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Here’s What You Need to Know Before Giving Your Kid Their First Phone

As your kid starts middle school, you might notice them requesting a smartphone, which helps manage educational tasks like cooperation in school projects and, amid the pandemic, attending Zoom classes.

No matter how much your turn down your frowned, fussy child for a mobile phone, you can simply not ignore the fact that kids nowadays do need them.

But before you give them the brand new smartphone you just bought for them, you need to know the following:

Give them the older model:

Convincing your child for an older model would be the best idea as they will carry a cellphone for the first time. This will save you money and be good practice for them as they will try to earn a new smartphone if they rightfully use this model they have now.

Respect their boundaries:

No matter how small you think your child is, every kid has a sense of privacy, and the concern intensifies, especially when it comes to their smartphones. Understandably, you want to keep them safe from all the virtual dangers, but sometimes kids get offended, especially older teenagers, if you check their phones without their permission.

Find a way of conversation that does not disrespect their privacy, nor does it make you the bad guy in the conversation. Instead of dealing with things aggressively, if kids respond rudely to your queries, be rational and make them understand that whatever you are doing is better for their well-being.

Keep restrictions in place:

Not checking their phones and respecting their privacy does not mean you have to give up on rules. Remember that they are still kids and need a lot of learning throughout this phase until they turn an adult.

You can take their phone in your custody when they have crucial academic phases such as their final examination and give them the laptop instead. On the laptop, too, you can restrict social media sites and many other websites that may distract your child from focusing on their studies.

You can use tools such as RescueTime and Freedom to make your kids more productive and less distracted.

Make them learn the phone etiquettes:

One of the most challenging aspects of parenting is that you need to bring up your children to be well-mannered, even in your absence.

Like any other institution or task, a cell phone comes with its etiquettes too, which your child is supposed to follow. Some of the basic manners to know are:

  • Do not use your phone while studying in school
  • Do not use your phone during a serious conversation with your parents or with anyone else
  • Do not look at your phone when your parents or friends are discussing something important with you
  • Do not hang up on your parents
  • Never ride a bike or drive while using your phone

Make sure they are safe:

While using a cellphone, you kids might end up befriending people online whom they have never met in real life. It might feel daunting, but consider verifying the information they share with your kid. You can use Nuwber and look for their name or phone number. That way you can check whether it’s a real person and whether they are safe to communicate with.

Encourage your kids to share:

Kids in their teen years may sometimes be rebellious and may not trust older people much. In this situation, you can try befriending your children and gain their trust. You need to let them know that you will trust them and help them deal with any problem no matter what happens.

This strategy will help you even in the most challenging situations like online or offline harassment. Your kids will not be afraid of letting you know about the entire situation. Talking to their virtual issues in a lighter tone and calmer manner will make them feel more comfortable with you.

Consider your kid’s age:

Age plays a significant role in making important decisions like giving a cellphone to your kids. See if you think your child is too young to have a cell phone; simply do not give it to them. If they insist on having one for educational purposes, give them a laptop instead, along with site restrictions for distracting websites.

Manage their screen time:

Encourage your children to have a digital detox and let them know about the harmful disadvantages of too much screen time. You can use tools to monitor their screen activity and ask them to use a tool on their own too.

You can use Qustodio or FamiSafe to monitor their screen time, according to which you can make a timetable for your kids.

Monitor phone activities:

Your kids might be good performers academically, but it is essential to look at their social media consumption as well. Unlike older times, social networking sites are nowadays highly competitive. Social media’s pretentious nature can overwhelm your kids mentally, and they might end up having insecurities about their own financial and educational statuses.

It is better to let your kids know that appealing to the social media community will give them nothing but social anxiety. You can also encourage them to use tools that monitor your daily, weekly, and monthly social media activity.

Use parental control applications/tools:

Using parental control tools helps you monitor your kid’s activities and block inappropriate websites. These tools will assist you in filtering the content and block malicious activity.

Applications such as Spyrix and KidLogger will help you keep track of your kid’s activities on the internet.

Conclusion: No matter how much we want our kids not to demand a cell phone, they always will. In these modern times, kids need access to their smartphones, especially for academic purposes. When parents can not ignore their kid’s genuine need to own a cell phone, parents should be patient and properly monitor their kid’s activities with the help of specially designed tools.

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