Do you have a tween or a teenager that is begging you for a smartphone? Smartphones have their advantages but your tween doesn’t have to have one until you are ready to make the commitment. A basic cell phone does NOT have the ability to add parental control software so that you can monitor your child’s phone usage. Kid’s don’t always realize that the information that they share online can potentially cause legal problems or place them in harm’s way.
Between school and after-school activities, tweens and teens are busier than ever. Staying in contact with them can be quite challenging unless they have been given a smartphone. A smartphone made it so much easier to stay in contact with our own children when they were participating in after-school activities or going out with friends.
Purchasing Your Tween or Teenager a Smartphone
Purchasing your child a smartphone and adding them to your plan can be a scary experience for parents. But rest assured, it is better to give your child the opportunity to show responsibility. Nothing moves a teenager quicker than to threaten to take away their phone if they don’t do what you ask.
Today, we want to share with you our favorite reasons why your tween or teenager should be given the opportunity to have a smartphone.
Install a Trusted Parental Control App
Most kids stumble upon inappropriate content by accident when they are surfing the Internet or doing research for school. Parental control apps on their smartphone and on any computer that they might use at home is a great way for parents to monitor their child’s activities. While it isn’t your intention to spy on your kids, it is important that you know what they are doing and what they are talking about on social media.
We suggest purchasing one of these top 10 best parental control software for mobile and pc in 2018. These best parental control software has been thoroughly tested to give you the most detailed information. Social media is always changing so it is important to keep up with the new apps and make sure the software monitors it for you.
Keep A Google Calendar
Google calendar is a great way for families to keep track of each other. We love it because it can be accessed using an app on your phone or on the computer. Everyone using the calendar will need to sign up for a free Google account.
Open the calendar and create a new event. Search for family calendar in the drop-down menu and hit save. Then invite your family members to the family calendar. The calendar can only be viewed by family members only but you can invite others to scheduled events.
Once your family calendar is set up, open the Google calendar app on their phone and then click on the menu upper left-hand corner. Scroll down until you see your child’s Gmail account and select the family calendar.
Then to schedule an event click on the + button on the bottom right-hand corner. Click on event and enter title of the “event” and make sure that the family calendar is selected. Then set the date and time of the “event”. You can add further information such as location, invite others, add additional notifications, and choose a default color. Set the default color for each family member so that when you are viewing the calendar you can easily see everyone’s events. Click save on the event.
Google Calendar is a great way for your child to log any homework and test dates.
Classrooms are Tech-Friendly
Most classrooms, have ditched the heavy books and have opted to use digital books. Students are now using technology in the classroom. Since there aren’t any books to go home, your child should take several photos of the curriculum and any notes the teacher may provide during class. Do make sure that your child has permission to use their phone during class.
Peace of Mind
As a parent, I always feel better knowing that I can easily get a hold of my child no matter where they are at. It also gives my tween or teenager the ability to call for help in the event of an emergency. Plus, in the event that my child doesn’t answer their phone or text message, I can utilize their location service to help determine where they are and I can easily check to see if they are where they say they are at.
Gives Them Access to Educational Apps
As a parent, I am always encouraging my kids to continue learning beyond the classroom. There are countless education apps that can be downloaded from the app store to use on their cell phone.
Depending on your school’s library, they may have an eBook program to check out books to read. If the school doesn’t have a program, ask your local library if they have a lending e-book library. The books are free to read utilizing your library card. Reading books helps improve their vocabulary and improve their reading skills as preparation for college. Plus, books are fun to read.
Connect with Friends
Teenagers are no longer sitting at home talking on a landline for several hours a day. Instead, they are using their cell phones or social media to connect with their friends. The parental controls help give you an idea of what your tween or teenager is up too and what is going on in their life.
Discuss Appropriate Social Media Usage
Kids are also using social media to communicate with their friends and strangers. When you give them their smartphone, you can use the opportunity on how to create healthy boundaries with their social media accounts.
There have been countless stories of teenagers, using social media to connect with strangers and end up in harm’s way. You want to scare them enough so that they use common sense when talking to others. But now is the time to discuss the dangers of connecting with the wrong person or sharing too much information online.
If your tween or teenager finds themselves in a dangerous situation online or caught up in cyberbullying, you want them to come to you; instead, of having to confront them with evidence from parental control logs.
Give Them Access to Games
We all need downtime at some point during the day. Kids will usually download games on their smartphone whether you give them the okay or not. As a parent, I have found that giving my teenager access to a few games on their phone is a great idea. It is just important that they know that they aren’t allowed to play them during class unless they have their teacher’s permission. Without the teacher’s permission, your child could have their phone taken away and passed on to the office.
We hope that this guide helps you determine if you should give your tween or teenager a smartphone. Giving your teenager a smartphone is a great way to keep up with your busy child and give them a chance to show that they are responsible.