3 experts and 1 parent have answered
There was a meme that did the rounds on Facebook and Twitter a while ago which was a letter from a mum to her 13-year-old son as she gave him his first iPhone for Christmas. It was basically a contract for the behaviour she expected from him when he used it. That sounds overly dour but actually it was delivered in good humour and was a great code for kids to stick to as they take their first - and subsequent - steps into the virtual and social media world of text and instant messaging.
The letter and some thoughts on it can be found here.
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This is huge with parents right now. I was having breakfast with another dad who commented, "I can't give my ten year old a regular flip phone when all of his friends are getting iPhones." I never cease to be amazed at the irrational words that tumble out of our mouths at times. For this father the issue was not is my son mature enough to handle this kind of media exposure. Nor was it have we talked about personal responsibility with a smartphone. Instead he is concerned with his own peer pressure to keep up with what other parents are doing. As a parent, you must have the confidence to lead you family knowing this is the only one you will be responsible for.
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I'm with Brian on this one.
I wasn't raised to expect to have the latest 'thing' because 1) my parents didn't have the money and 2) they wouldn't have done it anyway if they had!
Sometimes I thought my world would end...but then I grew up and realised it was the absolutely best thing that could have happened.
Children not having the latest gadgets is not a real problem...how they are taught to handle it can be.
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Agree with above posters! If you do give your child or teen a smart phone, it really depends on the age and personality of the child as to what rules you lay down. Some kids are really co operative others can be quite defiant. Be sure you turn off in game purchases, that is catching a LOT of parents out to the tune of thousands of dollars. If its an iPhone Go to Settings General Restrictions, set up a password then scroll down to in App Purchases and select off. Don't give you child access to your credit card on the phone, if they buy apps, use an iTunes gift card. Android phones also have parental controls you can find these in settings also. Watch the free apps on the store though because the age ratings are often wrong. There is a well known "dating" app that is rated Age 4+ for e.g. Be sure for younger children you supervise the apps they can download, either by consent or via the parental controls. I advise all parents giving their under 13yr old a smart phone or iPod to enable parental controls, Apps, especially the social ones can have your child being followed by adults which is very creepy. I hope this is helpful. I have quite a few posts that are step by step on my blog