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Dialing in a New Smartphone For Your Child? Consider These 3 Important Questions First

Having an available line of contact with your child is important, but is your child ready for a smartphone of his/her own?

Is it a smart decision to get a smartphone?

Do you need a new smartphone for your child to keep in contact with them or, keep you informed about their whereabouts? If the answer is yes, you may want to consider the following  before you sign up for a mobile subscription plan at your nearby Telco.

1. Have you created rules for your child?

Before handing a smartphone to your child, remember to set ground rules and parameters for them. Negotiate with them how long they can use their phones, who the main owner is (you or them), what the consequences are if your child loses/breaks the phone? According to psychologist, Dr. Jon Lasser, these rules help children learn how to self-regulate and understand their limits. Also, having a say in these rules deter children from resisting these rules.

2. Have you led by example?

Children learn through example. If you would want your child to pick up good smartphone habits, show them. For instance, if you want to limit your child’s screen time, set time limits on your own smartphone usage as much as you would want your child to. Remember to be engaged with your child when you have to be instead of compulsively checking your phone. Through this, children would be more aware of good smartphone habits and more likely to emulate them.

3. How responsible is your child?

If your child readily misplaces his/her toys or books, perhaps reconsider whether they would be ready to handle the responsibility of taking care of an expensive smartphone. Additionally, after getting a smartphone, make sure he/she uses them responsibly. This means making sure your child understands the idea of using a smartphone in moderation, and using them safely and appropriately.

Get smart about smartphone management.

Getting your child’s first smartphone is a big decision. If you do decide to get your child a new smartphone, managing their smartphone usage is necessary. If physically managing your child’s smartphone usage is too taxing, the plano app has parental controls like scheduling device-free timings to inculcate good device habits in your children. 

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