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Setting Up Your Child's First Phone: Essential Tips

a kid using cell phone

Setting Up Your Child's First Phone: Essential Tips

Getting a phone for a child is a big responsibility, and you want to consider all safety aspects to make this step a positive experience.

Getting your first phone for your child is an essential step for everyone involved and only one step to consider. Fostering security is a great way to avoid unwanted situations and to help your child take advantage of technology without unintended consequences.

Discussions with your child before purchasing

Start by having in-depth discussions with your child about what it means to own and use a smartphone. They have almost certainly used other ' phones before, but having one himself carries a certain level of responsibility. It would help if you established basic rules.

Start by discussing the time your youngster can spend on the phone daily and for what reasons. For example, will you allow them to stay longer for a weekend than a school night? Can they use the mobile phone more often than the norm if you check that the activities are for a school project?

What applications will you allow them to use? Can they download new ones without your permission?

Establishing communication rules is also essential. Which friends and family members can contact over the phone? Which email applications will they use? Remember to confirm what your child should do when making a new friend. Can they add this person to their contacts immediately, or should they ask you first?

These types of questions and discussion points will help your child use his phone safely and allow you to clarify that responsibilities accompany this privilege. Remember that all initial basic rules could also change if necessary. Remember to get more advice from parents you trust who have young people the same age as yours.

a mom being irritated while his son using cell phone

How to configure your child's first smartphone

Knowing how to configure a mobile phone for a child means familiarizing yourself with the parameters and capacities of the operating system. An overview of Child Mind Institute suggests starting your child with a specialized child whom he can only use to call and send SMS.

If the phone you choose has iOS or Android as the operating system, look at what it contains. Please scroll through the installed applications and make sure you approve them. Many suppliers sell telephones with installed third-party applications unsuitable for children.

You must also periodically check your child's phone after giving it. The Apple Store and Google Play are full of potentially dangerous applications for children. Some seem safe and practical but have safe functionality that allows people to hide files.

You can also activate parameters such as Do Not Disturb so that children do not hear notifications pass after bedtime. Remember to configure different sounds for calls from you or other adults in the child's life when you change how notifications work.

kid using cell phone on protected mode

Controls and Limits on a Child's Phone

Smartphones can quickly become addictive. You may reduce the chances of this happening by limiting how your child can use it and when. For example, the configuration of Google Family Link allows parents to control the accounts of children under 13. It works on Android and iOS. Consider using a different parental control solution once your child is 13.

In addition, Android may limit the time spent using specific applications. iOS has a similar functionality. These are good ways to start slowly to allow your child to spend more time in specific applications that are more risky but can stay safe when he is well used.

Limiting how long children can use their phones before bedtime is also a good idea. Scientists believe that blue screen light can negatively affect the duration and quality of sleep.

Additional security

Smartphones make capturing images, videos, and location details easier than sharing them. It is not always a good thing, however. The Federal Trade Commission suggests encouraging your child to have a state of confidentiality on online sharing. Awareness of their privacy and that of others could prevent sensitive content from becoming public.

You can also track your child's phone with a third-party application. This could add security, especially if your child is old enough to spend time with friends after school. Calling them to check their location is an option, but a follow-up application gives you additional information if it does not answer their phone or if you do not trust their answer. However, you potentially tell your children that you don't trust them, so be careful when you take this option. Android and iOS allow you to store medical information on the phone if your child has allergies or medical conditions. This is a good step if you want first responders to have essential information in an emergency.

ensure extra security while your kid uses cell phone

Please help your child stay safe on their first phone.

This overview will help you feel confident about your child's ability to use a smartphone safely. This is an essential step for them; you can provide helpful advice. It should not worry you too much, although it is natural that you feel anxiety: it signals your child that you trust him.

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