Has your child already asked for the first phone? Do you have doubts whether they are of appropriate age to handle such a responsibility? You are not alone. In this article we will define the most appropriate age for the first phone as well as pros and cons of giving the first phone to your child.
Giving a phone to your child for the first time is a big event. Further device usage will affect all aspects of your kid`s life. Before giving a phone to a kid, parents need to study all the dangers their kids will face while using the new smartphone. It will help to decide if it is better to postpone it until your child grows up.
If you believe that your kids are tech-savvy enough and are able to use a phone wisely, you must consider some restrictions for the safe phone usage. Giving an access to the Internet, a smartphone has a lot of benefits and as well as dangers. So, what are they?
Pros and cons of the first phone
Without doubts, smartphone brings a lot of benefits. The first basic is that you can call your child to check where they are. You will also give an access to educational apps and sites which broaden kids’ knowledge and creativity. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t forget that by giving a smartphone you are giving an access to the Internet, let’s see what it has.
The world wide web gives an access to countless distracting games, social media apps, adult sites, and so on. Unfortunately, kids don`t have an immunity to stand against aggression and all dangers online. In the end, even the cons can become the pros. The other dangers are: hazardous pop-ups, inappropriate ads, cyberbullying, sexting. Let us overview each of them.
- Hazardous pop-ups and inappropriate ads
A lot of commercial companies, trying to promote their services have literally a free access to your child. You need to decide if it is ok for you that different types of undesired information. For example: adult sites, violent content, gaming and so on) will be absorbed by your kid`s brain.
It is one of the most dangerous problems kids face while surfing the Net. Cyberbullying is basically the same bullying we all faced in high school. Only now kids hide behind the screens which gives them a feeling of safety as there is no face-to-face contact. As a result, kids face social isolation, depression and even suicidal thoughts which unfortunately turn into actual suicides. What`s more, not all parents are aware that their kids are cyberbullied. According to the statistics, only 25 percent of teens will tell their parent about being cyberbullied.
Blue Whale challenge
The Blue Whale Phenomenon, which took 130 kids` lives is a mental challenge spreading through social media channels. Evildoers find kids online, give them a list of 50 horrible things to do, including pain and self-torturing (e. g. phlebotomy, waking up at 4 o`clock, watching horror films and so on). They stay in touch with kids until the last challenge, which is actually a suicide. Mostly, parents had no clue about participation in this game.
Sexting is not just writing messages with sexual hints, it is sharing sexually explicit material also. As the result, kids can ruin their reputation and become a punching bag for a long time. Moreover, if your child sends a partially nude picture, it can be considered as child pornography and will lead to the deplorable consequences in the future.
If you still want to give a phone to your child, you need to do it wisely. Set basic rules and install Kidgy parental control app to monitor your kid`s online activity.
Let’s talk about first phone for kids and basic rules:
- Explain the purpose of phone buying
First of all, a phone is the easiest way to call parents. Your kids must let you know if they are back from school later than usual or if they are going to meet their friends. You need to be aware where they are when you are not around. You can also track their GPS location remotely with Kidgy, this would help you save time calling your child to check on them.
- Fill the information for emergency
Fill your kid`s phone with mom`s and dad`s phone number and the number of close relatives. Additionally, download a Health app. It works as digital medical card. You can add medical conditions, medication allergies, blood type and others there, in case of emergency. What`s more, Kidgy app has a panic button, so your child can let you know if there is any danger or your help is needed. Once clicked Panic button sends an alert message with GPS location of your child.
- No smartphones in a bedroom
Kids need to have enough rest and sleep well. If they are allowed to have their phones in a bedroom, they will stay awake till late night and will quietly text with their friends. We advise you to block an access to the Internet for sleep time with Kidgy app.
- No smartphones at school
Some schools have strict policy for smartphone usage during the classes, but still some kids manage to take it with them. Smartphone usage at school is not only the distraction from learning, but a way for spreading rumors, bullying and cheating at breakneck speed. We advise you to block an access to the apps and moderate the Internet usage for the school time.
- No smartphones at the dining table
Gathering together at the dining table is a perfect time to communicate with your family and get to know what`s new in their life. Constant texting will distract your kids from eating and family time.
- No phones during family holidays
Constant phone ringing can interfere with your family relations and when you are doing some family activity together. It would be wise to restrict an access to the phone or at least block the internet for the family get-together. Kidgy will help you do it.
- Be ready to check their contact list
Make sure that every person in their contact list is a family member or their friend. When kids get a first smartphone they are eager to show it to all friends and give their phone numbers as well. As a result, anybody can get your child`s phone and contact any time they want. Block unwanted contacts remotely with Kidgy.
- Set limits on smartphone usage
You need to set time for your kids when they are allowed to use their smartphones. For example, when they will finish their home-assignment and house chores.
- Smartphone usage will be monitored
Let your kids know that every message, call, snap, picture, photo will be monitored. It may sound strict but it will help you protect your kids from all online dangers (e.g. sexting, cyberbullying, online abusers and sexual predators)
- Use Kidgy parental app
There are some apps that can keep kids safe while they using their smartphones. To take control over the device and the Internet usage you need to use full-featured parental control app. Kidgy can let you view apps and inappropriate ones, manage messages, calls and the Internet history.
With the help of Kidgy you will always know what your kid is doing online. You can monitor all incoming and outgoing calls, sent and received messages and even the deleted ones. What`s more, you will manage all installed applications and block hazardous ones, monitor their online activity and view all sites your kid`s visit.
Overall features that Kidgy has:
- messages monitoring
You will be able to see not only existing messages, but deleted ones as well.
- GPS location
You will be able to monitor your kids remotely when they are going to school or having fun with friends and see their route history.
Mark safe and dangerous zones on a virtual map like home and grandma`s house. If they leave or enter these zones, you`ll get a notification.
- Panic button
Your kid will have an opportunity to inform you every time they need your help or immediate intervention. They just need to click the Panic button and send you a SOS message with their location.
You can block inappropriate apps and set restrictions for the usage after a bed time.
- Calls monitoring
You can control all incoming and outgoing calls and block unwanted contacts.
- Internet filter
You can monitor your kids` online activity, block adult sites and set restrictions for usage during family activities.
- Daily schedule planner
You can educate your kids by setting tasks remotely and giving your assistance if it is needed.
Thinking About Your Kid’s First Phone…
Don`t buy your child the most expensive models if you don`t want to waste your money in vain. Kids are not responsible for their property. They can easily drop, crash, lose and soak their phones.
Suppose it will happen. There is a great diversity of good models in the 200$ to 400$ range. They are relatively new, have secure operation systems and all modern features. It will not be painful to lose them or seem out-of-fashion.