How To

10 Things to Tell Your Kids Before Giving Them a Smartphone [Checklist]

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10 things to tell kids before using smartphones

This story comes to you as part of our Top 10 List Bonanza series helping students prepare for back to school. Everybody loves a top 10 list; some of our lists might not be exactly 10, some might be 5 or 15, but these are the top lists for you as a student or parent to get revved up for back to school — on the right foot. 

Just the act of handing your child a smartphone for the first time can be enough to put any parent in a state of constant worry. Your child and the online world are now inextricably linked, and the result for you is iAnxiety. Can you imagine your child inadvertently stumbling across content they aren’t ready to see?

Oh yes, inappropriate content can be found almost anywhere online, and controlling your children’s online experience should be a constant priority. But please, we encourage you not to take away all access to the Internet and revoke all smartphones and tablets from your kids. Simply start paying very close attention to where your children go online, and use your parenting wisdom to make smarter rules and set boundaries, so your kids understand what’s good and bad online behavior.

Talk to your kids about what is appropriate and inappropriate content online, and why it’s important to steer clear of the dark areas of the web.

Schedule device screen time so you are in control of when your children can access and use certain features on their mobile devices.

Keep devices age-appropriate and apply age-specific settings to block all but age-appropriate sites and apps on your child’s devices.

Restrict app and in-app purchases so your next phone bill won’t arrive jam-packed with surprise app purchases.

Your Child’s First Smartphone

So you’ve decided your kids are at the age where they can carry their very own iPhone or Android device. Congratulations! The world welcomes them to the digital era. But have you spoken to them about boundaries they must adhere to in order to continue using a smartphone?

If your kids ever misbehave online, in this way, you will have the prefix to calmly point out where your boundaries have been crossed. Before you give your children a smartphone, it’s a good idea to discuss with them some important rules they must adhere to in order to have the privilege of having their own a mobile device.

10 Things To Tell Your Kids

Here are the top 10 things to tell your kids before you give them a smartphone.

  1. Get a case to protect your smartphone
  2. When you’re in class, focus on your teacher, not on your phone — put your phone is Silent Mode to keep it from buzzing during class
  3. Communicate the consequences if your kids don’t call you back — and then follow through with it if they abuse their privileges
  4. Don’t text and drive (if they’re old enough)
  5. Don’t say things online you wouldn’t want grandma to read (things said online are forever)
  6. Lock your phone with a password, so the data stored on it stays safe
  7. Don’t share your passwords
  8. Keep pictures appropriate — don’t take pics you don’t want me to see
  9. Don’t connect to open public Wi-Fi networks
  10. Explain to your kids why you will be monitoring their browsing activities, if you use an iOS parental control product like Family Protector

Remember, an open discussion approach to using parental controls on your kid’s smartphones will help you worry less over the long haul than the immediate benefit of a ban on mobile technology. With these tips, you will arm your kids with the knowledge they need to keep their digital lives private while they enjoy the benefits of using a smartphone.