Is your child ready for a smartphone? Here’s tips on how to tell. And the easiest, most affordable way to buy one.
If you’re wondering when’s the right time to buy your child a smartphone, read on. We’ll help you find out if they’re ready and how to get the best deal on a newer model phone that will make everyone happy without breaking the bank.
Avery was nine years old when he started asking his parents for a smartphone. “He begs me every day,” his mother says. “Now he’s 10 and all of his friends already have one. I’d kind of like for him to have one, too. We don’t have a landline, and I’d like to be able to reach him and know where he is, what he’s doing. But, I don’t know…”
Both of Avery’s parents have frequently discussed whether they think he is ready for a smartphone. It would be nice to keep in touch with Avery for safety reasons, they reasoned. But what about keeping him safe from strangers online or websites not meant for children? And all those articles that say too much screen time is harming kids. There’s just so much to think about.
The decision to give your school-aged child a smartphone is becoming a choice parents are facing more often when their kids are at a younger age. Figuring out if your child is ready for a smartphone isn’t always cut and dry. So we’ve compiled some data and suggestions from experts that can help serve as a guide as you try to determine if your child is ready for that phone.
Let’s face the facts: Smartphones are now in the hands of the younger set.
Avery’s not alone in wanting a smartphone at age 10. Recent research shows that a child gets a first smartphone at about 10.3 years old. A whopping 45% of children in the U.S. between the ages of 10 and 12 owned a smartphone with a service plan in 2017, according to Nielsen. It’s estimated that almost half of children under 11 will own a smartphone by 2020.
Having a smartphone is mutually beneficial to you and your child.
While your child is dreaming of texting their friends and playing games, the benefits of giving them their own phone goes both ways as Nielsen points out in its Fourth Quarter 2016 Mobile Kids Report, which surveyed more than 4,600 parents of children ages 6-12. Being able to get in touch immediately with a child is the primary reason these parents elect to buy their children a wireless device.
And think about this: there are additional benefits beyond the ability to text, play games, watch videos, or share content and messages with friends. Many schools now have BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, which enable students to use their own smartphones or tablets in school for researching projects. So, beyond the communication and entertainment benefits, owning a smartphone gives kids an additional educational tool.
So what’s the right age to give your child a smartphone?
While there’s been a push to Wait Until 8 to give your child their first cell phone, there are no official guidelines for when it’s the best time. But as parents, you know your child best and can determine if your child is ready for a smartphone just though your experience. Medical experts suggest weighing the child’s ability to responsibly handle a phone. “Think about the other valuables your child owns and carries with him or her and consider how often these have been lost or need to be replaced,” says Dr. Megan A. Moreno in her study Your Child’s First Cell Phone, published in the JAMA Pediatrics. “If your child is struggling with this, it is probably not the right time to get him or her a phone.”
Don’t forget other factors involved in smartphone ownership.
You may also want to ask yourself some practical questions to help determine if your child is ready for a smartphone, including whether or not they can be trusted to handle their phone responsibly. Will they understand that talking, texting and downloading content costs money? Will they put their phone away and not disturb others in class (if school allows phones in the classroom)? Will they not embarrass, bully or harass others? If your child can’t understand these concepts, you may want to wait before you give them their first phone.
And, will you be prepared for the day your child loses or breaks their phone?
We’ve all heard stories of friends and family members losing their phone. And maybe you’ve lost one, too. Phones get left behind all the time in cabs/hailed rides/airplanes. They end up in the bottom of the lake or pool, and using rice to dry them out doesn’t really work. Or, one of the more common stories – the phone drops into the commode! And we’re not just talking about kids here. Adults lose their phones all the time, amounting to billions of dollars’ worth of mobile phones lost annually. Industry analysts estimate dropped phones cause damage to about 95 million phones a year amounting to $29.8 billion in electronic devices.
Even repairing a broken screen can be costly: without a protection plan, you’ll pay hundreds of dollars to replace a screen. Will you be ready to handle your child’s cry, “Mommy, I lost my phone? Or “Mom, I dropped my phone and the screen broke!”
Emarketer: U.S. Smartphone User Penetration by Age 2014-2020
So, if you’ve made the decision to give your child a phone, now comes the next question: just how much phone will they need?
Phone manufacturers have given consumers many choices in terms of screen size, camera capability, and memory. Even adults have trouble navigating through the features and benefits of each model, and deciding just how much phone they need for daily use. And phones can get pricey when you add on memory and service plans. But before you make any decision on which model to buy, ask yourself an even bigger question:
Should you buy new or used?
Kids are much more brand aware than ever before, and many are technologically savvy enough to know the difference in the models, features and benefits of a phone. But you can make a good decision for your child by weighing all the options available in the smartphone market today and choosing to buy a newer model used phone. Why? Because you can get a good phone you and your kid will be happy with for a much better price.
Spend less time looking for the right used phone at Glyde.com
Think about this: you can get a premium pre-owned phone for up to 50% less than other retailers or carriers when you shop on Glyde.com. And you’ll spend half of what you would for the latest model phone. So you’ll not only save on the upfront cost of buying your child a phone, you’ll also be able to give them a newer model phone with features that will make texting, downloading apps and watching videos fast and fun. Glyde has a great selection of premium iPhone and Androids phones, so you can spend less time surfing the web comparing models and prices. It’s all right there on Glyde.
Get premium pre-owned phones in such good condition that kids will love.
Kids like to compare phones, and choosing a used phone in optimum condition gives them a phone they will be proud to carry. Glyde’s premium pre-owned phones go through 30+ functional and cosmetic inspections before they are made available to you. In fact, they’re in such good condition, you’ll think they’re brand new and your kids will, too. But instead of paying up to $1,000 for the latest iPhone model, you can get a premium pre-owned iPhone for less then half the price you’ll pay from carriers and retailers when you buy on Glyde.
A 2-Month Guarantee makes this purchase a no-brainer.
You can look for a used or refurbished smartphone on many websites, but not everyone offers a 2-month guarantee. With Glyde, you’ll get a two-month warranty plus a 14-day 100% money-back guarantee if the phone doesn’t meet your expectations.
Best of all, you can avoid this mom’s dilemma, which cost her thousands of dollars.
Randy, a mom of two girls, bought their first iPhones when they were in fifth grade. Over the years, as phone batteries lost their charges, operating systems slowed, networks were upgraded and phone capabilities/cameras grew more powerful, she kept purchasing new phones. But the old phones? They’re sitting in her desk drawer. “I was afraid to sell them because I wasn’t sure how much to sell them for. And I wasn’t sure that all of the personal content like contacts would be erased from the phones when we sold them or traded them in. So I just kept them.”
Why keep your old phone? We make it simple to trade-in.
Trading in your phone shouldn’t be complicated. In fact, when you trade in on Glyde, we make it as simple as 1, 2, 3. Just give us the phone manufacturer and model, and answer two quick questions: Does your phone turn on and off, and is your phone damaged? That’s it. You’ll never have to hang onto an old phone again. Get those phones out of the drawer and trade in on Glyde!
If your child is ready for a smartphone, here are a few final tips for making a good decision.
So what happened to Avery – did he get his phone? After much discussion, Avery’s parents decided to let him have his own smartphone with one condition: that he contribute half of the purchase price from his own savings. “We want him to feel responsibility for the purchase,” his mom said. They’ve also decided to manage his screen time from his Dad’s phone, and set some ground rules on phone use.
If you think your child is ready for a smartphone, consider some of these tips from child experts and parents when setting up your child’s phone:
- Use safety controls to block inappropriate content
- Consider using parental controls to manage your child’s screen time. No phones during meals or at bedtime help kids avoid distractions and settle in for a night’s sleep.
- Ask for all passwords to access apps and accounts. Being able to view your child’s screen activity will help you flag inappropriate content or bullying.
- Use an app such as “Find my Friends” to keep track of where your child’s whereabouts.
- Periodically check your child’s apps and social media sites.
- Consider insurance to replace the phone if it’s lost.
Getting a first phone is exciting for anyone of any age. Make it an easy and affordable process by choosing Glyde for a premium pre-owned phone. You can be confident in the condition of the phone you choose, upgrade easily, and save your family thousands of dollars in the process. To see the latest premium pre-owned phones available, visit Glyde.com today.