According to a PEW research, 95% of the U.S. teens have access to smartphones. 45% of the U.S children, between the ages of 10 to 12, have a smartphone with a service plan says, Nielsen. But, merely knowing that a large number of tweens and teens own smartphones doesn’t make it easy for parents to decide whether their child is ready to have one or not.
Some parents think it is alright to give smartphones to their children when they are between 12-14 years of age. But, all parents do not necessarily agree with each other. Mothers think middle school is the right age to get their child a smartphone, whereas, fathers are more likely to give a phone to their elementary school-going child.
Are they the right age to get their own phones?
Before you give in to your child’s whining that every one of their friends owns a smartphone, weigh how well your child could balance technology with the other aspects of his life. Do you find it hard to tear them away from TV or video games? Have you found them sneaking in to use the internet even way past their screen time? These are signs that that having their own smartphone will create problems.
Smartphones offer easy access to pointless distractions, cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and other unhealthy social media habits. If you have finally decided to get them a smartphone, teach them the dos and don’ts of cell phone behavior. Developing brains need rest and the instant gratification of smartphones lures children, making it hard for them to put the phone down. If they fail to do so, using a cell phone surveillance appcould let you know if they are using cell phones past their allotted time.
Listed below are the top dos and don’ts for the parents who are buying their child their first cell phones.
The first thing you need to do is make your child understand how they can and cannot use the device. Gaming, browsing the internet, or using it for texting or calling has to be a decision that you both have to make in agreement. Establish rules as to how, when, and where they are allowed to make their cell phones. Having a drop-off point and a certain time for turning in the cell phones is an effective means to control excessive screen time.Let them know you will monitor their activities. Ensure that they stick to these rules and this you can check by using Xnspy cell phone surveillance app.
Go Through Their Phone Settings Yourself:
Go through the phone settings yourself before you hand over the device to your children for the first time. Set restrictions, use the built-in parental controls. If none exist, then install Xnspy cell phone surveillance app so you can stay abreast of your child’s online activities. Xnspy lets you in on both their offline and online activities. You can keep an eye on the websites they visit, the communities they join, and the people they talk to. With the Watchlist feature of this great app, you can set alerts on certain words, phrases, and location even which you think are not appropriate for your children yet. Whenever any of the words come up in the conversations, this cell phone surveillance app will send you an automated alert on your phone. If they enter a place which you think is unsafe or not suitable for your child’s age, you will get to know. This way, you can know for sure whether your child is engaging in safe and responsible cell phone behavior or not.
Rules for Texting:
Texting is the primary mode of communication nowadays for both youth and adults alike. Discuss the dos and don’ts of texting. Make rules when they cannot text at all, like when they are in a class, at the dinner table, after bedtime, and while they are doing homework. Apart from that, tell them not to share their personal information over text messages and do not respond to unknown numbers’ call or texts. If someone bullies them or harasses them, you can even block certain contacts using Xnspy’scell phone surveillance app.
You have to ensure that your children text safely. It is important that you have the talk with them. The rules should not be for texting only but for all kinds of chats and conversations made through their instant messaging or social media apps. Inform them about the harms of sexting, chatting with strangers, or sending pictures to unknown people. Let them know that there are sexual predators, pedophiles, and groomers lurking the internet seeking young, vulnerable, and impressionable minds. When they know about the digital dangers, they will act responsibly.
The Etiquette of Cell Phone Use:
Teach your children when and where they can use a phone, what to say and what not to say over text messages. Also, set appropriate time for responses whether it is a text message or a phone call.
Insist that they respond to your text or calls right away. If they are in class or somewhere else, they get back to you as soon as possible. If the ease of communication slips from the hands of the parents, then the phone might be gone, too. Kids should know that it is their parents that bought them their phones for the convenience of them both. It is only fair that they should not ignore their parents and avoid talking to them over phones or texts.
Do Not Get Judgmental:
Talk and discuss with other parents how they let their children use cell phones. Ask them how they are doing with their children who recently got a cell phone. Do not be judgmental if you hear about a child making a mistake or making a wrong choice. Your child can make a similar mistake down the road. It is your job, as a parent, to stay updated and know what is going on with your children.
Social Media and Privacy Settings:
It is alright for your tween or teen to be online. Nowadays, online relationships are important these days, especially for our teens. Make sure that you teach your child appropriate behaviors that apply both in the real and digital realm. Sometimes, parents have a hard time understanding what their child wants and the reason behind what they are doing online. Ask them to explain so that you can get a better understanding of both the content as well as the context.
Along with indulging in responsible online behavior, online safety is important, too. Make sure that your child’s profile setting is set to private. Teach them that they cannot give out their private information like addresses and phone numbers out there.
With the tips mentioned above and using Xnspy cell monitoring app, you can keep a close eye on children and ensure that they are safe cell phone users. Last but not the least, be your child’s role model. Limit your own media usage so that your children learn the same and do not get addicted to screens.