Can I confess something? I totally dreaded the day my kids would ask for a phone. That day came several years ago, and it took many ongoing, long-winded debates before we settled on the right solution.
As a parent, I worried giving my kids a phone would mean the loss of childhood and innocence. But I also feel like it’s our responsibility to help our kids make these transitions at the right time.
After a lot of research, trial, and error, we found a phone that I’m convinced is the BEST first phone for kids. We are now all happy and excited for our kids to have technology, which can be a great tool for them and will grow with them as they get older!
Have you heard of the Troomi phone? I am convinced it is the perfect first phone. It can be totally customized to the needs of your child, and you can change the settings and restrictions as your child gets older.
The Troomi phone is a Samsung phone that you can buy directly from the Troomi website. It comes with its own cellular network and has a data plan for calling and texting. It has apps that are accessible by wifi. Here are some of the best features on the Troomi phone:
We originally started our daughter Kate with the Gabb phone. And while it is a great starter phone, it is very limited in capabilities. There was a very short window of time where the Gabb phone made sense, and then we found ourselves looking for something that had similar parental tools, but with more customization options.
Thankfully, we found the Troomi phone and quickly realized it would be the PERFECT option to last our kids many years.
I still think Gabb is a brand and that the Gabb watch is a great introduction to technology. In our family, we’ve decided to start our kids out with a Gabb watch around fourth grade, then move to the Troomi phone in sixth grade, and an iPhone (with restrictions) in eighth grade.
I will add that there is no perfect option for kids + technology, and there will always be ways for kids to work around safety guards, no matter how many restrictions parents put up. I do think it’s important to remember that making mistakes is natural, and the best possible way to set your kids up for success is to COMMUNICATE and build a relationship of trust.
We knew that when we were going to introduce phones to our kids, we wanted to have a contract in place. It’s so important to have really clear expectations and rules established right from the start.
I found a good resource from Common Sense Media, and used that as the baseline for creating our own contract. We even included our kids in the development process of our contract, and they actually had some great ideas! They thought of things to add that I didn’t even think of, like not taking pictures of others without their permission.
The contract opens up an opportunity to discuss safe technology usage with kids, along with the consequences of failing to do so. It also assures kids that they will have freedom from parents within established guidelines.
Justin and I have talked about this a lot: we want to help them navigate social media and have internet access on their phone while they are still at home, so we can teach positive choices associated with those things.
I feel like the Troomi phone is a perfect entry-level step for a kid’s phone and even as a community family phone, and the Gabb watch is a great pre-phone option.
I’d love to hear your approach with kids and technology! How are you wading these waters?
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