Smartphone for kids in this generation is fast becoming a norm. GenX wonders who taught Generations starting from Millennials to Gen Alpha how to operate smart devices. From playing games to texting their friends or checking out viral content, they’re constantly connected. This leaves parents and guardians with the responsibility of setting limits on the device used by their children.
Debates have been going on about whether or not to get a smartphone for kids. Depending on the context, there had not been direct answer to the topic. Parents who are always away might argue that giving them phones will enable them to reach them at any time. Some of these parents might argue that it is to keep them occupied. Now that there are so many educative online channels, some might argue that is to make their knowledge and be in line with the trend.
Whether you think it is good or bad, we cannot deny the fact that there are many things or topics on the internet that are too raw for kids. This is why movies that have explicit content are rated. The rating is not there for show, it is there because they understand how kids’ minds work. An adult might not think too much of it but kids out of their innocence might want to practice it.
The same goes for smartphones and internet-enabled devices. Appropriate measures must be taken to ensure that what to see and hear is being filtered. At least, till when they can make decisions on their own. It is also no lie that for some of these measures to be effective, the kids have to understand that their parents or guardian have their best interests at heart.
Putting fear in their heart will only create kids that would prefer to hide to do what they are being told not to do. Guiding and correcting them in love helps a lot to put some of these measures in place. The amount of screen time is also a problem here. Since most of them have a lot of free time on their hands, they prefer to stay glued to their screens.
There are simple ways parents and guardians can limit screen time and control access to the content their kid views, and monitor their kid’s activities. You just have to locate and activate those features. Some of the features are already in the phone while some require the usage of third-party apps.
How to Manage Smartphone for Kids
- The Android operating system allows parents to set up multiple user accounts to enable permission on a smartphone. This feature lets you share the phone with a child, the multiple accounts help keep your apps separate from the child’s.
To enable this feature, go to Settings > System > Multiple users > and toggle “Multiple users” on. You can add a new user profile here for your child. To switch the phone to the child’s profile, swipe down from the top of your phone and click the “User” icon.
Note: Not all Android phones have this feature.
- On an iPhone, you can limit your kid’s screen time, set their bedtime, and limit their access to applications.
To get started, add your child to your family group under Settings > Screen Time. If the child doesn’t have an iCloud account, the phone will walk you through the setup process.
- Google Family Link app also helps set true parental controls on your phone or your kid’s phone. The app will explain the process of creating a Google account—linked to your own—for your child to use. If your child already has a Google account, you can link it to it. Also, you need to download the Google Family Link app for children and teens onto your child’s device.
While operating from your phone, you can decide what sort of restrictions to place on your kid’s account. The app’s dashboard and email alerts allow you to monitor what your child is doing. For them to download any app, your approval is needed.
The Google Family Link can also help you limit your screen time and protect your child’s privacy. This app works well on both iOS and Android devices.