A surprising number of children get their first phone before school, and most of them have a smartphone as their first device. However, you should think about whether the very first phone could be a traditional keypad phone. Children under school age, especially, don’t really need the fancy features of smart devices, and large glass screens break easily. Sellers usually know quite well which devices are durable and which are returned for repair more often than others. So it’s worth asking about it before making a purchase decision.
It’s a good idea to get a sturdy protective case and tempered glass for your phone. With the attached to the back of the device, you can increase the grip. Before handing over the device to the child, it is worth stopping to agree on the rules. The most lasting agreements are created through negotiation. The conversation gets off to a smooth start when you first listen to the child’s own thoughts about when and how they think it’s appropriate to use the device. However, it is the parent’s job to draw the boundaries. When drafting the rules, you can also think about what kind of example you are setting.
Safe use of the network should be discussed at the latest when the child starts using smart devices. When discussing security, it is good to agree on how to act if you come across confusing content online or requests that seem strange, contacts from strangers, comments or, for example, bullying. It is also important to discuss what kind of pictures and information the child shares about himself or his friends online and to whom.
It is important for the child to feel that he can safely come and tell the parent even when he fears he has done something wrong or embarrassing. A negative attitude towards using the internet or threatening to remove the device does not necessarily encourage the child to tell if something has happened. More tips on internet safety and discussing difficult topics can be found, for example, on save the children’s website.
By adjusting the security settings of smartphones, you can influence, for example, the amount of available screen time, the contents visible to the child, the use of applications and the installation of new programs. You can download the free family link application to android devices, which allows you to adjust the security settings. The iPhone has a ready-made screen time function that opens from the settings, where you can modify the restrictions on children’s access.