Some tips and tricks to determine if you and your child are ready.
There are so many tough things to navigate when it comes to technology and kids. Our phones are mini computers. It’s a big responsibility to trust in the hands of a child, and hard to know the right age to give them that level of power and independence.
Here are a few things to think about before you give your kids a phone:
There is no going back
Once you have given your child, teen or tween a phone, there are no getting the days without the phone back. They have a whole new source of entertainment and for you, you gain a new source of worry. Suddenly, the whole world is accessible to them, both the good and the bad. Having some frank conversations about things they could encounter and how to handle it before they get their device will help in setting boundaries.
Start the conversation early
Chances are, your child has been exposed to the technology already, so teaching them how to use it won’t be the issue. The phone component is actually the least used, but the games, apps, web and social media availability should be the center of these talks to start establishing ground rules and expectations. Don’t wait until they already have their device as soon as you make the decision to get them one - start talking about it and listen to their input as well.
When will they be allowed to use it?
The main reason for giving your kids a phone is so you can always be in touch with them. However, managing their use of it can be tricky. If there is an emergency at school, you want them to have it, but you don’t want them to spend most of their class time on Snapchat.
Many parents opt for their kids to “turn their phones in” when they are home. This means that the phone is mainly used as a form of communication, not constant entertainment.
Put It in the Contract
Phone contracts among children and parents are becoming more common. This is a way to hold children accountable to their early made but easily forgotten promises. It can be something to refer back to if phone use is getting out of control or if you need to modify the rules as they grow older.
At Allegius, we are all about teaching your kids responsibility, especially when it comes to finances. Check out our Banzai Financial Education resources at https://allegius.teachbanzai.com/wellness.