As tech has become an integral part of our lives, children are using tablets, computers and phones at a younger age. However, many parents are still reticent about allowing their children to have their own smartphone. If you want to know when’s the right time to let your kids have their own means of communication, take a look at these 5 signs your child is ready for a smartphone:
They Know How to Stay Safe Online
Smartphones provide easy access to the internet, so your child should be familiar with how to stay safe online before they’re allowed to use a phone of their own. Although you can set parental controls, it’s still important for your child to be aware of the dangers and to follow your rules when it comes to who they communicate with and what they share.
They Follow Screen Time Rules
If your child already uses a tablet or games console but you have endless battles about screen time, they may not be ready for a smartphone of their own. In contrast, if your child understands and follows screen time rules without arguments, it’s a good sign that they’ll take the same approach to a smartphone.
They’re Starting to Go Out Alone
For many parents, a good time to introduce a smartphone is when their children begin to get more independence. If your child is allowed to go out alone or with friends, for example, you may want them to have a phone, so that you can stay in touch with them. What’s more – many smartphone apps allow you to monitor the user’s location, so it can be a good way of knowing where your kids are at all times.
They Take Care of Their Belongings
Smartphones can be expensive to repair or replace, so you’ll want to ensure that your child takes good care of their belongings before you entrust them with an advanced piece of tech. However, a quick comparison of SIM only and contract plans might confirm that it’s a good idea to give your child an older phone to begin with. Not only will this be less costly to replace, but it can also be far cheaper to pay for a SIM only monthly contract.
They Have Healthy Relationships with Friends
When kids communicate via smartphone, it’s important to keep track of what’s going on. After all, it’s easy for offline friction to cross over into online bullying. However, if they have a close peer group and healthy relationships with friends, you may feel more comfortable letting them have their own smartphone.
Teaching Your Kids Healthy Habits
There’s no doubt that tech will continue to be a major part of everybody’s life, so teaching your children healthy tech habits is essential for their well-being. By starting from a young age and ensuring your kids are well-versed in online safety, you can prepare them for a digital and inter-connected world and help them to navigate it successfully.
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