Years ago, it was such a privilege for kids to receive their first phone so they could either 1. Call their parents 2. Call an emergency contact or 3. Play Tetris if their phone even came with games. Now, phones allow kids to have access to information in such an intimidating digital world. Parents, before you buy your child their first phone, you should consider the benefits of each device.
What Phone (or Device) Should I Buy?
With thousands of devices on the market, choosing the right one for your child can be a large task. Do you want them to own a smartphone or a phone with minimal features? Do you want them to own a phone at all or a completely different device?
The iPhone is a good choice for a first phone if family members are already actively using Apple products. You can monitor texts, limit access to apps, and monitor your child’s whereabouts. If you run into the inevitable cracked screen or bad battery, there are an abundance of iphone repair businesses out there that can fix your device at an affordable price.
If you are not quite ready for your child to own an iPhone, the iPod Touch offers many of the same features and is a great introduction to owning a smartphone. Even though the iPod Touch does not connect to data service, kids can still contact their parents when connected to wifi, listen to music, take pictures, and play games. Just like the iPhone, parents can set limitations and monitor their kid’s activities.
This is not a phone at all, but still a great way for you to communicate with and keep tabs on your kids. Even without an iPhone, Apple Watch allows you to make calls and send messages, listen to music, and download certain apps when connected to wifi. Parents are not only able to monitor a kid’s location but track their health as well. For extra protection, the iPhone and iPad, and Apple Watch enable parents to monitor their child’s usage. To monitor a device: Open the Settings app and select Screen Time Turn on Screen Time Select “Set up as Parent” Set up or bypass the Screen Time features Once this is complete, you will be able to set up daily time allowances for each app category, such as games or social media, and restrict explicit content from the App Store, iTunes, and the internet.
Samsung offers a wide range of phones fit for anyone learning to navigate a smartphone for the first time, such as the Samsung Intercept. Placed at the bottom of the phone are buttons for menu, home, back key, and search. Slide the phone to the right and a spacious physical keyboard is revealed.
V Tech KidiBuzz
This Phone is a great option for younger kids. It comes with 44 preinstalled educational games, allows kids to take photos and add filters, and leaves parents in charge of the call and text contact lists. Parents are also able to monitor web access and app downloads.
Since the 90s, Nokia has been notorious for its long-lasting battery life, durability, and compact look. Now the beloved phone has these same features with a modern twist. The Nokia 3310 allows people to make calls, send text and listen to music, as well as take pictures with a rare-facing camera. With this non-touchscreen phone, you are not able to text quickly or access social media and messaging apps. Many factors come into play when getting your child their first device. Affordability, repairability, and being able to sell your iphone when they get ready for an upgrade all are important. No matter what phone you end up choosing for your child, one of the most important things you can do to ensure your child is safe is to have a conversation about your digital guidelines and restrictions. Rather than monitor your child’s device without them knowing, it’s good to be upfront and explain to them that owning a phone is a privilege.