Has your child be nagging you for a cell phone lately? You cannot avoid the pressure and will end up buying them one. According to research by Childwise, most of the seven-year-olds nowadays own a cell phone.
Also, another survey was done by the environmental charity Global Action Plan, which revealed 44% of the parents feeling pressured to buy their kids a cell phone much earlier than they would actually need it.
With your child’s mind full of curiosity, they will be looking and checking everything on the cell phone they just got. And that’s precisely when you need to pay attention to what your child is actually doing on the phone.
Moreover, when your child has a phone of their own, you know that it will be hard since smartphones are a personal and private device used for many purposes like making calls, chatting with friends, taking online classes, etc. So you really cannot intervene in your kid’s social interactions. Not to mention that the situations get messier with teenagers.
Before getting into the tips, make sure that you do the following things to bring more awareness of a smartphone for your children:
- Let them know all the phone’s primary functions like making a call, posting a picture on social media, etc.
- If they are younger, designate their time slots. This will help you monitor their screen time.
- Give them instructions to not share their number and ids with strangers.
- Ask them to beware of over downloading and installing applications from non-trustable sites.
- Give them some time with the device. As more time the children spend with the device themselves, the quicker they will learn about using the device efficiently without any issues.
To protect your child from any technological harm, it is essential to ensure you have the proper safety. In this way, you feel secure because your children will find no inappropriate content and ensure that they have the right time for the screen.
Here are the four safety tips that you must know before buying your child their first smartphone.
Keep an Eye on the Device
Parenting can become many times harder than it already is once you give your kid a cell phone. Lack of communication with your child can be a considerable risk. Therefore, you always need to make sure that the device they are using is safe in every way possible. One of the many things you need to take care of is cyberbullying: keep an eye on your child and their online activities. Since children face bullies every now and then, it is essential to let them know that you are with them no matter how difficult the situation is.
You can check out resources like NetSmartz for various child security tips like tightening privacy. For instance, asking your kid to turn off the location tracking services so that an online predator never gets a chance to lay hands on your child’s valuable data.
Also, opt for using third-party sources which have features such as allowing you to remotely manage your child’s phone so that all apps can be disabled or to set an approved use schedule.
However, constant monitoring is not the only answer and may exhaust your child both mentally and emotionally since they will be in a continual mode of worry that perhaps you doubt them a little “too much”. Therefore, keeping yourself open for discussion would always bring a child at ease. Ask your child to tell you anything they find slightly problematic online. Tell them that you trust them and boost their confidence to be aware of the cyber crooks.
Ask Them About their Insecurities
The modern era of technology is full of distraction, temptation, and anticipation. In these vulnerable times, especially a child’s age or a teenager’s, parents need to pay extra attention to what their kids are exposed to online. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are why most kids, even adults, feel insecure about what they don’t have in life.
Tell your children to be grateful for what they have and ask them to stop caring about the social media trends because activities are exhausting. Internet instant gratification culture may mess up your child’s perception of living a life. Make sure they don’t fall for the downsides of technology and use them productively instead.
Know Who Your Kids are Talking to
It is inevitable not to make any online friends at all, whether you are an adult or when it comes to your kid. To keep your child in safe hands, you need to know what people your kid is interacting with. You can use Nuwber and put the names of the people your child interacts with. You can ask your child politely about their friend’s parents, and see what comes up on the website.
In this way, your child and their data will always stay protected. And you’ll be sure that your child isn’t interacting with anyone fake.
Ask them to Keep Phone Security in Check
This includes taking steps like deciding a pin or a password for your child’s phone right when you are done purchasing it. This will stop others from getting your kid’s phone and stealing valuable information from it. It is essential to keep a strong pin for your kid’s smartphone to protect it from any kind of digital theft or threat.
We can never ignore the presence of technology in our daily lives, including our kids’. Our children, as soon as they grow up, keep on asking for a smartphone. Our responsibility is to take good care of this matter and keep their smartphone experience as safe and healthy as possible.
You can assess their maturity level, see if they are responsible enough to have a smartphone. Then, ask them why they need it: is it for educational purposes? Or just for recreational purposes? Also, making sure the device is a secure medium for your children is another way of dealing with it.