You may not be overly keen on investing in a smartphone for your teenager, especially seeing as they probably want the latest and most expensive model on the market.
However, unless you want to be nagged from here until eternity, you may have made the brave (if not slightly misguided) decision to bite the bullet and give in to your teenager’s demands to be connected to the 21st century (and all of their 2k plus social media connections, of course).
Now you simply need to make sure that you take all the necessary steps to keep your investment, and your teenager of course, safe and secure.
1. Explaining the dangers of location features
Teenagers may see no problem with using the ‘check in’ feature on their Facebook app to show their friends whatever cool experience they are currently doing, but it is vital that your teenager only shares this information with their close friends and family rather than with their whole network of connections. Instagram also allows you to turn off your location settings so that when your child posts a picture, others cannot see where there are.
For social media platforms that do not have restrictions such as Twitter, be sure to tell your teenager not to share their location on these sites.
2. Making sure they are aware of how much data they are using
As well as safety concerns, smartphones in the hands of teenagers can end up being a costly business and unless you have signed your child up for an unlimited data plan (unlikely) or an expensive plan that provides up to 5GB of data (again unlikely), you need to educate your child on the expense of going over their data restrictions.
3. Protecting the phone itself
If your child has requested the latest iPhone, for example, you do not want them to have any chance to cause any damage to it, so it is vital that you invest in a durable screen protector. BodyGuardz offer a wide range of high-tech glass screen protectors that are easy to apply and almost impossible to break, scratch or mark. This is definitely a case of spend now or spend a lot more later.
4. Ensuring your teenager is ready for the responsibility
Depending on the age of your child; for example, a 13-year-old is much less likely to understand the value of money and the responsibility that comes with owning a smartphone than a teenager who is approaching their 18th birthday.
However, you may feel that your child is mature enough to deal with having this particular technology, especially if they have proven themselves to be responsible in the past.
Whether you like it or not, as a parent you need to accept that times have changed and that technology can actually be very beneficial to your child (learning apps for instance), and that as long as you ensure that they are safe and use their devices responsibly, owning a smartphone is no bad thing.