Although it may not be an exciting move for parents, picking the ideal moment to introduce your child to a smartphone is vital. Currently, smartphones have become the most essential technology gadgets owned by humans. They allow easy communication with your friends, let you capture your most important moments, and help to keep you abreast of world issues.
As a parent, giving your child his or her first smartphone may be a dreadful moment. Questions such as “what is she watching?” and “who is he talking to?” may continuously run through your mind after you give them a phone. However, this ought not to be a big deal for you anymore, as you can leverage certain techniques to limit and track the content that your kid accesses and downloads via a smartphone.
Decide If They Are Old Enough to Own a Phone
Nowadays, kids do not have to come of age to own their first smartphone. In fact, a research conducted by Influence Central in 2016 revealed that 10.3 years old is the average age for a kid to get his or her first phone. The study showed a drop from the average age of 12 years old, which was reported back in 2012.
Nevertheless, experts still do not agree on the appropriate age to purchase a smartphone. Earlier this year, Bill Gates claimed in an interview that all his three children had to wait until they hit 14 years to get one. Furthermore, several campaigns such as Wait Until 8th encourage parents to wait until their children join the eighth grade.
According to Scott Steinberg, the author behind Parenting High-Tech Kids: The Ultimate Internet, Web, and Online Safety Guide, the decision could finally be determined by whether parents consider their children mature enough to be in possession of a smartphone.
He said that when your kids are away from your supervision, then that makes a possible case for when it is necessary to introduce a smartphone. When you decide to make the plunge, you can save some money on that new iPhone by waiting until Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Enable Parental Controls After Purchase
Depending on the make or even model of the device, you as a parent can set various restrictions to bar what your kids access on their new phone. For instance, if you get an iPhone for your child, tap the settings icon, then go to general before scrolling down to the restrictions option. After enabling restrictions, the phone will request you to come up with a four-digit PIN.
Restrictions enable parents to stay in control of what their kids can access on their phones including kids’ applications. Furthermore, parents can also limit the type of content that children can view, primarily based on ratings.
On the other hand, Android devices come with varying restrictions depending on your handset. What’s more, parents can set the same limits on what type of content children can view on the basis of ratings.
Keep a Close Watch on App Downloads
Both Google Play and iOS feature certain ways of checking out your application history, especially if you intend to share accounts with your beloved children.
For instance, when it comes to Apple’s App Store, users can see all their downloaded applications and the applications that are not installed on their existing devices. For Google Play’s case, users can visit their account and request the history of their downloaded apps.
On Apple’s App Store, users can allow automatic downloads that will automatically include an application downloaded on a single device on all of their other devices. It helps you to know when your children have downloaded a new app. Parents can also check out the settings within applications to restrict their kids’ activity. However, bear in mind that this may be determined by the age the kid getting their first phone.
What’s more, you can find numerous app options that can help you to keep track of the amount of time that a given person spends on their smartphone or exploring a given application: Space for Android and Moment for iPhones. The latter, for instance, has a feature that can make your family members set their phones away or stay screen-free for a given duration such as dinner time.
Embrace Low-Tech Parenting
As a parent, the most vital thing for you to do is remain informed. You must ensure that you know why your child needs a phone and how they will use it after you hand them one.
Scott Steinberg said that high-tech parenting might not save the day. Instead, he insisted that the solution lies with conventional low-technology parenting, asking the appropriate questions, staying informed about the newest high-tech innovation as well as holding talks in schools and households.
You’ll also like to read: Parenting Tips on How to Raise Your Kid in the Digital Age