So your kids want a phone, there used to be a time when owning a cell phone or a tablet was a luxury, but now things are different. For one, owning a device can give your child a measure of safety. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people cause harm to children, so they need to have a way to communicate with you and with the authorities if any danger were to arise. Apart from that, children frequently use devices for school, so it may be necessary for them to have their own devices in order to do some of their school assignments. Even though it may be in your child’s best interest to have a device, you do well to give them some rules before using the phone.
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#1 They Don’t Get the Phone All Day
Children are not able to discern like adults; even some adults are not very discerning. Since that is the case, you don’t want to set your child up for issues. Do not let your child have the phone all day. When it is bedtime, your child has no need to have their phone with him or her. Your child should not be talking to their friends late into the night; he or she should be going to sleep. Your child also does not need to be watching shows or doing any Google searches at night. You want to trust your child, but don’t treat a child like he or she has the reasoning powers of an adult. Charge your child’s phone in your room at night, and don’t let him or her go to sleep with a phone.
#2 You Are Free to Monitor Your Child’s Device Usage
Your child is going to use the phone or tablet in the case of an emergency, but he or she is also going to call friends and search the net on the device. There is nothing wrong with any of those things, but a child should not hide things from you with a device. This means that you should be free to look at the device. This does not give you permission to spy on your child, but it means that he or she is not using the device to keep things from you, and your child is also not talking to people who you are not familiar with. This may be different if your child is a teenager who pays for his or her own device, but there can even be rules if the child is older. You are the parent, and your job is to keep your child safe. Monitor your child’s phone usage without being annoying.
#3 Show Your Child How to Care For The Device
Devices are expensive, so you do well to teach your child how to care for his or her device. This means that your child should protect the device. He or she can use custom tablet cases or custom cell phone cases to protect the device from any damage. Your child should also get a good password for his or her device; this should be a password that is not easily guessed. Your child should learn the importance of being responsible with the device, and if it gets lost, do not be quick to buy another one. He or she needs to learn that it is important to keep an eye on the device, or it will just get lost again.
#4 Correct Times To Use Phones or Tablets
There need to be some times that are sacred. Your child needs to have rules when it comes to the times that devices are used. For example, you may have a rule that there is no texting or using the tablet during meals or while the family is driving in the car. Each family is different, but if there is a time when everyone should be communicating, devices should be put away.
#5 Homework and Chores Comes First
When your child has important things that need to be done like chores and homework, take the phone away until those things get done. Your child may throw a fit, but he or she has to be taught the importance of priorities.
Your Child, Your Rules
Your family may want to create different rules for your child, but it all depends on your family’s values. Establish rules that give your child a measure of freedom, but at the same time, teach your child to keep devices in their place. Devices can be extremely useful to your child, but they can also be a danger if they are not monitored by an adult.