Kids And Smartphones: A Guide
It seems like kids as young as two know how to use a smartphone these days! If you have a large blended family then at some point, you will want everyone to be connected and have a phone. But with a great phone comes great responsibility (kind of like Spider-Man) and knowing what to expect when you give a child a smartphone can be tough, until now!
Today we are looking at some tips for you that will make giving a child a smartphone a more manageable and less stress inducing experience for you parents out there.
Set The Rules From Day 1
This cannot be overstated enough, but getting a smartphone is a big deal and you need to let your kids know right from the start that there are rules. As extreme as it sounds, make a phone contract with them if you need to. Kids will be so excited to get a phone, they will go along with it. Not only set the rules, but let them know that breaking the rules will result in taking the phone from them. What the rules are will depend on your family, but things like not giving out your number to strangers, letting mom and dad look at the phone, not using it in bed or at school and so on are ways to go.
Put A Cap On The Bills
Many cellphone operators will allow you to put a cap on your bills. This way if you use all of your free minutes, you cannot run up a huge bill. Most will not allow you to put a zero cap on a bill, but usually 1 – 5 bucks is allowed. If you kids go over this, they have to wait until the next month to use the phone for calls, texts, and data. If the provider you are looking at does not allow a cap, look elsewhere. You do not want to be one of those parents who is complaining that their kid runs up a $300 bill on their phone!
Teach Them About Cyberbullying
Schools are getting better at this, but the first call is always at home and it is you guys who are responsible for making sure your child is aware of cyberbullying. You want them to come to you if they experience anything uncomfortable on their phone, but at the same time, you want them to know that it is in no way to be mean or rude to other people. Let them know that words you write on a phone can have a real effect on real people.
Have A Phone Free Time
Most of us are like zombies with our smartphones. How many times have you and your family all been in the same room, but everyone is gawking at their phones? Smartphones are a huge part of our daily lives these days, but make sure you have designated periods where phones are not allowed and that goes for you parents as well. This can be during meal times, family game nights or whatever. Just have a period of each day where you guys can have face time… but not face time on your phones!
Warn About In App Purchases
With this tip, we are again trying to save you guys from a huge bill. But many smartphone games and apps will start off free, but then have in app purchases. Here is an example, my kid loved this Simpsons game which was free, but the in app purchases went to over 70 bucks! Thankfully, we had all in app purchases disabled on the phone and this is something we cannot stress enough to you. If you are unsure about how to do this, ask in the store, check online or even go on social media and ask the manufacturer (Apple, Samsung or whatever) how to do it.