It’s the biggest issue among tween kids aged 8-12 – they want a phone of their own, and their parents have said no. It makes sense as to why you’ve told your child no. Firstly, they’re children – as in, should be playing with toys – and secondly, the world of social media and digital gaming is a scary, predatory place for an adult. Exposing a child to that isn’t just irresponsible, it’s downright dangerous. The thing is, as much as it is a dangerous thing to do, there are ways in which you can give your tween a phone of their own without them becoming sucked into the warped world of social media.
If you’ve told your tween kid no to a phone, hold your horses. You may want to change your mind on this one, and the best way to do that is to inform yourself on the benefits. It’s all great to talk through the negatives of having a phone – we all know them and we all live them. With information comes power, and you can get your child using a phone safely and consistently without having to worry about them becoming social media clones. You can also look into personalised phone cases to make their phone unique, even if they have the same model as their friends. Your tween deserves some trust and credit, especially if you want to foster a great relationship with your kids as they grow up. So, with this in mind, here are some of the reasons that you should say yes to your tween having their own phone.
- Connection. Okay, so the first and most obvious reason to say yes is the connection you have with your kid when they’re out and about. What happens if you’re late for school? What happens if you’re stuck outside and locked out and your kid has headphones in and can’t hear you? What do you do if THEY are the one in danger and have no way to call you or the cops? Yep, that’s why you need a phone. Communicating with kids can be hard enough, but if you give them a cell phone, you’re going to be able to call them and text them when you need to, and that works both ways, too. Without a phone, they could end up in a sticky spot with no help.
- Talking To Friends. The friends that your kids have aren’t just going to be at school. After school activities are there to help them to make new friends, and your children will be able to connect with them whenever they want to with a phone. If they have family and cousins who live far away, you can give them a line to be able to contact them whenever they want to as well. They can keep in touch with anyone in an instant, and it’ll be up to them to control it – with your careful supervision!
- To Be Safe. Cell phones can be loaded with GPS tracking these days, and you can even use apps to connect their new phone with yours so that you are linked. You will always know where your teenager is, which can go a long way towards that peace of mind we talked about. There are even some phones that come with settings that allow your children to contact emergency services quickly without waiting around. This can help them to get immediate help and stay safe without trying too hard. This will keep them safe, and you need that for them!
- Skilling Up. We are living in a world driven by technology. The earlier they begin to use technology, the better. Give your tween a cell phone and allow them to get to grips with technology from a whole new age. They will develop their knowledge, learn to surf the internet and send emails, and be a part of the modern world. The smart thing to do is to teach your tween safety rules about being online and what it can mean if they receive unsolicited emails and messages. You have to have an open conversation about the dangers while simultaneously teaching them the benefits.
- Making Memories. Phones mostly come with picture and video capabilities, and the beauty of this is that your tween could discover an entirely new hobby that they didn’t know that they were even interested in. They can take photos that will last a lifetime, and they’ll be able to share those photos with friends and family as much as they like. They will actively seek out apps that will help them to enhance their skills and this will give them a fantastic skill while allowing them to make new memories.
- To Learn. The one excellent thing about the app store is the range of educational apps out there that you can download to help your tween to learn more and do better in school. You can be smart about the way that your child uses their phone, and they will learn from it and develop their skills properly while they use it, too. There are so many educational apps that can be downloaded that will help them with studying, with quizzes and revision tips that they need for scholastic success.
- Mapping. If you have trusted your child to go out on their own with their friends, they’ll need to have a way to get back home again, too. One of the best advantages of a phone is giving your child the chance to use maps to find their way if they ever get lost. Maps will help them to get where they need to go and if they lose sight of you, you can use a Find My Friends app to find each other. You can truly help them to get where they need to go – and map reading is yet another skill!
- Inspiring Trust. When you trust your tween with a phone, not only do you learn to grow your bond and respect each other, you’ll give them the chance to strike out and be independent from you. This will help you to grow and maintain a healthy relationship, and it’s an excellent way to show your tween that you’re willing to give them more.