Honey, We Need to Talk: Lessons on your kid’s first smartphone

There’s no getting around it. As they start to come of age it’s getting harder and harder to refuse your fast-growing child a smartphone. Of course, if you ask them they should have had one years ago and the reasons they need one are endless. Staying on top of school and keeping up with social activities are just a couple of the harder ones to argue with. Regardless of the reason why, if you ‘ve come to the decision that now’s the time to get your kid a smartphone, there’s a lot you need to consider. 

Kids use their smartphones in ways that we can hardly imagine. They spend their time on apps we’ve never heard of and while communicating in language that we sometimes can’t even understand. This means that there are new rules you need to learn so that you can deal with digital dangers that you’ve never even heard about. 

But not to worry, to make things easy on you we’ve boiled down these lessons into 5 tips that will hopefully help reduce your anxiety about your little angel having their very own smartphone.

Parental control.

Today, most phones have built-in parental controls that give you some abilities to limit kids’ kids smartphone usage. However, these phones do not make use of the latest technologies. FamilyKeeper is the most advanced parental control app on the market. It goes way beyond the standard parental control apps, by providing real-time notifications if your child is writing or being exposed to inappropriate content. We highly recommend FamilyKeeper as a way to monitor and enforce the contract you make with your kids.

Give them what they need, not what they want.

While they may be claiming that they absolutely must have the latest model, premium smartphone out there, chances are they can make do with less. There are tons of great smartphones available that don’t cost an arm and a leg. In fact, there are starter phones built especially for kids that probably offer everything your kids need for school and for social activities. And they won’t get your kid mugged or in trouble.

Draft a contract.

Take time to have a real heart to heart with your kid about why they actually want a phone. Aside from school, emergencies and social activities, what apps do they want to use and how much time do they expect to be able to use the phone every day. Talk about what you expect from a good digital citizen and write down a set of rules that you consider to be appropriate digital behavior. That way, they’ll understand that cyberbullying and insulting posts should definitely not be happening anywhere near their phones.  And more importantly, will know what happens if they break those rules.

Learn everything about social media.

Chances are your kids aren’t going to be on Facebook. Nowadays, social media platforms like TikTok and Discord are all the rage and new ones are popping up every day. Take the time to learn about the apps your kids are using. Not only that, but download them for yourself and see what the fuss is all about. If you don’t like what you see, you can discuss this with your child or even block the app using parental control apps like FamilyKeeper. 

Discuss the dangers of the internet.

This one is tough, but necessary. It’s important that your kids understand that there are real life consequences to their digital actions. Discuss the dangers of cyberbullying and explain what an online predator is. Make sure that they know that everything they do on the internet is permanent. Every picture they send, every comment they make and every website they visit can and will be used against them if things go sour. 

FamilyKeeper gives you everything you need to keep your kids safe from the digital dangers lurking behind their smartphones. Get real-time notifications if your kid is using their smartphone inappropriately. Track their location, block apps and set healthy screen limits so that you can make sure they’re using the phone in the way you approve.