When it comes to buying your kid his or her first cell phone, it’s not a question of “if” you should go ahead and do it; it’s a question of “when” is the best time to do it.
You should buy it for them when they are they are old enough to learn how to use it. They should be able to use the basic functions, like calling and texting. It doesn’t hurt if they are also able to use a few apps, too.
Another criterion is to buy them a cell phone when they are responsible enough not to damage it or lose it. When buying the phone, also buy accessories that will protect the device. If you’re buying an iPhone because you believe that Apple devices are highly intuitive then you should research a phone that your child will find easy to use.
Additionally, if you’re looking at iPhone models, be sure to review the best iPhone screen protectors for the phone you pick. It’s only too easy for someone to drop or scratch a mobile device. You will have many occasions to be glad that you took the time to figure out how to protect the smartphone from accidental damage.
4 Benefits of Having a Phone
As a parent, you probably have some reservations about buying the phone. Perhaps, for instance, you’re concerned that they will accidentally stumble upon the “dark side” of the Internet. Fortunately, by installing a parental control tool, this should not be a concern.
There are too many advantages to having a cell phone to deny them the opportunity, and here are three reasons why it’s a good idea:
First, it will increase your child’s safety and security. It’s a sad fact of modern society that kids can go missing. Since the cell phone has a GPS, you can track your child if they aren’t at school when you go to pick them up or they wander off when you are shopping with them. If something should happen to your child—say they have an accident and need help, a cell phone will empower them to make an emergency all.
Second, it will enhance their ability to communicate. You can communicate with your child when you need through calls or texting. Perhaps, you need to pick them up from an after school curriculum but they don’t know when it will be over. Perhaps, you are running late when you’re supposed to pick them up and want to let them know so that they don’t feel abandoned. Perhaps, you need to remind them of something after they’ve left the house. There are many instances in which you need to communicate. Your child can also communicate with their friends and let them know when they are free to come out and play.
Third, it will provide education and entertainment. A cell phone is essentially a pocket-sized computer that makes it easy to look up any information. Your child can study things that they are curious about when you go on vacation or use the Internet to get help with any school subject when they are doing their homework. Many classrooms now even use mobile devices and computers as a teaching aid. For instance, the online math course, Khan Academy, is often used by teachers to teach math. Since kids learn better by watching video instructions because they can rewind the video as many times as they need, teachers have flipped the classroom. They allow their students to learn from the online lessons and then just teach concepts that they didn’t understand.
Entertainment is just as important for kids as it is for adults. Mobile games can help them improve cognitive and motor learning skills and music can help them chill out as they do their homework.
Cell Phone Rules
Naturally, you will need to have some rules around cell phone usage. It’s advisable to offer to buy them the cell phone only after they agree to your rules. In fact, if you’re up to it, even create a contract to show them that you are serious and that they will lose all their phone privileges if they should break the rules.
Here are some reasonable rules:
- They should take full responsibility for the cell phone, being careful not to damage it or lose it.
- They should not call or text anyone that you have not authorized.
- Since it’s difficult to monitor all their online activities, use parental controls to reinforce any rules you might have about the category of websites they are allowed to visit. iPhones have built in parental controls that you just have to enable.
- They should not lend the cell phone out to their friends.
- They should practice common courtesy when using the phone, for instance, not use it when sharing a family meal.
- They should not use it for any pranks, revenge, or bullying.
Naturally, you will probably come u with some more rules, but these will give you a general idea.