First Phone—Sprint Shares Advice for your Members on When Kids are Ready

When is the right time to give your children their first phone? It’s a question that’s been debated among parents since cellphones first became widely available and affordable.

5/15/18

Picture of Kids on Cell PhonesThere are all sorts of decisions that parents make as their children grow. Choosing their first school, or their first sleepover, and now parents need to decide when their kids are ready for their first phone. Thankfully, Sprint, a NWCUA Strategic Link partner, has some guidance that can help.

Keeping up with friends

Every family is different. So what about yours? Has your child brought up the topic of a phone? Maybe a classmate has one or other parents are wondering when to cross this milestone. Maybe you’ve seen ads on television, social media, or parenting blogs. No matter where the pressure is coming from, you should be comfortable that it’s the right time to take give your child a phone.

Safety and Security

There are a lot of reasons that parents want their kids to have a phone: safety, security, and peace of mind. Phones now give parents the ability to track their child’s location, especially if they walk to and from school or their friends’ houses. Having a phone means that kids can always call when their plans change, they need a ride, or there’s an emergency. But the privilege of having a phone comes with responsibility.

Responsibility

Parents like the idea of being able to depend on phones to let them know where their kids are, or to check on them, but is your child ready for the responsibility? Do he or she take care of their things and respect items in the home? Is he or she careful it comes to keeping track of their belongings or those of their siblings or friends? If the answer is no, it may not be the right time. Yet, accidents happen and these days, insurance coverage is an option, as well as sturdy cases and coverings to protect from breakage.

Maturity

Phone costs are another consideration. Parents need to set rules with regard to usage and kids should be mature enough to follow those rules. “Tech obsession” is a worry for parents these days, so setting guidelines is important. It will also give your child a chance to prove he or she can accept the responsibility and is mature enough to follow your rules. There are so many things kids can do online with a phone, it’s up to parents to explain the proper conduct regarding their safety and to monitor their behavior.

Editor’s note: for more information on resources Sprint can provide to your credit union and to your members, contact Kaitlin Ramos, NWCUA Strategic Partnerships Manager, kramos@nwcua.org.