Photo: Fatherly

The days of waiting by the phone for your friend to call you when you get home from school are gone. Smartphones complete with texting, social media, email and constant connections are the norm for our kids. Before giving your kids the responsibility of a smartphone, offering them a device like the VTech® Kidibuzz™ allows you to teach them proper ways to use this technology.

Set your kids up for successful smartphone usage by covering these eight lessons during this “training” phase:

  • Lesson 1: Acknowledge screen time and the importance of taking breaks. This is a good idea for the whole family.
  • Lesson 2: Teach them to use basic manners when answering calls, and encourage them to talk on the phone, not just text.
  • Lesson 3: Start a family group text. This will show your kids how to respond and use emojis. Simple loving messages can go a long way for this lesson.
  • Lesson 4: Use manners when texting and learn the important acronyms like, TYVM. This will help your child develop today’s phone communication skills.
  • Lesson 5: Set up a family charging area, and charge all phones at night. This will help keep those phones charged and out of the bedrooms to promote healthier sleep.
  • Lesson 6: Share the importance of using an indoor voice when speaking on the phone. Teach your child to speak clear and slow. The Kidibuzz™ allows your child to leave you messages to help them develop these skills.
  • Lesson 7: Push pause on games or other activities when someone is talking to you in-person. Parental controls on some devices can help set reminders for your children to do this. It is crucial that your kids don’t lose those in-person manners, while learning smartphone etiquette.
  • Lesson 8: Set device-free times for your family to enjoy each other with no distractions. Create a place to put phones away and turn those ringers off. Dinner is just one example of when to do this.

No matter what device you supply your child, it is important to set boundaries and teach manners.

More details on teaching smartphone etiquette here.



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Sandee Gruner

Sandee Gruner is a full-time working mom with a love for writing and communications. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two children, where she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring local attractions and volunteering.

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