6 Things to Consider When Giving Your Child Their First Device
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In the world of iParenting, you want to ensure your kids are capable of using technology, but you can’t all share the same family computer or tablet forever. At some point, kids need some independence, whether for schoolwork or keeping in touch with friends, or even both.
This means that they will need a device of their own, but before you treat them to a brand new device, there are several factors you need to consider.
Are They Old Enough?
Many parents did not get their first device until they were adults and even then, these devices did not boast the comprehensive features you find on the devices that are considered average by modern standards.
The world is different now, though. Kids of all ages are trusted with expensive tablets, laptops, or smartphones. You need to consider whether your child is old enough to use their device safely.
Every child and parent is different, so think about whether your child has shown enough responsibilities to have a device. Often, this device won’t come until they are in their teens, but you may feel they are ready even sooner.
Once you decide if your child is old enough for a device, you should take steps to protect it by installing antivirus software with free parental controls that will block potentially harmful or unsuitable websites and still give you the chance to monitor what they are doing.
If your child is older, you may not want to invade their privacy as much. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still have virus protection, but parental controls may not be as essential, especially if you speak to them about the types of websites they can and cannot visit.
Learn Some Basic Maintenance
Learning all about how computers or devices work is a great way to maintain them and ensure they run as smoothly as they should. While all devices will eventually slow down, there are still basic steps your child can follow to keep it operational.
Knowing how to clear the cache on Mac products can prevent significant lag, which will avoid frustration and prevent the system from feeling sluggish and clogged. There is a wide range of videos online about how to clean up a device and transfer files, such as photos and videos, to an SD card or external hard drive if they don’t want to lose them forever.
Be Wary Online
It doesn’t matter if your child is 6 years old or sixteen, they should always be wary about what they view online. You can help them avoid unsuitable websites using content locks, but even social media can be dangerous, especially if other kids share pages and profiles that are not appropriate.
Talk with your child about how to recognize suspicious online activity, including phishing emails or dangerous links. Most kids will learn after making the mistake once, but even once can be too much as it could put their personal information at risk.
Determine How It’s Used
Many parents will give their child a laptop to use for school work, whereas others may give them smartphones to stay in touch with friends and help them get in touch when they need to pick up after school.
If you determine how your child will use the device, you can avoid many common problems associated with kids using technology. Many tech stores will have curated buying guides that can give you an idea of the best devices for specific needs, making your decision easier.
Speak With Other Parents
Giving your child their first device is a significant moment in your and their life. If you are unsure about the best way to approach this, you can speak with other parents who will share their experiences about how they deal with this milestone.
By getting advice from others, you can prepare yourself for potential problems that your child might encounter. This can also help if you are still on the fence about whether a smartphone, tablet, or laptop is right for them at the moment. It will help you avoid the mistakes that other parents made, which will increase the chances of your child using their device the way they should.
All kids will need a device of their own at some point in their lives, but as a parent, you must make sure they are ready and understand what is expected of them when using these devices. Once you have established whether or not they are ready, you can start to think about other essentials to ensure they use their device properly and safely.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.