Nowadays it seems like most two-year-olds know how to use an iPhone better than some adults, and for those of who grew up without this technology at that age, it’s quite strange to see, but yet it’s just the way the world is and there’s not much we can do about it.
However, when it comes to your own kids, it’s sometimes the case that there’s one rule for them and one for everyone else, and whilst it’s not that you want to keep your kids sheltered and not allow them things, you also see the damage that technology can do, so you want them to stay children for as long as possible.
So, when your child starts asking for a phone, it can come as an unwelcome surprise and sign of the times, but how do you react?
You certainly don’t want to say no just because of your own beliefs in whether or not they should have a phone, but at the same time, you want to know that they’re having one for the right reasons.
To help you make the decision slightly easier, we’ve listed some things to think about before reacting blindly to help you decide whether or not to honor your child’s request for a phone.
Why do they want one?
Before immediately reacting and saying either yes or no to your child when they ask for a phone, it’s important to not only use common sense but determine why they actually want one.
For example, if an 8-year-old is asking for the latest iPhone, then the answer should probably be no. Not only do they not need a phone at this age, but they’re too young to look after it properly, and they most likely only want it because they like watching videos on it, which isn’t the purpose of a phone.
On the other hand, if your 14-year-old is asking for one, although there’s likely some societal pressure involved because their friends have one, at this age they do have more use for a phone and it can actually work in your favor if you’re able to reach them, so not only do you need to determine why they want one, but if they actually could benefit from one.
Will they accept your rules?
It’s important to remind your kids that phones are not toys. Although they’re seen as such nowadays because of how common and disposable they are, they still need to understand there are going to be rules that need to be respected in order for them to have a phone. This is so they don’t become addicted and forget how to hold an actual real-life conversation.
For example, you might be okay with them having a phone so that you can reach them when needed. However, it is ok for you to not you want them having any social media on there. You set rules around when the phone can and can’t be used, such as during meal times, and only after homework has been completed.
Another thing you may wish to do with your child’s knowledge of course, is to have something like Family Orbit – parental app installed on their phone.
Are they responsible?
Owning a phone is a responsibility. Although all kids mature at different stages, it’s important that if you’re considering getting them a phone at all that you take into account how mature and responsible they are before buying one.
Many people simply don’t look after their phones by either dropping them constantly or leaving them lying around in places where they could be stolen. So it’s important that your child is responsible enough to understand that having a phone means they have to look after it.
Will they contribute to the cost?
Phones nowadays are far from cheap. Even on a monthly contract, they’re still something that needs to be paid. So, you have to decide who’s going to be footing the bill. Obviously, if you’re taking out a contract, then it will have to be in your name. It is a good idea to decide if you’re going to ask your child to make a partial contribution to the cost of the phone each month as this could be a good way to teach them some financial responsibility.