After a busy day at work, you go home, and all you want to do is rest or handle some chores. But when you have kids coming home from school or daycare, you may be in for constant unwanted distraction. For most parents, one way to keep their kids busy to avoid distractions is by allowing them access to a smartphone.
While there is nothing wrong with having your children use a cell phone, their being with a phone can mean exposing you and them to risks, so you may want to take some precautions before allowing them access. This guide highlights some important cell phone safety tips that every parent with kids at home needs to know.
- Enable Parental Controls
The greatest danger to your child when using a phone lurks online. So you will want to control how much internet they can access. You can start by restricting the apps they can install or use on their phone.
Setting up parental control in iOS devices is pretty straightforward. You only need to go to the parental control page to restrict the apps you need to restrict.
For Android apps, parents can use apps like Google family link to set controls, screen time, lock devices, and view activity from another phone. You may also want to restrict in-app purchases, or you will have hefty bills for apps you do not need.
- Have A Conversation
Different ages will call for different approaches. If your kids are relatively young, parental control will work just fine. But as they grow, you may need to take different approaches even as you upgrade controls to match their age.
The best tool for older kids will be talking to them about cell phone safety and taking responsibility for their actions. Also, you will want to talk to them about cyberbullying and what it looks like, situations that could put them at risk of cyberbullying, and what they can and cannot share online.
- Define Private Information
In February of 2020, a Florida dad was forced to shoot and kill a stranger that showed up on his door with a gun to kill his 15-year-old daughter. The stalker located her home through the information she displayed on her TikTok account.
While the chances of a person showing up at your door with a gun may not be as high, other risks lurk on the internet, making keeping private information critical. Some of the things to keep private are address, school, age, pictures, credit card numbers, etc. The best approach would be to stay off conversations with strangers by all means.
- Get a Credit Card That Offers Cell Phone Protection
Besides online threats, having your kids access your phone significantly increases the chances of losing or damaging it. So anything that ensures that your phone is protected against loss and damage is a welcome idea.
Most credit card companies offer phone protection benefits for cardholders. However, you will want to fulfill certain credit card application requirements before you qualify for such cards, so it is best to understand what it takes before you apply.
- Set Rewards and Consequences
As your children grow, your control tactics will start falling because they will always find ways of outsmarting you. Also, you do not want to be too restrictive; you want them to explore different things responsibly. So, you may want to explore other options, such as encouraging proper behavior through rewards and consequences.
That way, your child learns that straying off course will have consequences like having their devices or other privileges withdrawn and vice versa. This approach works in the short and long run. With time your kids will get used to doing what is right without you having supervision.