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Smartphones are both one of the most useful things available to us, and the bane of our lives. When you’ve got kids, your phone is a great way to keep in touch with school, to keep track of your appointments and schedules, to check your bank account when they want something, to check maps to get to where you need to be and to keep them occupied when you are waiting for appointments. Then, one day, they start asking if they can have one of their own.
There’s a lot of debate about the right time to start saying yes. Should you wait until your child is older and traveling to school alone? Or, if it ok for much younger children to have their own phone? We’ve all been guilty of losing hours and hours to our phones as we fall down a social media black hole, there’s even some evidence to suggest that young people are growing little horns at the backs of their necks, as a result of what we call text neck – although, reading might also have something to do with this evolution- and you won’t want to lose your child completely. You’ll also be worried about online bullying and trolling, the pressures of social media and online safety. But, despite all of this, when you decide that your child is at the right age – and only you can – then there are some benefits to letting your child have their own smartphone. Here’s a look at some of them.
To Keep Them Safe
Safety is our primary concern when it comes to kids and phones. But, on the other side of that coin, having their own smartphone could keep them safe. Use the Family Orbit app, and you’ll be able to keep an eye on them and even track their location, and they’ll be able to get help easily if they find themselves lost, out of cash or in an otherwise uncomfortable situation.
To Improve Friendships
Not all young people make friends quickly. They don’t all spend their evenings and weekends out playing with friends. Some only experience interactions with their peers in school. Phones are a great way to improve friendships, communicate with peers and even make new friends.
To Teach them Responsibility
Everyone, at some point, needs to learn responsibility. Give your child a phone, but make sure they know that it is their responsibility. They must use it appropriately, take care of it, and even pay the bills or stick to a set usage limit.
To Let them Communicate with Family
Nowadays, families don’t live close together. Many of us have family all over the country or even the world. It can be hard to keep in touch, and young people are much better at emails, social media and messages than they are big family FaceTime sessions. Give them a phone, and you give them the tools and privacy to keep in touch in their own way.
To Build Skills
Whatever you might think about it, technology is going to be a big part of your child’s life. They need to know how to use it, and having a phone can be one of the first ways that they learn.