Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
While many people disagree about the right time to give a child a phone, it’s easy to find compelling points on both sides of this argument. On the one hand, it makes sense to give your child the tools to communicate with you on their own, as this could save them from some tricky situations down the line. On the other, though, the online world can be very dangerous, and giving your child access to it could be a mistake if they don’t know how to handle themselves properly. To help you to balance these issues, the post will be exploring some of the best methods to use to make it safe for your child to have their own smartphone.
While it may sound a little boring, education will always be the most powerful tool in a parent’s arsenal. There isn’t any reason to lie to your child about the risks they face online, and you should work hard to make sure that they understand what makes websites so dangerous. It will be much easier for them to avoid issues like grooming if they know what to look for, but you need to be careful not to scare them away from the web entirely. Setting some ground rules will help with this.
Monitoring a modern smartphone is much easier than you might expect, and you only need a phone number to do this with many phones. You can find a step-by-step article on the Family Orbit Blog which goes through this process of setting something like this up on your child’s devices. It’s always worth exploring your options when you’re choosing something like this. There are a lot of apps on the market which do the same job, but they will all have their own features, and you could find one which has a feature you really need. Of course, it’s worth keeping personal privacy in mind as you go through this process.
The Right Set-Up
Smartphone manufacturers understand the concerns of parents and are working hard to make their devices better for children. One of the main features responsible for this is the ability to set your child’s phone up for them, with additional apps being unavailable without your approval. While this will restrict their phone usage somewhat, there should never come a time when they need to install an app in an emergency, and they should always have time to ask you for help. Alongside this, it’s also worth making sure that you don’t leave your bank card details on their account, as this could make it easy for accidental transactions to occur.
As time goes on, more and more parents are going to be taking this sort of action. No matter how old your child is, it always makes sense to protect them when they are online, and their smartphone will often be the root of their internet activity. Of course, though, as time goes on, you will have to expand your mind to think of the other tech they’re using.