Age shouldn’t be a deciding factor in whether to get your kids their own phones or not. Some 13-year-olds are responsible enough not to visit websites they are not supposed to be on. Others are so curious that they’ll do more of what their parents tell them not to. You alone know your kids well. You will be able to tell who among them is ready to be a responsible phone owner. Then, of course, there is the matter of social media. Some teenagers know how to handle its impact on their lives. But, you will also meet a lot of 30-something who don’t have a grip on the effect of social media. Under which category do your kids fall?
What Are the Signs That Your Kids Are Ready?
Again, age is not the deciding factor of your kids’ readiness to have their own phones. Experts said that kids should have well-established routines, habits, and support systems. Meaning, they should have good study habits, active social life, a steady homework record, extracurricular activities, relationships with family and friends, and a healthy sleep routine. They should also have interests and non-screen activities.
When you notice that your kids are more responsible than their age, that may be a sign that they are ready for a phone. Other things matter as well, such as their activities when they borrow your phone and whether it disrupts their sleeping patterns. Once you decide to get them a phone, you have to pick the right one according to the features you want and the price tag.
Safety and Security
The phones alone are not inherently bad. The problem is when people fall into the traps set by hackers and cybercriminals. That’s when phones become dangerous. You don’t have to buy your kids a new phone. Do you have an old one with you? Bring it to a cell phone repair shop and have an expert check it for possible data leaks in the past. Once you are assured that the phone still has all the security features it once came with, then you can have your kids have it.
The feature that parents want is to be able to control the content on the phone. Parental controls are normal for phones to have, but you can also invest in a monthly subscription software to keep the phone free of harmful content from the internet. Aside from that, you also want to make sure cybercriminals can’t use the phone to physically stalk your kids.
Sturdy and Durable
Since your kids are going to use the phone, you need a unit that strong, durable, and sturdy. If possible, buy a waterproof phone because there’s a strong chance that you’ll find it at the bottom of the tub. You might also want to invest in a waterproof and shockproof phone case, so you don’t have to worry about the screen cracking and breaking.
How about insurance? Should you get one for the phone? Unless you’re buying the latest iPhone model, you don’t need to pay extra for the insurance. That’s why it is advisable to get your kids something on the cheap side, so the money won’t go down the drain.
Small in Size
Remember that your kids have smaller hands than you. Don’t get them the largest phone in the market. Although a big screen looks good, it is not practical for kids. They may end up dropping the phone because they cannot grip it well. It will also be difficult for them to squeeze that in their bag or pocket, thereby defeating the purpose of having a phone. Choose a phone that will fit right in your kids’ pockets. That’s the perfect size for them.
This is where you should splurge. Your kids will need a lot of apps—games and educational apps. They’re not going to be like you who just need storage for social media apps. They will need a phone with a larger storage capacity for all those apps they will want to download. You can let them share your cloud storage, too, so you can monitor what apps they download on their phones. Give them a limit regarding how much of the storage they use up and you have to pay for.
Remember that when you are choosing your kids’ first phone that it is not for you. Sure, you want a larger screen, the latest model, and the one with the best camera in the market. But this is not what your kids need. Instead, they need a basic phone with enough modern features to entertain them. This is a first phone. You will need to replace it at some point.
Meta title: What Features Should Your Child’s First Phone Have?
meta desc: Your kids are asking for phones. Should you give in? What is the appropriate age to get them their own phones? Are they responsible enough? What features should the phones have? These and many more are answered right here.