It is no longer news that children are becoming increasingly more tech-savvy than their parents. With numerous social media platforms, mobile games, and a never-ending stream of apps at their fingertips, it is only a matter of time before they ask for a smartphone.
While the decision of when to purchase a smartphone for a child (if at all) is a personal one that varies for every family, if you have decided it’s time to give your child a smartphone, the next step is to ensure you get them the right one.
Here are seven things that you should consider before taking the plunge.
Go Over The Need For A Smartphone With Your Child
This is the first and most important thing to do. Sit with your child and have a talk about why they need the smartphone. Is it to keep in touch with relatives, a means to communicate with you when you’re not around, for their school assignments, or for other safety reasons.
Before purchasing a smartphone for your child, consider whether the pros of your child having a phone outweigh the cons and decide the best option for your family.
Choose The Right Operating System
Adults generally have their own preferences when it comes to iOS or Android operating systems, however, there’s a big difference between the two when it comes to parental controls and monitoring.
Smartphones that operate with iOS generally leave parents with less control over the system than Android systems. Based on this, you need to decide the type of controls you want and which operating system is best for your needs.
Set Rules And Boundaries
Before going ahead to purchase the smartphone, you need to talk to your child about boundaries and parental control. Let them know if there would be set rules and time limits for phone usage, websites they cannot visit, or places they wouldn’t take their smartphone to.
In addition to these, you can set up additional superior parental control features that make monitoring their activities easier.
Consider The Smartphone’s Price
If you’re purchasing your child’s first smartphone, it is best to opt for a lower- to middle-of-the-road-priced smartphone for a child. This is because children tend to lose, forget, or accidentally damage them.
So, getting a cheaper smartphone is a safer bet in their journey to becoming responsible phone owners.
Choose A Lower-tier Or Prepaid Mobile Plan
A good way to introduce smartphones to children is by opting for a prepaid plan. That way, there is no contract, so if the phone is lost or otherwise not being used, you simply do not purchase service for that month.
It also prevents your children from making in-app purchases or using more data than they have available.
Research Storage Space
Research the phone’s storage level and decide whether or not it will be enough to meet your child’s needs.
Also note that the bigger the phone storage, the more expensive the smartphone tends to be, so you may want to consider mid-tier smartphone storage and an SD card slot.
This way, your child has enough storage space without breaking the bank.
Buy A Good Protective Case
It is important to buy a heavy-duty phone case for your child’s phone because they will drop the phone a lot of times. Look into the variety of phone cases that are available for the model that you’re considering – as some phones have fewer options than others.
An effective phone case offers screen and body protection. It ultimately increases the smartphone’s lifetime and prevents you from having to purchase a new phone for your child every couple of months.