Things You Need to Know Before Giving Your Child a Smartphone
July 23, 2021
When a survey was conducted about parents’ worst fears, a massive 40% of all parents agreed that their worst fears lie in the safety of their children. This would mean having their children in circumstances where their safety is compromised.
We are not just talking about physical safety, but also from the massive consumerism of the internet. The internet is a huddle of all sorts of crimes and we have seen many children falling victims of the same.
When you look at it from a different angle, technology has also brought positives. It is amazing to know that in just a matter of minutes you can talk to your child or even contact emergency services.
Some companies have taken a step further to make child-friendly phones. With features that every watchful parent wants, for example, parental controls.
However, some of these companies have received bad ratings or complaints and you may want to be watchful before you decide to purchase one.
The bottom line is, are our children’s place? Well, In this article I attempt to give an in-depth discussion about the right time to give your child a smartphone and what you should be cautious of.
Guiding factors when deciding the right age to give your kid a smartphone
The right time/Age
We have to agree that we cannot rule on one single age to determine the right age to give each other smartphones.
I had my first smartphone when I was 17. This of course is nearly impossible in 2021.
Giving your child a smartphone at a very young age can be very detrimental to their safety (mentally and physically).
Again, waiting for a longer time to give your child a smartphone will also distance the tiled from their peers and may result in the feeling of being left out.
Upon the child’s parent to know whether their child is in a position to handle a phone. Assess your child based on how they interact with other people as well as if they show any form of behavioral issues.
Even after our allowing a child to have a phone always ensure that you regularly check on how they use it.
Realistically, age 10 – 14.
Is there a need?
Parents who give their children phones at a very young age are normally driven by safety reasons. Especially if that parent is often away from home and their children.
Giving your child a phone because all there it may have access to one is not a good reason. But we have seen parents do it anyway.
If you are always away from home you must ensure you’ve left your children with ways they can make a contact with you or call emergency services at any time. Having security cameras alone is not a security measure.
We can conclude that there is a need to give children access to phones.
How to keep your child safe
Whether we like it or not, children will still access mobile phones at a very young age. It is up to the parent to take action and keep the child safe.
Some of these mobile video entertainment have no mature filters at all. It might seem harmless at first but over time, the effect on your child mentally or cause addiction.
Install parental control applications or buy phones integrated with parental controls to prevent your child from exposure to such content.
One other issue that has erupted in the last few years where children have been given access to phones at a very young age is in-app purchases.
Parents are complaining that our children make very expensive purchases online without their consent. Of course, you can get a refund after an In-app purchase, but it is always safe to ensure that you have taken steps to stop such purchases.
Setting screen time to limit your child’s exposure to the internet or their phone is also important to prevent digital eye strain.
Every parent knows their kid better than anybody else and the final decision of whether or not to give your child a cellphone rests with that parent.
However, is it possible to strike a balance between the good use of technology and the disagreeable use of technology?
As a parent, you should not be afraid to take away smartphone privileges from your children when you find them misbehaving or when you notice the phone has brought in behavioral issues at home.