Things to Think About Before You Buy a First Smartphone for Your Child

Buying a smartphone for your child is something you might want to consider. See how one mom traversed the hard terrain of what to buy—and how to teach her son to securely operate in the digital world—in a video interview.

Define desire versus necessity.

When my kid asked if he might have a new iPhone, we decided to offer him one of our older models. To our surprise, we had taught him his first lesson. Kids can be taught the difference between what they want and what they need through money conversations and purchases of any amount in the family’s budget.

It becomes more difficult to address a demand once it has been developed. When it comes to money, this is the most fundamental question of human existence. The next step is to figure out how much you need. From the sort of phone to its features like megapixels and data plans are all covered in this question. 

You can start being “very hardcore” with a hideously uncool flip phone if you want to. Offer to upgrade the relic after, say, three months if your child has passed the accountability test: He doesn’t lose or break it. Make it clear that your youngster technically does not need anything more than that. For the more expensive phone and data plan, you can start there.

If your child insists on an improved phone, case, or plan because, as our son recently pointed out, “phones influence social standing,” treat the request as a “desire” that must be paid for with money from allowance, holidays, or birthday celebrations.

Discovering the ‘Why’

You need to figure out why your kid wants a smartphone. They can tell you whether or not possessing a cell phone is a sign of social standing. Is it because their pals are using a particular app that they want to get one? Getting them a phone and then telling them they can’t use it for one of the reasons they wanted it is a waste of your money. If this is the case, look into that app and see what you think.

Assist in their safety.

Even though parenting in the smartphone era can be scary and overwhelming, there are many options available to assist you. The first stage is to fill in the gaps in knowledge. Whatever you think you know, chances are, your child does.

Sextortion and cyberbullying have a way of making even the most sensible parent consider following their child’s every digital move. You can monitor your child’s messaging behavior, track apps, set time limits on phone use, and block undesirable calls and texts with many major service providers.

However, constant monitoring isn’t always the best solution.

It is preferable to keep lines of communication open than to close them. If you observe something your child might find troubling, tell them they can come to you for guidance, and reassure them that you won’t get upset if they do. They should be able to come to you if they have a concern or a problem that is bothering them. Discuss what they’re viewing, researching, and commenting on in a free-flowing manner.

Helpful related articles: Preschooler’s Screen Time RestrictionsScreen Time Restrictions For TeenagersGuidelines for Babies and Toddlers’ Screen Time