What to Tell Your Kids About Their First Smartphone

The Smartphone is NOT a Toy

We all remember being a child and our parent’s tired line of “This is why we can’t have nice things.” That is because kids are clumsy, they think bad ideas are great ones and they have to make mistakes in order to learn from them. Since the age that most children get their first smart phone is around 10-13, do what you can by explaining to them that the phone is an expensive and important thing not to be broken.

Keep the Case On At All Times 

See #1. Not only is the phone expensive but quality cases can be pricey too. The case might be the only saving grace you as a parent have. 

Run Antivirus Software 

Running antivirus software on phones is a good way of keeping them running smoothly and keeping as much memory available. Download the software for your kids and show them how to run it at least once every two weeks. 

Keep Financial Things Locked with PIN

If your kids have access to your financial accounts or having checking/credit card accounts, show them how to lock it with PINs. In case their phone is stolen, at least this part of your life is protected. 

Show the GPS Features 

Show your kids the GPS and Maps feature of their phone in case they are ever lost or need to figure out how to get somewhere. In addition, remind them that you can see everywhere they are, so they better be where they say they are going to be. 

No Texting and Driving

Always remind your kids that texting and driving is one of the most dangerous practices teens participate. In 2011, 23% of auto collisions were attributed to cell phone distraction. It only takes a second to change their life or someone else’s so either pull over or wait until you get to your destination. 

Use Social Media Wisely

Kids today know about social media before they can spell Facebook. That doesn’t mean that they know the appropriate ways to handle social media. Be sure to sit down and talk to them about speaking online to strangers, using social media to hurt others, cyberbullying and remind them that once it is out there, there is no taking it back, so never say or post something you wouldn’t want your mom to see.