Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
Smartphones are popular with kids these days. Besides maintaining their “social” life, kids having smartphones makes it easier for the parents to check up on their children. And now that you’ve decided to present your kids with their favorite iPhone 11, there’s something you need to do.
Although smartphones and technology are best friends for your kids in their teenage years, not using them adequately can be disastrous.
But many counselors believe that it is all about your children’s social awareness. That’s why you need to teach your kids a bunch of stuff before handing over their first smartphones.
It’ll also help them take their first step towards becoming a responsible person. So, without any further ado, let’s dive right into things that can help your kids handle technology in the best way possible.
- Set some ground rules beforehand
Teens often get excited after getting their first smartphones. They spend hours playing games, browsing the internet, and chatting with their friends on social media.
Encouraging these habits could also give rise to a condition called internet addiction. In this, people feel a constant urge to check their phones and notifications again and again. You wouldn’t want that for your kids. Right?
So, it would be really helpful if you teach them about the right time and place to use their smartphones. This will help in keeping their screen time and internet usage in check.
Here are some smartphone rules your kids need to follow.
- No cell phone use right before school. Texting and scrolling their Instagram feed can waste a lot of precious time before your kids head off to school.
- No cell phones on the dinner table. Kids need nutritious food to grow. Plus, having dinner together as a family is the best way to nurture bonds with other family members. And it would be really tough for your kids to eat peacefully and talk to each other if they are constantly busy with their cell phones. Not to mention it is really rude to text or use a cell phone when someone else is trying to spend time with you.
- No cell phones during homework. Having cell phones while your kids are completing their homework can be a distraction for them. They would want to keep on replying to the texts and checking their notifications. In fact, there’s a good chance that they might even start prioritizing their smartphones over their homework, and that could affect their grades and academic performance.
- No cell phones while driving. According to the US Police Department report, many teens use cellphones and get distracted while driving, and end up crashing their cars. That’s why you need to tell your kids that it is really not safe to use cell phones while driving. It would be best for them to shut off their phones as soon as they get into the driving seat to resist the temptation to reply to the texts or check their notifications.
- Tell them about how to keep their smartphones safe.
Kids learn with time, especially when it comes to the responsibility part. There’s a really good chance that your children might end up treating their smartphones like any other toy. And their irresponsible nature of handling their gadgets could cost you hundreds of dollars.
That’s why you need to teach your kids how to keep their smartphones from breaking and being stolen. Here are a few things you need to cover.
- Always use cell phones with protective cases. No matter how careful your children are, there are times when the cell phone slips from their hands or pockets. It goes without saying that gadgets are delicate and are prone to permanent damage after one fall.
So, you need to emphasize the importance of protective cases and tell your kids to never use their smartphones without one. Suppose, as outlined above, you’ve decided to gift a brand new iPhone 11 to your children. In that situation, you would also need to include an iphone 11 case so that your kids have everything they need to keep their smartphones safe. Using a protective case can minimize the chances of severe breakage.
- Never leave phones unattended. What if your kids forget their phone at a coffee shop, and it gets stolen? Or what if your kids leave their phone unattended and someone hacked it? Leaving phones unattended or losing them would not only be an added expense but might also result in compromising your children’s privacy. So, teach them how disastrous it could be if someone broke into their phones and hacked their accounts.
- Tell them how to stay safe on the internet
Parenting in the digital world can be challenging. And handing over a smartphone without teaching them about various internet offenses can be problematic in the long run. You’ll be surprised to know that cases of cyberbullying and sextortion are rising at a commendable rate. And no parent would want their kids to be a part of anything like that. That’s why you need to help your kids learn about how to steer clear of potential internet threats.
Here are some things that can help your kids stay safe in the online world.
- Avoid sharing your personal information on social media. In many cases of kidnapping, the offenders traced the location using children’s social media updates. So, tell your kids that sharing information regarding their whereabouts might end up attracting unwanted attention. You would also need to tell them not to share their credit card information with random strangers.
- Refrain from sharing sensitive pictures. There are times when kids end up sharing sensitive pictures with their friends just to look cool. But sometimes, these pictures get viral and might affect your children’s mental health. Plus, once something gets posted online, it stays online forever. So, it would be best to always be on the safer side and not share any sensitive images or videos with anyone.
- Know when to seek help: In the cases of cyberbullying, it is found that many kids do not want to share their online problems with their parents out of fear. So, you need to assure your children that they can come to you with any problem and try your best to get them out of it.
Kids will be kids. They might not know how to be responsible with technology and gadgets. That’s why you need to use the tips mentioned above to teach them how to use their smartphone privilege responsibly.