*This is a collaborative post
Every child is different. No phrase has ever been truer than that, so when the time does come for your child to ask for their first phone, you may find that you compare yourself to other parents to see what they have done in order to help you make your own decision. It’s important to know that age isn’t important when you are looking to buy a phone, instead, you should focus on the maturity of your child and their ability to follow rules. The same applies at school as well as at home. For example, if they struggle to concentrate at school, get into trouble by doing things that they shouldn’t be or anything else of the sort then you may want to wait a couple of months before you invest in a mobile phone. This is because mobile phones come with their fair share of risk, and you need to be able to trust your child completely when purchasing a phone for them.
The Reason for the Phone
When you hand your child a phone, you are essentially giving them a very powerful communications device. You are giving them the ability to create, text, send images and more. These can all be uploaded to websites in a matter of seconds. If your child is asking for a phone then it helps to understand the reason why they are asking for a phone. For example, do they want it so that they can ring their friends? Why can’t they use the house phone for this? Or maybe they want it for social media or Instagram, but are they old enough to sign up to any sites? All of these points need to be taken into consideration before you give your child a phone.
Tech Savvy Kids
If your child is incredibly tech savvy then they may be able to access sites that bypass your own parental controls, even if it is by accident. A safe children’s app is ideal in this instance because it gives you the chance to give them a phone without having to worry about them getting access to websites that they shouldn’t be.
Safety when Outside
So there are a couple of things that you need to think about when you buy your child a phone, such as their overall sense of responsibility and even knowing if they are old enough for one. Some situations may call for you to give your child a phone out of personal safety however, such as if they are out of the house a lot or if they are going to be staying away for a weekend. If your child needs a phone for safety reasons then it is possible for you to lock down the app store by not giving them an account or password, so all they can do is ring or use the apps that are already installed. It also helps to have a plan with a cap, so that your child cannot go over their allowed minutes on their mobile device.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.