Ask @DadandBuried: Should I Get My Child an iPhone?
Are smartphones really a necessary evil?
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That said, smartphones are a necessary evil, and as your kid gets older, the positives—for him and you—will eventually outweigh your reservations. I’m dying to have a way to communicate with my son when he’s on the bus, or to remind him to turn in a permission slip. I also need him to have his own Spotify account; I don’t want our future robotic overlords to think I worship Imagine Dragons!
The fact is, smartphones are going to be a part of our kids’ lives for the foreseeable future. They see friends with them, and no doubt see their parents using them, which makes withholding one increasingly difficult. (If someone tried to take away my smartphone, it would get ugly fast. Just ask my wife!)
The good news is there are services that can help monitor his activity and restrict certain apps and websites. If you wish, you can basically turn the phone into—gasp!—an actual phone. (For an example, check out Gizmo.) That way you can get the benefits of easier communication with your son and he can still feel like one of the “cool kids.”
I would start signaling your capitulation but tie it into some kind of reward-based scheme. Make him earn the thing.
And then get him his own Spotify account.
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