The decision to give your child a smartphone is big and not one that should be taken lightly.
With the explosion of social media platforms and increasingly tech-savvy children and young people, online safety has never been so important.
It can be difficult to know when to allow your child to have their own phone, especially if their peers or close friends already have them.
Peer pressure and the feeling that they are ‘missing out’ can be very powerful motivators so it’s up to you, as the parent, to know whether or not your child is ready for the responsibility that comes with having a smartphone.
Thankfully, there is a way to know if your child is ready. Cyberwise founder Diana Graber created a list of questions to ask yourself (and your child) before you give them their own phone:
Online safety awareness
These questions may seem excessive but they cover all the issues that your child may face once they have an online presence.
Screenshots and recording apps mean that things we say and do online can tarnish our reputations permanently, even if we’ve deleted them from our personal pages.
Knowing how to spot a scam or fake email link is vital to ensure your children don’t become the victim of online grooming, financial theft or identity fraud.
It’s also crucial that your child recognises the addictive nature of these platforms and knows when to ‘unplug’ so that it doesn’t negatively effect their social, academic and family activities.
Perhaps, the most important aspect of this list is that your child knows that they can ask for help if they come across something online that upsets or worries them.
If you’re satisfied with the answers they give you to these questions, then they’re ready for the responsibility of owning a smartphone!