Addiction to smart devices is real. Many adults are pulled into spending hours and hours on their phones and computers. Working from home during COVID has given us a good cop-out for always having our devices at the ready, but if we’re being honest, most of us feel naked without our phones—pandemic or not.
Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the fate of your children. In fact, as a parent, you get to choose how to introduce your children to the world of online streaming, social media, and online-shopping that fits in the palm of your hand. With your help, your children can be prepared to use cell phones responsibly. But how do you start?
There are a lot of questions to answer when it comes to getting your kid’s first phone. What’s the right age? What’s the best first phone for kids? Should you regulate how much they use it?
Tips for Your Kid’s First Phone
First off, this isn’t a hard and fast list of dos and don’ts. Rather, it’s a list of suggestions and guidelines to help you generate your own ideas as you consider how to handle this situation.
Every child is different, which is why there is no cut-and-dry suggested age at which children should get a phone. Ultimately, the age you choose to introduce your child to a phone is up to you. But remember that age doesn’t necessarily mean maturity. You might have a 16 year old who skips class and sneaks out at every opportunity while their 12 year old sibling is as studious and responsible as they come. So be sure to base your decision on the individual maturity of each child rather than choosing one set age for all your kids.
This first phase of introduction involves providing them with a type of phone that offers limited functionality. This could mean only being able to call or text certain numbers, and/or possibly having GPS tracking. These types of phones are great for teaching your child to be responsible with a phone.
There are a lot of best first phones for kids, such as Troomi’s phones that are designed to train kids to learn responsibility for a phone. Once they’ve mastered this important first step, they can move on to other situations with greater responsibility.
Smartphone with Rules
After enough time has passed and you think your child is ready for more responsibility, you can consider getting them a smartphone. Before upgrading, decide together what they will and won’t be allowed to do with their phones. Rules such as no phones during family time, meals, or while doing homework can be introduced. Let your children help you determine the consequences for breaking rules, such as confiscating the phone.
Phase in the Apps Gradually
As much as your teens dream about it, you’re probably not going to hand over the keys when they start learning to drive and say “have a good time.” They need some practice and instruction before they get free reign of the car, and even then they have rules to follow. Likewise, before giving your children access to all apps and features on their phone, they need to be taught how to handle their device safely and responsibly.
Try phasing access to the apps gradually, giving your child more and more responsibility as they learn and grow. This is a great opportunity to talk openly with your child about red flags and dangers the online world presents, such as cyberbullying and sexting.
Get Your Kids First Phone with Troomi
Troomi is an excellent option for your child’s first smartphone. With Troomi’s safe features, your children can learn responsibility for a phone and technology without all the built-in dangers and temptations of a full-fledged smartphone. Try out a Troomi device today!