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4 New Semester Smartphone Choices to Keep in touch with your child

Parents Faced with the challenges of returning to school or returning to an individual: giving teens and teens a way to reach them without opening the door to the temptation of screen time that comes with smartphones Method.

An increasing delegation of child psychologists and other professionals recommends parents to “wait until 8th grade” (like second grade) to give their children unlimited internet connectivity devices. “At the development stage [kids] “We’re prematurely providing distracting adult tools because we’re struggling with concentration, impulse regulation, and identity,” says Melanie Hempe, founder of ScreenStrong, who advocates reducing screen time for children. Mr. says.

Some parents use software such as Bark and Qustodio to put restrictions on their children’s smartphones. Others buy “basic features” phones (also known as “dumb phones” or foldable phones) for their children. However, these days, foldable mobile phones usually have access to the Internet, so it’s a good idea to choose a device that gives you more control. Here are four favorites: parents, professionals and children.


Photo:

F. Martin Ramin / The Wall Street Journal

Stick to the basics of style

NS Lightphone II Your child will not have access to the internet or social media, but they will be able to make phone calls and make text messages (including group chats).

AT & T

You can access not only the network, but also simple tools such as alarms, calculators and music / podcast players. The sleek black and white design looks like an adult enough to soothe a junior high school student between the ages of 13 and 30. However, this device is more expensive than other picks, does not currently offer GPS tracking, and will not ship until fall. Plans from $ 30 per month in addition to $ 299 thelightphone.com


Photo:

F. Martin Ramin / The Wall Street Journal

To meet friends

Designed to mimic the look of an iPhone or Android (but no internet, games, or social media access). Gab Great for kids who are worried about getting weird. It’s also the device Hempe recommends to his family. This is due to its affordability and plenty of parental controls, from screen time limits to GPS tracking. The phone runs on Gabb’s own 4G LTE network and does not require a contract. Plans from $ 20 per month in addition to $ 100 gabbwireless.com


Photo:

F. Martin Ramin / The Wall Street Journal

To communicate without fuss

Verizon customers only, GizmoWatch 2 Your child can stay in touch with 10 approved contacts and comes with GPS tracking. However, parents of super textiles should be careful. To send a text message from your phone to your watch, you need to use the GizmoHub app. There are no group text messages and children can only send pre-made phrases, emojis, or voice messages as text messages. “Gizmo seems to be more fun for my daughter and is less likely to be lost because it’s on her wrist,” said two Katie Bar Cornish New York moms. $ 100 plus $ 10 / month, verizon.com


Photo:

F. Martin Ramin / The Wall Street Journal

How to use an age-appropriate app

Windmill The phone does not access the internet or social media, but virtual journals, e-readers,

Duolingo

Language app. Parents use the companion app on their mobile phones to select different modes, such as “school mode” and “free play mode,” to allow or block features. Only whitelisted contacts (approved by the parent) can interact with the child. Plans from $ 149 plus $ 15 per month, pinwheel.com

Share your thoughts

Want to get a tween on your smartphone? Why or why not? Join the conversation below.

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4 New Semester Smartphone Choices to Keep in touch with your child

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