5 tips you should follow when your tween gets their first phone
As they get older, you might be considering giving your tween their first-ever smartphone. As they head towards their teen years, they will likely be granted a little bit more freedom, but you’ll still want to keep track of them.
While having a smartphone can have lots of benefits (such as your tween being able to keep in contact with their loved ones), they can also be extremely harmful and dangerous at a young age.
So, if you want to gift your tween with a smartphone before they begin their new school term, it is important to set up boundaries to keep them safe. Below, we have curated our 5 top tips that you should incorporate with your tween as they take this next digital step:
1. Before your tween gets their first smartphone, you should discuss the reasons why you are allowing them to have it. Make sure they know that they should only use it for exceptions, and that they should ask you first if they want to set up a new app. Keeping an open flow of communication is the most important thing!
2. Thankfully, these days, most smartphone brands have parental control features on offer, that allow you to control what your tween has access to. With these features, you can add restrictions to specific apps, and keep track of what your tween is viewing on their phone. Check in with these features every so often to make sure that your tween is remaining safe online.
3. Your tween might question why you are taking precautions when it comes to their smartphone. If that’s the case, speak openly to them about the risks that can come with being online. Educate them on the importance of online safety, including not sharing personal information, avoiding strangers, and reporting inappropriate content.
4. While many things are done online these days, it’s crucial for your tween to recognise that life offline is a necessary balance. You can either control their screen time manually yourself, or you can use the smartphone’s parental controls to set up screen time limits on certain apps. Make sure your child knows that just because they have a phone now, they should still continue to enjoy all of their old hobbies and extracurricular activities.
5. Lastly, once your tween’s smartphone is set up, you shouldn’t view it as a done deal. Continue to stay up to date with their activities online, and check in with them every so often about what they’re getting up to. This way, hopefully, there won’t be any problems!