Should You Get Your Child A Phone For Christmas?
Should you get your child a phone for Christmas? I think this is a question that a lot of parents struggle with each year.
Having a phone at a young age is becoming more and more common these days as the digital age takes over but when is the right time?
There are numerous things to consider in this situation, and it’s not all about their age!
Does your child show responsibility? Do they lose things often? Do you need to keep in touch with them for a particular reason? Can they obey rules and restrictions you apply to their phone usage? Will they use the phone responsibly and use it for what it is intended? These are just some of the many questions you should be asking yourself.
Having a phone can be good in some ways. You can contact your child wherever they go, and it might give you better peace of mind.
It may also make your child more mature and responsible since they now have something expensive to look after and take care of.
However, they can also be dangerous in many ways.
The ease of access to social media can, unfortunately, put them at risk of online bullying. And getting involved in unsafe games which trend on social media is also another worry parents may have.
Also, how do we really monitor everything our child does online? It is impossible with the unbelievable number of websites and apps they can access through a mobile phone. When used wrong, a mobile phone can be extremely dangerous.
However, if you believe now is the right time for your child to have a phone, then that's a decision you have to make as a family. But there are a few things you should consider before handing it over, including establishing restrictions and boundaries from the beginning.
You should know the password to your child’s phone and the passwords to their social media accounts. Setting time limits on general screen time can also be beneficial. You should determine the consequences if the phone gets lost or broken.
Phones are expensive!
Experts suggest you make your child aware that you will be monitoring everything they do online. This will ensure they won’t act different or in a way you wouldn’t want them to act if they knew you weren't watching everything they do online.
I think, if your child shows they are mature enough and responsible enough, a phone might not be a bad idea! I think the big danger and red flag for a lot of parents when considering a phone for Christmas, would be the use of social media.
Restricting usage of apps like Snapchat might be a good idea. Keeping a good eye on their social media accounts and limiting their usage will ensure their safety and keep your peace of mind.
Find out more information on restricting your child's screentime here.