As a parent, making sure your child is safe online and that their internet usage doesn’t become harmful or dangerous is one of your top priorities. And that’s why allowing your child to have their own smartphone for the first time is such a big deal and why it should be approached with caution and planning.
We’re going to talk today about some of the things you can start to do differently if you want to make sure that your child is ready for this and that you approach it correctly. We’re going to talk about all of that and more today, so keep reading.
How Responsible They Are with Their Possessions
One thing you’ll need to consider before you even decide whether they’re yet ready to have a smartphone is whether they are good at looking after their possessions. If you find that they often break things quickly and that they don’t look after the things they have, you might want to tell them that this is something that they need to get better at before they’re allowed to have their own smartphone. After all, you don’t want it to be broken as soon as they get it.
Managing Screen Time
Managing their screen time is something you’ll need to help them with when your child gets a smartphone for the first time. It’s something that they might not be very good at right away, but it’s important that you don’t allow them to start spending all of their time staring at the screen. If they do that, they’ll be missing out on other things such as spending time with the family, going out to play with friends, and doing sports. All of those things matter just as much, so screen time management is something you shouldn’t overlook.
Educate Them on Safe Internet Usage
Internet safety is certainly something that you’ll want to talk to them about. You can’t simply hand them an internet-enabled smartphone and expect them to start using it safely right away. There are always going to be risks and things that they don’t understand if they’re young. The only way to ensure they can stay safe is by being open about that stuff and talking about it. When you take the time to do that, you can ensure that they’re not going to put themselves at risk online.
Let Them Know What They Can and Can’t Download
It’s a good idea to talk to them about what they should and shouldn’t do online, and that includes which links they click and what they download. When they download things from bad websites, even if they think they’re downloading something quite innocent, it could put the device at risk. That’s why it’s always much better to be careful and to only download things from verified sources, such as the Apple Store or Google Play Store or similar. That’s something you’ll have to take the time to make clear to them.
Choose a Cheaper Model
Choosing a cheaper model of smartphone is probably a good idea when you’re looking to get them one of these devices for the very first time. There are all kinds of price ranges for smartphones, but paying top dollar for a device that’s going to be used by a young person who might not know how to look after it carefully is probably not a good idea. So when it’s their very first device, it makes sense to choose something that’s relatively cheap and that won’t be missed if it does get broken.
How Protective is the Case?
Having a protective case that you can put the phone in might be a good idea if you want to make sure that the phone is safe even in the event of it getting dropped. That’s something that happens quite often, and you want to make sure that your child’s device will at least be able to withstand a few of those drops. A good case that’s designed to be used by a child is a good idea, especially if they’re quite young. But that’s up to you to decide.
Research How Easy it is to Repair the Device
It’s a good idea to give some thought to how easy to repair the phone you give them will be. When they’re using one of these devices for the first time, you can expect them to drop it and not necessarily handle it with much care. That’s how young people tend to handle their devices. So finding a repair service you can go to and trust for a fast repair service will be key. Places like Rapid iPhone Repair are able to offer that.
What Does Their Mobile Plan Need to Include?
Another thing you’ll need to give some thought to is the plan that’s attached to the mobile device. There are lots of options out there, and many of them are suitable for kids. They probably won’t need many provisions for calls and texts because most communication is internet-based these days. Still, it’s good to have some in case they need to make a call and they’re in a spot where they can’t connect to the internet.
Ensure it Enables What They Want to Use it For
Finally, you should think about what they’ll actually want to use the phone for once they have it before you decide which one is going to be right for them. Maybe they’ll mostly use it for social media. But they might want to use it to play mobile games, in which case it might need to have a little more power.
As a parent, giving your child a smartphone or a similar internet-enabled device for the first time is a big step. There’s no doubting that fact. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to make the right decision and go about all of this in the right way. The ideas above will help you do that.