Smartphones have become the need of the day. When you are going to pick up your child from the school and there is a terrible traffic jam, if your kid has a smartphone you could inform him. In such times we really get to know the importance of smartphones. You might believe is it time to give your kid a phone but is your kid really prepared to handle it?
Less than half of the parents are aware of what their child is doing online. Are you one of them?
While smartphones help in a number of ways, there are a number problems related to them as well. Like there are no limits to what we or kids can access using these devices and whom we can communicate and share our private information with. With adults things are different but with tender minds it is not as simple. Young ones can easily be mislead – they may share private information with strangers, make friends who are not suitable or view stuff that is not appropriate for their age.
Understanding the Phone rules
Before you handover a smartphone to your kid you need to make sure that he understand the rules of using a smartphone that he is required to follow at home or in school. You can help your kid understand various things like whether they can download apps without permission to how they can or can’t use the phone in the classroom. Make sure you discuss the consequences in case they break a rule.
When not to use the phone
Talk to your kid about phone etiquette and safety as kids will be experiencing some phone situations for the first time. You can set rules like not to stare at your phone when Grandma’s talking, no phone at dinning time, etc.
Giving 24/7 access to phone to your kids is not a good idea at all. Set some rules according to what appears right to you. No phone after evening and so on…
Just 61% of youth use privacy settings on their social media sites and 52% don’t turn off their location or GPS services. It means that their locations are visible to strangers. Worst of all, about 14% of children have posted their home addresses online. This is a serious privacy issue and you need to to ensure your kids dont do it before you hand over a phone.
About half of all teens say they’ve posted something online that they later regretted. (The Digital Deception study, 2013)
Impact on Studies??
A number of studies have linked frequent cell phone use to lower grades. One study linked cell phone usage levels to GPA scores and anxiety levels.
The higher a student’s cell phone use, the lower the grades.
Should you give a smartphone to your kid?
Well this is a serious decision that you need to make with lot of care. Remember that phones nowadays are lot more than mere gaming or simple texting you to pick your kid up from a friend’s house. The minds of little ones are vulnerable and too much and access to information without any monitoring can certainly prove to be disastrous for your lovely kids.
It is better not to hand over a phone to your child if you cannot act vigilantly as there can be more potential harms than benefits of these devices for the young minds. Once your kids are mature and can handle these powerful devices you may make a decision without thinking twice.
Teenage brains are still developing, making it essential to nourish their cognitive growth with positive social skills.
When kids are given a mobile phones they are vulnerable to abusing them.
It is responsibility of parents to set appropriate limits over how much time online is suitable.