The Do’s And Dont’s Of Buying A Phone For Your Kid – collaborative post

disclosure: this is a collaborative post

Are you thinking about buying a mobile phone for your kid? Take a look at these do’s and don’ts.

Do Give Your Child A Cyber Civics Lesson

A cyber civics lesson is like an education in how to conduct oneself online, similar to a regular civics lesson that a child might have in school. It would be great if schools covered topics like “how to use Snapchat safely” and “how to decide whether to share information online,” but the vast majority are way behind the times. It’s up to parents to take up the slack.

A cyber civics lesson should cover the basics and can be divided into two sections: etiquette and safety. The goal of the lesson is to teach your child both how to behave online and how to stay safe. You could include things like not talking to people who aren’t in your contact list and avoiding doing anything on a social network which could get back to the school or employer. Conducting oneself as if everyone is watching is the best policy – they probably are.

Don’t Choose A Fixed Contract

Fixed contracts are bad for kids. Not only are they liable to break their handset at some point, but fixed contracts can mean that you inadvertently rack up large bills. As SMARTY Mobile points out, there are other options. You can, for instance, choose deals that work on a month by month basis and that you can stop at any time if you discover that your kid isn’t using mobile services responsibility. What’s more, these so-called SIM-only deals are usually a heck of a lot more affordable than their traditional counterparts.

Do Ask Yourself Whether Your Child Is Ready

Hooking up to the “wild west” of the internet, friends, and acquaintance is a huge responsibility for the average child. You may think that your child is responsible, but the world out there is a lot bigger than they are, and they might not have encountered many of the situations they’ll face online before.

If you’re not sure whether your child is ready to own a phone, then you could try a trial period to see how they use the technology. If they’re not prepared, you can always wait until their next birthday.

Don’t Forget To Use Parental Control Apps

Parental control apps are one of the tools that parents can use to protect their children from the worst of the internet. It’s worth pointing out, however, that these apps don’t protect kids against potentially dangerous apps, like Snapchat, where they may engage in “sexting” and other age-inappropriate activities. The only way to protect against these is to customise parental control apps to block the installation of certain chat apps on their device.

Do Remain Open About Cyber Threats

It’s not a good idea to threaten your child by taking their phone away. If they think they might lose their phone, they won’t come forward with problems they’re having online. As a parent, you need to remain open to any conversation that your child might want to have with you.

disclosure:  this is a collaborative post

 

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