“Mom, I want a phone. Everyone has one, can we buy mine this year?” This is the story of every kid hardly of age 10-13. Parents, being pushed towards it, then decide to get their kid a new smartphone. This is inevitable and somehow stressful too. Because you are just not ready to hand them a new world. Using parental control solutions becomes necessary and difficult at the same time.
As, the co-founder of CyberWise.org, Diana Graber said, ‘It is not like you are just handing them a telephone like when we were kids. It is like all of a sudden, they have a whole new world in their pockets, with all the information, good or bad. There is no turning back from this thing once you have handed them over’.
Once parents get the idea of how big this decision is, they will know that it is a life-changing experience. From the moment parents decide to get their kid a phone, they start wondering what they are going to face. Their kid will be exposed to all the content online including the dangers and threats. How will you manage to protect them from the harmful content? With the best parental controls, things can be better.
Here are a few things that you must consider before handing them over their first smartphone. It requires a lot of thinking and discussion with your kids as well. So, what should you consider before getting them their new mobile phone?
See If They Are Ready
Are your kids responsible enough to carry a smartphone? Even if you think they are ready, they will probably leave their phones anywhere because they aren’t used to it. Once they prove that they can handle the smartphone and can responsibly take care of it, are they capable enough to know the intensity of the consequences after posting anything online?
You might just hand them over the smartphone thinking that they will learn step by step. But, you are wrong. They will grab the very first opportunity to explore everything at once. So, it is better to make them ready beforehand. At this age, they are going to make mistakes, but are you ready to handle those mistakes? You must be ready with them.
Read more about it here: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tips-for-buying-your-childs-first-phone/
When you have concluded that they are ready for the phones, now is the time to teach them some cyber civics. They might feel like they need protection on the internet because, for them, it is all in their phones and not in real life. But, you know the truth. If you know it all, you can have the right conversation easily.
Teach them about cyberbullying, predators, and other stuff that might be dangerous for them. It is just like when you give them the keys to your car, you teach them to drive first. So, teach them how to use the internet correctly. Once they seem to understand it, let them be free. Don’t suffocate them with your everyday lectures and guidance. Teach them about the internet safety in the friendliest manner.
The Family Contract
Many experts believe that setting up a family especially a phone contract is essential and beneficial in many cases. However, some are doubtful about it as kids don’t seem to respect the contract sometimes.
But, it is a great way of learning for them. You can teach them through this that nothing can be used without purpose or excessively. This contract might include the rules about the phone belonging to the parents including the passwords and stuff. It can also include the screen time limit. Also, you can add in this contract that they should report to you if something wrong comes up.
This contract must be written with the complete alliance between parents and the kids. They should take part in it to feel important. Not by any means should this contract be authoritative for the kids. They must feel like a part of it. Only then, they will accept and follow it.
Parental Control Apps
This is the need of time. There is some best parental control software available in the market that you can use for your benefit. However, don’t forget to include your child in it. Tell them that their phone comes with a parental control app in it. You can add this to your phone contract as well.
These parental control apps let you monitor your child’s phone and manage their apps and screen time. Also, you can see what they are doing on their social media accounts and if they are headed towards any trouble. Give them the space they require but be there for them whenever something dangerous comes up.
Don’t Take Their Phones Away as Punishment
This will turn them into rebels. If they are not abiding by the rules or if they have broken one promise, no need to punish them hard by taking their phones away. This way, they will be less open to you.
They are kids, they will make mistakes. If you are all about ‘no mistakes allowed’ parenting, then it won’t work for long. They need to confide in you and they won’t if you do this. You need to make them trust you and encourage them to be open about things. This way, they will automatically tell you if anything wrong comes up.
Unfortunately, many parents think that their kids will never be ready for smartphones and internet access. They simply push their kids away with this thought and as a result, the kids usually do what they want to do by other means. So, isn’t it better to have them use it in front of your eyes?
If you take the right steps, things will never go bad. The kids will understand the necessity of parental controls. Along with this, communication is the ultimate key. Tell them about your concerns and the dangers outside. Share with them your techniques and have them on the same board as you.
Read Full Article Here – 5 Things to Consider When Buying Your Kid’s First Phone