When should your kids have their own cell phones?
It’s an age old battle (well maybe only a decade old) between parents and kids. Kids and teens feel like they should have their own cell phones but their parents feel they aren’t ready. With a kid having access to a cell phone, there are so many concerns for parents. Will they use it too much? Who are they talking to? What are they looking up? These are all valid questions as we know that the internet is a breeding ground for predators, hackers, and cyber bullies. Truth is if it were up to most parents, they would be getting their teen a phone when they go off to college.
Benefits of Your Kids Having a Cell Phone
Despite parent’s concerns there are a few benefits for their children having a cell phone. For kids that are involved in sports, work or other after school activities, it may be a good way for parents to coordinate schedules and keep in touch with their kids. Most phones also have GPS which is helpful in aiding new drivers with directions and also gives parents the technology to track their kids.
How to Know if Your Kids Are Ready for a Cell Phone
Should a 5 year old have a cell phone? No. Age is just one determination that a parent will use to give their kids a cell phone. It’s not the only way to decide whether your child is ready. Some kids are more trustworthy than others or have a higher maturity level. Are your kids respectful of personal items and take care of their expensive electronics? Giving a child that is too young to handle the responsibility a phone is a huge mistake. It will lead to huge bills, damaged or lost equipment and lots of frustration on your end.
Great Starter Cell Phones
Does your child need a smart phone? Honestly – No. You can find phones with GPS features where they don’t have to access the internet. Starting your kids off with a rugged basic phone is the best idea to make sure that they can take care of it before the responsibility of using a phone with the internet.
Monitor Their Cell Phone Use
Just because you feel that your child is ready for a cell phone, doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be monitored. Find an application to help you track your kids’ cell phone usage. There are many on the market. You want to find one that tracks via GPS, monitors calls and text messages and can act as a timer for the internet. By being able to access your child’s phone real-time, you can keep tabs on who they are talking to and even pictures they are taking. Don’t let your kid become a victim. With cyber bullying and sexting on the rise among teenagers, make sure your child doesn’t become a statistic.
Kids are using cell phones younger and younger. Just go to any restaurant or waiting room and you can see kids as young as toddlers playing on their parents phones. Visit a mall on summer vacation and you will see hoards of teens with phones. It’s the world we live in. With the right application to help you track your kids cell phone usage, you can make sure that your kids are using their phones for the reasons you gave it to them -to stay safe and connected to you.