It’s so crazy to think that our big baby girl is hitting that pre-teen age. It feels like yesterday that she was crawling around the house and now she has all these new mature milestones that she will be hitting. Soon we will be thinking about high school, sitting her licence, getting her first car, then before you know it she will be off to uni and out in the big world! (Arghhhhh that’s way too fast – nearly had a mini heart attack).
Did you notice how there was no boyfriend mentioned in that timeline? That’s because she won’t have time for one of those until after uni and her father and two brothers will make sure she doesn’t either.
But for now let’s focus on the thing that we all want to continue to have with our children, which is connection and conversation. The pre-teen age is when you start looking at getting your child’s first phone. This is a great milestone to celebrate their growing independence especially as they start getting older and busier in their own little lives.
Before you do buy one, read our tips to consider when getting your child their first
smartphone. And if you want to go into the draw to win a Vodafone Smart E8 Phone for your kid keep reading for terms and conditions.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN GETTING THEIR FIRST PHONE
Have a conversation to inform your child of the rules and expectations of cell phone use. Work together to create a cell phone contract with clear expectations for use of the phone and clear consequences if the contract is broken. Just remember you have final control over what they use it for and how often they get to use it.
Outline if the phone will be used primarily to stay in touch with you and for emergency use? Or will it be used for study and educational purposes? Or will your child be using the phone for entertainment or to chat with friends?
Set time limits for phone use and set rules around data, minutes and text usage. Have your children turn in their phone to you at night to ensure they are getting a proper night’s sleep. Lastly, make all rules clear! Don’t assume that children ‘should have known’ something. We want to make this new experience a positive one for them.
Choosing an Appropriate Phone:
Buying your child’s first smartphone is a big decision, make sure to choose one that is a combination of what your child needs and what you as a parent need.
Remember this is their first phone so they don’t need to have the latest or most expensive phone, as this will probably be the first expensive and valuable item that they get to be responsible for. Like everything, there is the chance they could lose or damage the phone and you don’t want to have to replace a $400 curved screen!
A great first phone option is the Vodafone Smart E8. It has all the features that a tween needs including a large 5” touchscreen, 5MP camera + 2MP selfie camera, 8GB internal storage expandable to 128GB and a long-lasting battery. For more info click here.
Coverage and Service:
Be sure that your carrier covers all of the places where your child is likely to use a mobile phone. Look at carrier coverage maps to see whether your home, your child’s school and other important locations are included.
As for the services, some available options include prepaid or even a family plan that can work out to be better value for the whole family. With the Vodafone Red Share Plan, your family can enjoy one simple shared plan where you can add up to four family members to your existing Red+ plan. A bonus – you can allocate the amount of data your kids use each month. It would be wise to teach your kids to check their data usage on a regular basis, so they learn to monitor and prioritise how and when they use their phone and not to just use all the data on streaming YouTube.
Be a Mobile Model:
Have a set time each day for the family to unplug from electronic devices. For many of us, electronic devices are ringing, buzzing, and pinging from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed. Set family time that is phone free time. Create a phone box to put everyone’s phone in, then for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour each night try to make your home a phone free zone.
Remember, you know your child best. You are aware of your child’s maturity level, their friends, and their daily habits. When handing them a device that requires a great level of responsibility so be sure to trust your instinct. A smartphone allows quick, instant access to everything in the real world. As a parent do your best to monitor, protect, and prepare your children so they can use their smartphone in a manner that is both safe and responsible.
To help save you a bit of cash for family time we have a Vodafone Smart E8 phone to give away. To enter simply comment below and tell us one good tip for getting your children prepared to own their first phone.
Competition closes 28.11.17 Open to NZ Residents only. You must be over the age of 16 to enter this competition. The phone is not to be redeemed for cash. This giveaway is the property of Jay & Sarah.
Thanks to Vodafone for collaborating with us on this blog post.