Just before the summer holidays Roo received her very first smartphone. We had hoped to wait until she started high school next September. However, as she was going on bike rides and visiting the park etc. with friends we needed to be able to contact her and vice versa.
Moving to an estate that is somewhat out of the way and it a destination estate rather than a drive through one (if that makes sense), has given us the confident to let her go out with her school friends. Whilst she understands that this is a big responsibility, having a smartphone with her gives both of us peace of mind. It does, however, come with a number of guidelines attached to the times she is able to access her phone, the telephone numbers of her friends that she is allowed to have in the address book and the applications that are downloaded on there too.
Although to some this may seem a little full on, I am very conscious that she is only 10 years old. There is no need for her to be accessing social media accounts and I’d prefer for her only to have close friends telephone numbers. The smartphone was given as a point of contact for us and her rather than an accessory or something that she spends hours using at home to message friends and take selfies with. I do, however, still worry about how I can protect her further. Especially when they’re so many stories about cyber bullying and grooming in the news each week.
How To Protect Your Children On Their Smartphones