may take some time and patience.