Kid’s first phone – encouraging responsible phone use

Kid's first phone - encouraging responsible phone use

You’ve decided it’s time for your child to have a cell phone. You’ve researched phones, chosen a plan, bought a fun case… but don’t forget about one of the most important details: responsible cell phone use. Here are a few tips to ensure your children know how to responsibly use their new phones… and hopefully, avoid some unpleasant scenarios!

Speak to your child about when and where the phone can be used. Stress places where the phone shouldn’t be used, such as in class, at the movies, and so on.

Phones are becoming a bigger part of the classroom

It may seem counterintuitive, but teachers are increasingly turning to technology in the classroom, and this includes letting children use devices in the classroom in order to get them engaged in their work. Some tweens have reported that their teachers allow them to use their phones to access the internet for research or to read digital versions of reading materials. However, while phones and technology may be a way to engage some children, it serves as a distraction for others, especially young children. Consider setting limits about when or how often your child can use his phone. For example, Ron has a strict no cell phone policy at the dinner table rule, while Maria makes her children turn off their first phones when they get home from school, allowing them to select one hour of technology time during the evening when they can text, surf or play.

A Kid’s first phone doesn’t have to be expensive

Everything is great… until you receive the bill and find your child has gone way beyond the plan data limits. Make sure to speak to your child about your expectations, including who they are allowed to call, limits for texting and for other activities that may use data. And make sure you’ve done your research and chosen an appropriate plan – this can help avoid any unwanted bill surprises! Your kid’s first phone doesn’t have to be expensive or costly.

Be sure to model appropriate behavior. If you don’t want your children using the phone at the table, put yours away as well (or at least on silent). Don’t drive while texting and don’t talk on your phone while driving unless you’re using a hands-free device. While your child may be far from driving age, it’s not only safer for everyone, it also begins ingraining the message in your child’s mind.

The child’s first phone goes hand in hand with the first parental monitoring app

And finally, You can’t hand a child his or her first phone without the right parental control app on it. An app like jiminy can alert you if anything goes wrong, and it’s the only app that will also keep you updated about the good things – new friends, the child’s top interests and favorite apps.

This is it! once you considered all the ups and downs, your child’s first phone doesn’t seem as scary or worrisome. Good luck!

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