Your children, just like any other kid, probably bugs you all the time to lend them your mobile phone. Young as they are, they know the wonders that your small device stores — funny videos, movies, and games. But the time will come when your kids will no longer be satisfied with borrowing your device. Instead, they’re going to ask you for their own, especially when they see that everyone at school has a gadget.
Of course, as parents, we have fears about letting our child have a mobile device and Internet connection. But giving your child a phone is also essential so that you can communicate with them better. It will definitely come in handy in case of emergencies and urgent situations. Before you buy your children their very own cell phone, make these considerations.
Is your child responsible enough?
As parents, we know our children. We know if they’re clumsy or unaware of their surroundings. So we have a pretty firm idea of the things that can happen if we give them a mobile phone. A survey conducted showed that 57% of parents reported that their child has lost or damaged their phones.
With the retail price of most mobile devices being over $400 and the projected frequency of you having to get their phone screens repaired after damage, it’s definitely going to cost you a lot. Before you decide to buy a phone for your child, determine if they can handle the responsibility. At the very least, you can opt to choose a waterproof and shockproof model to reduce the impact of falls and dents.
Educate them about the digital world.
If this is going to be your child’s first time accessing the Internet, you need to set their expectations. Chances are, they’re unaware of things like cyberbullying and inappropriate content. But these are very much likely and available on the Internet, and your child can access them with their phones at any time.
Sit down with your kid and give them cyber lessons. Talk to them about what they can expect from the Internet and which sites they should avoid. Teach them how to handle cyberbullying as well, as this is very common among teens and adolescents. Data shows that over half of them have been bullied online, and the same number have also engaged in cyberbullying. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns out to your children. The more informed they are, the more they will work to avoid it.
Regulate their phone use.
Do you remember when your parents bought you your first mobile phone? You were probably so excited about it and spent all of your time on it. It’s easy for children to get so engrossed in the digital world that they become less aware of their surroundings.
If it’s your child’s first time owning their own phone, you can regulate how often they use it. Set rules and boundaries as to when they’re not supposed to be using their devices. Usually, this would be during dinner time, when doing school work, etc. This may seem harsh and restrictive at first but trust us. Your child will learn good manners when it comes to the use of mobile devices.
For a parent, getting your child their first phone can be a scary experience. We can get a little overprotective at times. Though your children might not understand that yet, they will. What’s important is you make your considerations wisely and take measures to keep them protected.