The world has changed immensely since smartphones have been introduced. As a mother you did not have this distraction available as you surely would have loved it during your teenage years. Children are getting smartphones at younger and younger ages but there is not general consensus on how young is too young to purchase this piece of technology for your child.
Coordinating Rides To Sports and From School
For those teens that go to school quite far away from the home or are a part of a carpool it is important for these teens to have a smartphone. Going to the school office to let parents know that their ride left early due to illness simply is not an option at many schools. A quick text home can alert parents that they need to change their schedule to pick up their teen. This is more convenient for everyone and it allows you the freedom to make your teen check in once they have arrived somewhere. Those kids that are involved in quite a few school activities should have phones as well to let a parent know if they can come early to pick them up or arrive late as things are running long. Do not have your kid be the one bumming phones off of others simply to let you know what their plans are for the day.
A Distraction in School
We know our children better than anyone else so we understand that certain children can be distracted by nearly anything while they are in school. You need to keep tabs on data usage in school so you can see if your child or teen is constantly on their phone when they are not supposed to be. Ground rules for phone usage during school need to be in line with the school’s policies. Do not allow your child to text during a class but tell them to wait in between classes or during a bathroom break to text. This will reduce the number of times your teen has their phone taken away as well as teachers can become fed up with numerous students always having their phones out.
Knowing Areas of the Internet To Avoid
Younger children should have restrictions about what sites on the internet that they can access. Let your children know that you have an app or software that will allow you to see what they have been searching. There are a plethora of predators online looking for a naïve child or teen to prey on. Something as simple as not engaging with any strangers online is important. Do not allow your child or teen to even post on social media things that they are doing or locations they frequent. You never know who has taken interest in your child so it is better to be safe than sorry.
Keeping Tabs on the Phone Usage
Kids are getting phones at younger and younger ages so it is important to keep tabs on phone usage. Never for any reason allow your child to stay on their phone when you are talking to them. Too many of the younger generation are glued to their phones instead of having real human interaction. Everyone has seen a picture of teenagers at a table together with all of tehm staring at their phones instead of talking to each other. No phones at the dinner table is another rule you need to be strict about. The first person to take their phone out can be the person who handles the dishes. This can be a great game to play while also limiting phone usage.
Every child is different so purchasing a cell phone is not a cut and dry topic with one age being an answer for all children. Phones are not only distractions but they can be immensely important to the safety of your child.