It’s difficult to imagine life without cell phones, but when you were a kid, that’s almost certainly the case. Now it seems as though kids are getting their first cell phone at an even younger age, and it’s something that’s usually top of the wish-list.
Deciding when to give your child a cell phone is a difficult choice, and each child is different. To help you and your child prepare for getting their first cell phone, take a look at the following and work out if it’s the best decision for you.
Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons
Are they old enough?
Children mature at different ages. While one eight year old might be very responsible for their age, another might not be. This makes putting an age on getting a cell phone difficult. An age to age guide to kids and cell phones could help you to decide. Phones aren’t recommended for very young children, so if you can hold off until they at least reach double figures, the better.
Do they need it?
Some kids might actually need a cell phone. If they have to travel far to school or have a lot of extracurricular activity, then having a phone means you can stay in touch with them when you need to. It can be reassuring knowing you can reach them at all times. Even if you decide that a phone is right for your child, you can control the type of phone they get. It’s worth looking at the best phones for kids to help you decide.
Can they be responsible?
If your kid really wants a phone, then they need to demonstrate that they can be responsible with it. Are they usually good at completing their homework on time? Do they do chores around the house? You should only give into the cell phone demands when they can prove that they’re responsible enough. Phones can be very expensive, so they need to learn how to take care of things before being handed them.
Are you ready?
While your kid might think that they’re ready for a phone, but the key question is whether or not you’re ready. Giving a kid a phone is a sign that they’re growing up and becoming more independent, but too much independence can be a bad thing. If you’re concerned about their usage and what sort of communications they’re making, you should learn more about tracking apps that can help you keep tabs on what they’re up to. There will be times where you will need to give your kids more freedom, but if it doesn’t sit right with you right now then you might want to save the discussion for another time.
While cell phones can have many advantages for kids, there are also a lot of downsides. Not only that, but they’re not a necessity for children. But if you decide to go ahead, it’s worth looking at ways to make phone buying less painful with a teen! The decision about whether or not to give your child a phone is entirely your own, but the right advice and talking to other parents could help you make the best decision for you and your child.