Precautions to take when buying your child’s first smartphone
With technology being as intuitive as ever, kids are becoming more technologically savvy despite their age. Without having to educate them, toddlers are tapping, swiping, and taking pictures as adults would. Eventually, your child is going to want his own device. As a responsible parent living in the 21st century, should you comply? What precautions do you take? Here’s one perspective from a tech lover.
Do it for the right reasons
Before you succumb to the pleas, sit your child down and identify his or her reason for wanting a device. Is it due to peer pressure? Or is it because your child is looking for a way to keep in constant contact with you? Owning a device can be a big responsibility and is likely to be your child’s first big purchase. Think of the lessons you can teach your child through this experience.
Start with A for Apple
We don’t mean to sound biased but the iOS clearly has a more intuitive and family-oriented platform. While the Google Play Store has upped its policies on app regulations, Apple has been long known to be more thorough. The iOS is also easier to navigate, making it the choice of many senior citizens and young children.
The right model
While we do recommend iPhones, getting your child a brand-new iPhone 12 Max Pro would be likely to eat into his or her college funds. You could consider a low to mid-range model from brands such as Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo, or Samsung.
Alternatively, pre-owned phones are an excellent choice as they are economical and offer the flagship experience for less. Have a browse through our available models at shop.compasia.com
Exercise parental powers
Make it a point to set up parental control features which are included by default in some phones or can be installed via Google Play Store or the App Store. Parental Controls allow you to monitor the apps being installed by your child and also track the amount of time your child spends on particular apps. Notable apps include Google Family Link for Androids and Apple Screen Time for iOS users.
School of hard knocks
Should your child drop and shatter the screen of his phone, it is likely to hurt you as much as it hurts him. This can easily be avoided by investing in a sturdy phone cover, along with a good screen protector. And as we’ve mentioned, perhaps brand-new is not the way to go just yet.
Boundaries come in all forms when it’s in relation to smart devices. How much time is your child allowed? What apps are no-nos? Is phone use prohibited at certain locations? Set these ground rules prior to purchasing the phone as kids are more likely to comply at this time.
Remember to disconnect
The internet can be addictive as seen in many adults. You don’t want your child to be going through his golden years with his eyes glued to his device. Make it a point to get your child off the internet at least once a day to explore the wide world without the web. You could also do activities together like going on a photography expedition for example.
To summarise, get a good sturdy phone that is relatively affordable and monitor your child’s usage. While providing kids with phones can sometimes be seen as a sign of reckless parenting, phones can be used wisely as a tool to educate and connect parents and their children. Just remember to be mindful on the behalf of your offspring.