As your children get more autonomous, having a cell phone for them may be a need for convenience and safety reasons. Think about how and when your child might use a phone or GPS, and how much digital control you would like to have over their usage. Additionally, you should consider their maturity level and age, as well as hunt for a sturdy phone.
Most specialists in the area think that the optimal age for a child to get a smartphone is around 14 years old. Smartphones built for children should be parent-monitored, resistant to abuse, and feature a default secure system with adequate privacy protection. When choosing a smartphone for a youngster, however, other factors must be considered. And this article recommends a few items to consider before making a decision.
According to a 2019 survey, roughly 65% of American preteens had their own phone, however it appeared that many of them used it solely for gaming. Wait until 8th is a full-fledged campaign encouraging parents to wait until their children are a little older (as in 8th grade). Knowing when children should obtain a phone is difficult because there are so many divergent views. After a brief discussion of the topic, we’ll discuss the available solutions.
What is the best age for a smartphone ?
There is actually no ideal age to give your child a phone. Your children will start asking questions at a fairly young age due to social pressure and the desire to fit in. To that end, waiting until your child is a teenager has traditionally been the most obvious response. At least, it is what software billionaire Bill Gates, regarded as one of the most passionate supporters of technology, does.
Your children probably spend more time alone with their pals at this age, and they may even travel alone on public transit. That implies that there is a real need to monitor your children and protect their safety.
Once your children are teenagers, they may have a part-time job or another way to assist pay the bills. Since their device actually costs them money, they are a little more willing to care for it.
What options should the smartphone have ?
A basic phone will do if your youngster only needs one for emergencies. Simpler (non-smart) phones have the advantage of having longer-lasting batteries, which eliminates the need for nightly charging.
A smartphone is a great choice if you want your child to have access to additional functions.
These are more expensive than a basic phone but have many more features that make them ideal for children. They are essentially portable minicomputers that your child can use. In addition to the price, it’s important to keep in mind that setting up more complicated phones takes more time and thought.
We recommend that a child smartphone have at least these characteristics:
Rigidity: A child phone should be able to handle abuse. And, for kids a protective phone case is a must
Cost: You should think about the effects of smartphones being damaged or stolen as their costs rise. And insurance may be a smart move in the event that the phone is lost.
Usability: Having a phone with sufficient RAM and storage space, for your child daily use is a necessity. Some smartphones commercially available have very limited amount of RAM and Memory and should not be even categorized as smartphones.
Reporting: The child’s smartphone should give parents usage information on their internet activities, and with some systems, we can even monitor their app usage in real time.
New or Second hand ?
It makes sense that many parents decide against purchasing a brand-new smartphone and instead choose a used one. However, such a strategy only makes sense when it is supplemented with effective cybersecurity safeguards.
Second-hand cellphones can also be more susceptible to cyber-attacks because many older devices’ operating systems and apps might not be able to be updated to the newest versions. System updates are crucial since they patch security issues in addition to making the device perform faster and have a more beautiful user experience.
Android or iPhone ?
The maker of the iPhone, Apple, is renowned for being extremely choosy about how much control they provide developers when making iPhone apps. This makes iPhones more secure against viruses and hackers, but it also makes it exceedingly challenging for developers to implement effective parental controls for iPhones. Although Screen Time, a parental control feature built into iPhones, does exist, it does not allow for monitoring. There are several parental control apps available for iPhones in the Software Store, but practically every app has a superior Android counterpart.
Given the information above, and for a child’s phone. We recommend an Android smartphone with at least 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage space. The phone should be kept as up to date as possible, and parents should routinely check what apps are installed and whether they come from trusted sources.