Do you sometimes feel like the “uncool” parent for not giving your child a smartphone? It seems like all your child’s friends are getting better and better smartphones at younger and younger ages. There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to children and cell phone use: when your child should get a smartphone, what phone to get, or even if you should get them a phone at all. When to give your child a smartphone is up to you—this decision should be based on your child’s maturity rather than a certain age. But if you’re still on the fence about whether you should ever get your child a smartphone, take a look at some of these ways it could benefit your child.
1. Staying Safe
You might be understandably nervous when it comes to your children and cell phones. However, smartphones offer several more features that can help keep your child safer than a regular phone. Parental controls can alert you if your child is contacted by a predator or if they are sent concerning messages about self-harm or suicide. Beyond online safety, smartphones can help keep your child physically safe with features like GPS tracking. Smartphones also offer GPS map capabilities to help your child reach their destinations with ease.
2. Staying Connected
While regular phones offer only texting and calling, smartphones allow your child to connect with family and friends through countless different platforms and apps. These apps help your child stay up-to-date on what’s happening in their friend group. There are even apps that help your children connect with family, which offer a fun new way to interact with each other while helping improve relationships.
3. Building Trust
Though it’s good to protect your kids from potential danger, there’s also a point where you need to start building a relationship of trust with them. After all, you shouldn’t avoid teaching your child to drive for fear they might crash, and it should be the same with children and cell phones: you shouldn’t withhold getting them a phone for fear they might abuse it. Giving your child a smartphone is a great way to show that you trust them to use it wisely while you help them to develop healthy technology habits.
4. Learning Accountability and Responsibility
Though you might worry about your children and cell phone use, giving them a phone can teach them some valuable things. Just like giving your child a smartphone is a great way to show your trust, seeing them use it with accountability and responsibility is a great way for them to show you they deserve that trust. As you and your child set usage rules together, they will learn how to be responsible for what they do with their phone. Troomi offers some helpful tools when it comes to teaching responsibility. With Troomi, you can gradually give your child greater access to more features as they develop a greater sense of responsibility and accountability.
5. Developing Healthy Technology Habits
Though you may choose to never get your child a smartphone, they will still likely own one at some point in their life. If you don’t take the opportunity to teach them safe and healthy technology habits now, they’ll have to learn on their own—a much more difficult process. By teaching your child healthy technology habits, you’ll give them the skills they’ll need to avoid dangers like smartphone addiction.