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?
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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