You may be wondering if your pre-teen is old enough for a cell phone. Worries can fill your head about safety, and you are not alone. An article from the New York Times states “36 percent of parents say they have daily arguments with their kids about their phones.” Yes, handing a pre-teen a cell phone is scary, but there should be rules that come with the privilege. One of the best private schools in Orlando, Lake Forrest Prep, has some tips for a parent wondering if a cell phone is a good idea.
Age is a Factor
If your child is with a trusted adult for the whole day, there may be no need for a cell phone. Cell phones could become an option when children are unsupervised and need a cell phone for safety reasons. Age must also be taken into account. Can you trust your child to not lose the phone or to not download inappropriate things? Children too young for phones are more at risk to these problems, due to a lack of responsibility. Another option may be to get a phone that doesn’t carry Internet or texting features and can be used only for calls authorized by the parent.
Make Their Phone Use a Topic
Make sure you explain your expectations on phone use before buying your pre-teen a cell phone. Pre-teens also may feel as if his or her phone use is invisible to parents. Make it a routine to discuss phone use at the end of each day. This removes the thought that what pre-teens do on their phone is unnoticed.
Parental control is a built-in setting that allows certain inappropriate things to be blocked or to be used in a limited amount. iPhones have these settings built in, and they are easily enabled.
Know Your Child
If your pre-teen is an honest, responsible child, odds are that he or she will be responsible with technology. Problems with technology tend to be deeper than just a smartphone. Have a conversation about your child’s problems before purchasing him or her a phone.
A cell phone comes with an abundance of responsibility. Have a conversation with your child before buying a cell phone to ensure that he or she are ready for that responsibility. The staff at our private school in Orlando understands that children need a cell phone for safety reasons. If you’re interested in an education at Lake Forrest Prep, call 407-331-5144 to schedule a tour.