What To Look For When Buying a Phone for a Child

Buying Phone For Child
Buying phone for your child. Image credit: Adobe Stock.

Pondering the decision to invest in a phone for your kids is challenging for many parents. With the internet’s vastness and accessibility to almost anything known to man, it’s a large responsibility to hand over a cellular device to a minor. We discuss what to look for when buying a phone for a child to help you make an informed decision with awareness of potential problems on your horizon.

Can You Set Up Parental Controls?

Many believe parental controls only apply to children of a certain age, but the truth is you should be monitoring activity on your child’s phone until they become an adult. Parental controls give you the power to flush out content you may not want them to see and block certain content from reaching them.

Of course, you should also monitor their activity for an additional line of defense. Don’t be afraid to ask them for the device if you feel you’d like to skim through it. Remember, you’re the parent, and you pay that bill. You deserve to know what’s going on. It’s critical for you to find a balance, though, between respecting their privacy and understanding what’s going on.

Don’t Buy the Newest and the Hottest

Your child might beg and plead they will take care of the brand-new iPhone. But you must remember they are young and don’t pay the same kind of attention as adults.

Their phones will be left sitting out, sat on, or dropped much easier or faster than an adult’s. You can consider investing in a refurbished option to save yourself the costly investment of a new one, and many consider a refurbished Android over an iPhone to save big.

Do You Model the Same Usage Expectations?

One of the biggest things to look for when buying a child’s phone is your behavior. You will likely set boundaries for usage and timeframes in which they should and should not use it.

They will have difficulty adhering to these boundaries if you cannot model similar expectations. Consider the phone boundaries a leading-by-example situation and model the behaviors you’d like to see.

It’s a challenging decision to allow a child to have a phone, and understandably, you’ll have a lot of feelings. Trust yourself to make the best decision, and remember that you don’t need to invest in the newest or the hottest.

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Dr. Jade Marie Tomaszewski is a pathologist-in-training at McGill University, where she also did her degree in MSc Pathology. She obtained her medical degree (MD) from the University of the Philippines, after completing a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. In her (little) spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, curling up with a book and a large mug of tea, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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