Is Your Child Ready For A Smart Phone?

by | Sep 19, 2023 | Family, Technology, Tips

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Are you feeling pressure to buy a smart phone for your kids? Are you weighing the decision carefully? If so, good for you! It’s a big decision to give your child an expensive device that may impact their life in a variety of ways. As you’re thinking about it, listen to what Dr. Kim Grengs and Lisa Reichelt have to share. Their tips and suggestions will help you make a wise decision about whether your child is ready for a smart phone. 

Ask Why? And What for?

One of the first things to ask yourself, and your child, is why do you need a smart phone and what are you going to use it for? You may want your child to have a phone so you can better connect with them. You’ll be able to find them, text messages and feel better about knowing where they are. Your child probably has different reasons for wanting a phone. Do you know what your child thinks?

Balance

Everyone looks for balance in life. You’ll want to consider how your child will balance the use of their phone and other activities in life. Discuss with your child how they will balance using their phone and school, extracurricular activities, family time and getting outside. Just like preparing for a driver’s license, kids need to prepare to have a phone. You teach your child to be a good driver, now you get to teach them to be balanced with their phone usage. 

Mentor and Monitor

The role of a mentor is to advise and to role model. You can mentor your child as they start using their phone. Your kids are watching your every move as you use your phone. Can you model the kind of behavior you’d like to see in your kids? You may also need to monitor your child’s usage, depending on their age. The most important thing about mentoring and monitoring is to have conversations. Talk about social media, apps, texting, safety and usage.  

You Got This!

You can “parent” your child through getting a phone and learning to use it correctly. It’s a great opportunity to work with them to develop healthy tech habits. Your conversations with your child will help you know if they are ready for a smart phone.

Is Your Child Ready For A Smart Phone?

Lisa Reichelt, M.Ed., & Dr. Kim Grengs, Ed. D., Parent Coaches

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