Things to consider before buying your child a smartphone

We live in an age where avoiding digital technology is getting increasingly difficult. Everywhere we turn there is a piece of technology able to take our food order for us or allow us through a security gate, we can even pay for items and we can talk to family & friends on the other side of the world with the touch of a button on our smartphone. The digital age is both fascinating and scary. So what happens when our children want to get involved?

Kids & mobile phones can be a heated topic What age should a child be to have a phone? What do they plan to do with the phone once they have it? Will they be allowed on social media? These are just a few questions I am sure going through all of our minds when our kids ask for a mobile phone. Because they’ve gone through my own when my children have asked the aged question Mum, can I get a mobile phone? And if the answer is yes, your faced with another dilemma – what do we need to consider before buying them a smartphone?

  1. Warn your child{ren} about inappropriate pictures & texts. I’m starting off steep with this one, but this sort of behaviour is very real and not something any of us wish for our children to be getting involved in. Warn your child{ren} of the legal implications if nude photos are either sent from their phone to another person or received from someone else. Even if they forward on to someone else, a picture message from a student in their school or year.
  2. Set some ground rules & expectations. Make sure to have ‘the talk’ with your child{ren}, put together a list of rules and make sure they know of the punishments if those rules are broken. Have limits of usage for their phone and limited data, calls & messages. This smartphone safety guide from TigerMobiles.com has some very useful tips on parental controls for specific apps and how to limit usage so there are no surprise bills.
  3. Use it as a way of teaching your child responsibility. Having a mobile phone isn’t something that should be taken for granted by a child. It is a useful device to stay in touch with friends and family. If they’re running late, they can let you know. If they are in trouble at school or upset, they can let you know. It’s important our children know how expensive smartphones can be and giving them the respect and trust to take responsibility for it is a huge thing.
  4. Have a particular time of the day where all mobile devices go into a basket.Turned off. For us, this is at dinner time and for a while after. Turning off the phone on a daily basis teaches them they do not need it 24/7.

Smartphones or any mobile phone isn’t an item that I would give lightly, to my child. A mobile phone is a form of communicating, both casually & in an emergency,� or like my almost teen daughter, chat endlessly with their friends! It is a luxury item, more so for a child.

What things do you consider when looking into buying a smartphone for your child? 

*This is a collaboration post

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1 Comment

  1. 30/01/2018 / 2:56 AM

    Great post, Debs – I feel really uneasy about the thought of getting my little ones a smartphone, I’m going to leave it as late as I can possibly get away with I think haha.

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