Is it time for their first phone?4 things to consider
They are likely nagging you for a phone. Peppering you with their case, “All their friends have them” and “you’d know when hockey practice ends.” Strong arguments from a tween. And after years of reading horrifying stats and stories, you are finally asking yourself, would it be so bad? The answer is, we don’t know. But luckily for you, we’ve put together the following list of considerations to help you decide if it’s time to update your family plan:
Do they need to be in touch for safety reasons? Whether they walk to school, take a bus or a train, knowing their whereabouts is peace of mind. The could call you immediately if they were in danger. And it would be less embarrassing to find out from them that you forgot it was your turn to drive carpool (again).
Do they lose stuff? Phones are big ticket items. They can easily be lost or stolen. If your little one is constantly forgetting his homework or losing her backpack, you may want to give them a little more time to work on these skills before dropping that amount of cash. If you’re gut says no, trust it, or you’ll be the one paying for it later (literally).
Would they be responsible with their phones? As they say in Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility. If they are going to need the phone after school, would they keep it in their backpacks during class? Nothing bothers teachers more than kids texting or watching tik toks during class. Would they take it out of their shorts before swimming or lock it up during cheerleading practice? Every kid is different. But no one knows yours better than you.
Would they abide by your phone rules? A phone is not a VIP wristband to adulthood. The costly little devices should come with a set of rules and responsibilities. Time limits, text and photo etiquette, site restrictions and other guidelines should be agreed upon in advance of the big purchase. Sometimes setting boundaries is hard but this where our kids need us most.