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5 Useful Tips When Buying a Mobile Phone for Your Teen

5 Useful Tips When Buying a Mobile Phone for Your Teen

It is now that age when your child is constantly hounding you to buy them their cell phone. They want their independence and quite frankly, you are tired of sharing your mobile phone with them.

In this article, I am sharing a few ideas on how to select the best cell phone for your teenager. But first, let us first understand why your child needs this gadget.

Benefits of mobile phones for kids

It is common for parents to be a tad apprehensive about buying cell phones for their teenage children. You worry that they will get distracted in math class or they will text, and jaywalk or they will befriend a drug dealer. If these concerns have crossed your mind at one point, do not worry, you are in good company. So, what are the advantages of buying a phone for your child?

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  • Independence : Once you give them a phone, you can now rest easy without having to answer phone calls and passing on the message. Your secretarial duties will be over once you hand them that little box. However, reduce cell phone usage and encourage face to face conversations on a regular basis.
  • Useful applications: Thinking of buying your teen a feature phone? Go the smart way instead. Smartphones come with a myriad of apps that do amazing things in our lives. Your teenager will be the first to admit how important these applications are. These applications “apps” go beyond fun and games; there are some child-friendly apps that are geared towards homework. Examples of these educational apps are Math Tricks, Learn Driving, NASA, World History Questions, etc.
  • Communication: When your child has a mobile phone with them, it becomes much easier to reach them rather than having to call the home where they are visiting or the front desk at the pizza deli. You can know what your child is up to, who they are with, and most importantly when they are coming home.

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    How do I make the right choice?

    Now that we understand the main benefits of giving your child a mobile phone let us find out how you can go about that.

    1. Research

    Sounds cliché, but you can never underestimate the power of proper research. Advanced phones help us accomplish numerous tasks with just a click of a button. Mobile phones with such enhanced features are popularly known as Smartphones. Research on the best cell phones available and make a list of your top five considerations. The iPhone 7 is likely to make the cut. Maybe the iphone 7 manual can help you learn more about this apple flagship.

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    2. Narrow down the list

    Involve your teen in the selection process. Otherwise, you end up with a grumpy teenager and a cell phone abandoned on the kitchen counter. Present your list of possible options and go through the features of each model. Allow your teen to voice their opinion about each phone and whether they would consider it or not. If they are displeased with a particular model, cross it off the list and move to the next one.

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      3. Phone shopping

      After narrowing down the list, it is now time to go shopping. Take a trip to the mall and bring your teen to make the selection. Please beware; they are likely to get carried away by the sheer size of phone collection on the counter. While looking at other brands is not a bad idea, stick to the list at hand. Otherwise, be prepared to spend all day at the mall.

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      4. Cell phone plan

      Once you have made the perfect selection, the next step is signing up for a cell phone plan. Since your teen may not have much information on payment plans, your best bet is your own cell phone plan. If you are content with your payment plan, look no further. Sign them up, and they are ready to go! Remember to insure the phone against theft or malfunctioning with these tips.

      5. Ground rules

      Laying down some ground rules is as important as buying the right model of cell phone. Establish a mobile phone curfew; no phones in the classroom, at the dinner table and most importantly while driving. With a Smartphone, your teen has unlimited access to the internet, and this can be dangerous. Install parental controls on their phone to limit their browsing to pre-approved websites. Limit phone usage at tight to avoid messing up with their bedtime curfew and other problems such as temporary blindness. See the infographic below:

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        Conclusion

        If you have received a text from a fourteen-year-old full of emoji that you do not understand, then it is time to oblige and purchase a mobile phone for your teen. Make the leap and keep watch.

        Featured photo credit: http://pixabay.com/en/beautiful-girl-smiling-young-woman-1687946/ via pixabay.com

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        Vikas Agrawal

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        Last Updated on May 21, 2019

        How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

        How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

        For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

        If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

        Example 1

        You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

        You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

        In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

        Example 2

        You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

        People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

        You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

        Example 3

        You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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        The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

        Example 4

        You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

        Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

        If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

        Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

        • Understand your own communication style
        • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
        • Communicate with precision and care
        • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

        1. Understand Your Communication Style

        To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

        In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

        Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

        2. Learn Others Communication Styles

        Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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        If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

        “How do you prefer to receive information?”

        This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

        To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

        3. Exercise Precision and Care

        A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

        On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

        Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

        I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

        I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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        In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

        The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

        Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

        4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

        Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

        In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

        “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

        Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

        Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

        It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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        It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

        It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

        Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

        Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

        The Bottom Line

        When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

        I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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        Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

        Reference

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