Entering the third decade of the 21st century, we’ve become somewhat jaded about our smartphones. We need to remind ourselves that, in 2021, a kid with a smartphone holds more computing horsepower than was contained in the entire Apollo 11 rocket as it blasted off for the moon in 1969.
Write Out a List of Pros and Cons
It may seem quaint to write a pros-cons list on real, actual paper these days. You’ll be pleasantly surprised, however, by the number of times you consult it as you investigate safer phones for kids.
Written lists keep you, your spouse, and your kids honest. As an added bonus, your list may come in handy should a salesperson try to upsell you to features you’ve already agreed are not needed.
Every family is unique. You should expect that your list will look significantly different than your neighbor’s. As you put pen to paper, these four categories might help you nail down the specifics.
Make this category your No. 1 priority, regardless of whether your kids agree. You might even let them know that — their safety being of the utmost importance to you — this was your deciding factor in looking into cell phones for kids at all.
Your family is under no obligation to repeat the mistakes of others. Learn from the mistakes of parents who assumed their kids would abide by their family pact.
Your kids won’t necessarily like your family-oriented cell phone policies. In fact, you’re likely to be labeled the “uncool” parent for them.
Ask yourself: Would you rather be embarrassed, or have something happen to your child? Would you rather them not understand online bullying or do you want to be a resource to help them deal with a cyberbully?
We also understand the stakes around a safe phone for kids. We know anyone can buy any phone for their child at any age. It’s our goal to help parents make the right choice, not necessarily the easy or the kid-friendly one.
This content was originally published here.