What Parents Should Consider Before Purchasing A Teens Smartphone

Teens, Texting, Talking, and… Too much? It’s a growing problem among many teens and their families. Using cell phones when they should not be used. Most of the time, this takes place while driving, but there are many other areas such as while in school, while walking, and spending time with families in which cell phones are commonly over-used.

It’s a reoccurring issue- how do we decrease cell phone use when the world seemingly becomes more and more digitalized? How can we stop distracted driving? How can we keep our teens safer, and reduce their use and dependence on technology? There are common strategies that most will focus on- like putting your phone away while driving, and teaching our teens how to drive without phone. But, sometimes these practices are only temporary. Sure, they are great behaviors we should implement into our daily routines, but after a while these behaviors may begin to dwindle down.

As a parent, what are some of the uncommon things that you can do to help your children and teens to reduce dependence on cell phone use?


It Starts With Age


For many of us, we can reminisce on our teenage days and think to ourselves- I didn’t have a smartphone when I was that age! When evaluating the youth in today’s society, it seems as though smartphones are provided at an increasingly earlier age. When looking around, you may find that some six year olds now have iPhones.

Its an area to stop and consider- what would a six year old need an iPhone for? Though it may be hard to answer, many parents are providing devices at an early age to provide entertainment for younger children. At the same time, most are not stopping to think of the ease of internet access they are granting to their children. Is it really safe to allow them access early on? Additionally, do they really need any type of cellular device at this age? Most parents will defend this by saying it’s a great way to communicate with their children when they are outside of the home. Though it can be an excellent tool for that, parents need to consider all areas of the spectrum when providing devices. Are there already ways at school or after school activities that allow children to communicate with their parents if needed?


All Devices Are Different


If you decide a smartphone is the right choice for your child or early teenager, you should shop around for various cell phones. Don’t select the phone that your child wants or desires because his/her friends already have it. Check out the functionality of the phone. What is the iPhone capable of doing? Is an android safer? What types of apps can be downloaded on each device that will help parents to keep their kids safer?

There are a variety of apps that can be downloaded on androids that differ from iPhones. Some apps specifically restrict users from interacting with their cell phones during certain times. These devices can be an excellent aid for reducing distracted driving. Other apps may allow parents to monitor their teens cell phone use, and allow access to monitor what is being done on their teens phone. This is a great way to keep children and teens safe when they are not under direct supervision of a parent or adult.


It Also Starts With a Parent’s Decision


Yes, the world is becoming more digitalized. Newer devices are being introduced each and every day. Sometimes, it can be difficult to keep up with the most current trends and technology that is being added to the marketplace.

As a parent, you have the control to monitor which devices are purchased. If you are providing the device for your child or teen, you have the ability to determine the best fit for your unique situation. It’s important to consider the many factors that a cell phone or device has the ability to do- like talk, text, and downloading various apps. All features of a smartphone should be explained to you via your cell phone service provider prior to selecting or purchasing a device for your teen. Besides, once you purchase the device, most likely your teen will be handling it almost everyday.

Do your homework! As a parent, you are the primary safeguard your child has against harm. Ensure you are making a fully educated decision before making any moves, and just remember, your decisions and lessons ultimately impact your teens behaviors behind the wheel, at school, and during their daily lives!

Categories: Parenting Tips

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