When the topic of giving a child a cell phone (approximately ages 12-16), there can be some controversy – or reasons why it’s frowned upon. School is starting back soon and I’m a firm believer in safety and making sure that you always have a way to reach your loved ones. However, I do believe that there are guidelines, or tips, that should be considered when giving your child a cell phone. If you are trying to decide whether or not to allow your child to have a cell phone before heading back to school, try these tips:
- Consider buying a cell phone that dials only a select few contact numbers. This gives peace of mind on both ends, ensuring that your child has a way to reach you when they need you. Prepaid cell phones can also let you limit call times and features, and monitor overall usage.
- Opt out of texting plans and choose a basic feature phone that forgoes bells and whistles such as downloadable apps and GPS tracking to limit children’s online interactions.
- Always read the manual, research and go hands-on with phones and smartphones before providing them to children. It’s imperative to know the ins and outs of the cell phone you’re considering for your child before you give it to him or her.
- Consider restricting cell phone usage to only taking place in your presence until kids are mature enough to handle calls, texting and online interactions on their own.
It’s very common for a parent to simply hand-down their personal cell phone to the child and purchase a new one for themselves. If this is the route you choose to take, consider these tips:
- Clear out your cell phone before handing it down to your child. This way, your child will feel like they have a “new” phone of their own.
- Before clearing out your phone, make sure to back it up and save the files that you want saved. Picture Keeper Connect can assist you in the simple backup of your files, making sure nothing gets lost in the transition process.
- Simply plug Connect into your smartphone (iPhone or Android), click backup and let it do the work for you. Connect ensures that each photo or video is saved on the device, skipping duplicates. You can then choose to keep your files on the portable USB drive, or you can download them (with the same device) to your computer. Or you can choose both!
Lastly: Wipe the phone
Next up, you’ll want to wipe all personal data, apps, photos, media, messages, voicemails, everything, off of your phone. If you have an iPhone, Apple has made this process very easy nowadays with a simple factory reset option bundled into iOS Settings:
- Open Settings and go to “General”
- Scroll down to “Reset” and choose “Erase All Content and Settings”
- Confirm to reset all content and settings – this basically formats the iPhone deleting everything off of it
Now you’re done! Sit back and watch the excitement from your child as he or she receives their very first cell phone. You’ll definitely be receiving the “Parent of the Year” award – at least in their eyes!