Children are spending more time on their smartphones than ever before.
This presents threats to our children:
Parents need to do the following to keep their children safe from online threats:
Filter out inappropriate contact on the internet.
Set a screen time schedule for phone use, including games and apps.
Get full visibility of your child’s activities on their devices.
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Qustodio provides concerned parents smart tools to help supervise their children online.
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We live in an era where communication is the key to staying connected. Everything these days relies on being able to stay connected with each other. One means by which people stay connected is through their cellphones. There is no doubt that the use of cellphones has grown extensively in recent years, but there are still some questions posed that need answering. One of the biggest questions is whether or not children should have access to the use of cellphones.
When it comes to such a question, there is a divide in opinion on children and cell phones.Because information and technology are so prevalent, some say it is good to expose them to the “new world.” Others say it may have detrimental and even harmful impacts on their development as a whole. Looking at both sides, we will discuss these opinions’ angles to help you make your own decision as to whether your child should be granted access to a cellphone and all the intricacies that come with it.
Perhaps the biggest argument about when children should gain access to a cellphone is the age at which to start. Most parents opt to wait until their children are responsible enough to know limits when it comes to using technology. The debate goes on to question toddlers and cell phones.Though there are benefits, the leading issues are early use and its impacts on brain development.
The Appropriate Age
In all actuality, there is no “right age” to give your child access to a cellphone. What matters more is their level of maturity and responsibility. Your child should be able to understand the concept of self-safety when using a cellphone. Moreover, the need to know the concept of self-limitation. This means making sure they know exactly when too much is too much.
Understanding the rules of home and school cell phone use is the key to gauging if they are ready. As a parent, you will need to set these rules out straight away. The reason as to why parents often support reasons why kids should not have cell phones is because of the power it holds. Remember, handing children a cell phone allows them to create images, videos, and information that can be widely distributed on the internet. Such power may cause safety issues that are difficult to monitor.
With all this in mind, it can be safe to say that the most appropriate age would be starting at 12 to 13 years of age. Though, this can be lesser or more depending, again, on the maturity and responsibility levels your child holds. There is no doubt that opening up a world of communication and information has its benefits, but cons if misused.
The Pro’s Of Cellphones
Now that we know something about cell phones and the criteria needed to hand one to your child let’s go into some key benefits of allowing them to use such a gadget. As mentioned above, cell phones open up a whole new world of communication and information. Schools these days have even switched to digital learning to enhance communication among children and teachers. Aside from this, cell phones have other benefits.
- More social interaction with peers
- Responsibility of learning on their own
- Up to date on technology trends and use
- Support for their education
- Keeping in touch
When it comes to the pro’s list of cellphone use, it mainly focuses on your child’s ability to interact and learn independently. The first bullet, more social interaction with peers, allows your child to stay close to their friends. This gives them a sense of connection that they otherwise would not have without a phone.
Nest, the responsibility of learning on their own, falls into their hands. They are able to easily reach the information they need to stay ahead of the game in school or other activities. Yes, books are always a good choice, but it is not always within their resources. Phones provide an immediate resource that they can go to when they need help with new concepts.
Being up to date on technology trends and use is important. Everything is computerized these days, and learning how to navigate it will be a necessary skill in their future and a necessity in becoming young adults ready to take on the world.
The most important point to the pros of having a cellphone is how it can support their education. This goes hand in hand with their responsibility to learn on their own. The information granted to them by cell phones can aid them greatly in their school work. It opens up new ideas and helps them build creativity through the concepts and ideas they come across.
Lastly, cell phones help you keep in touch with them throughout the day. You will not always be able to physically check up on them, so having a phone that you can call up anytime can give you peace of mind in knowing where they are and if they are safe.
The Con’s Of Cellphones
Exploring both sides of every situation is always a vital move in making the right decision. We have looked into the pros of giving your child a cell phone. Now, we will look into the reasons as to why kids should not have cell phones.
Being able to know what the benefits are, needs to be balanced by knowing the drawbacks. When it comes to children having cell phones, the possible drawbacks are.
- Over-reliance on technology
- Distancing from friends and family
- Improper use of social media
- Information warping
For starters, one major drawback that parents have come to realize is
over-reliance on technology. This means using their cell phones for the smallest things that could be solved by other means. As stated, cell phones open up a whole new world of information. Sometimes, the vast sources make children rely on phones to answer questions rather than thinking it through logically. Because it is easier to search for the answer, logical thinking is at risk. To combat this, it is best to set rules, promote creative thinking, and ensure that phones are used only to support your child’s thinking, not take it over.
Cell phones can be something that tends to be over-used. In this case, you may notice distancing from friends and family because they are so engrossed in their phones. Preventing this is the key to keeping them from distancing. Always set a time limit to how long and when they are allowed to use their phones. This way, social interaction in the physical sense is kept alive, and they do not rely solely on digital interaction.
Social media is everywhere, and ensuring your kid’s safety in its use is very important. Before allowing them to use social media sites, makes sure they understand the concepts and safety cautions of it. The right information in the wrong hands can do a lot of damage.
The sheer amount of information available on cell phones could do more harm than good in some circumstances. There is always fake news or flawed information. Talk to your child about being open to new information but also to be aware of false claims. Ensure they understand that not everything should be taken seriously and that sources, where information comes from, are important in deciding its truth.
Making The Final Decision
Having stated both the pros and cons of giving your child a cell phone, it is in your hands to make the final decision. Just make sure to always take into consideration their levels of maturity and responsibility. There is no exact age when it is appropriate to trust them with such a tool. You will just need to know how capable they are of handling it.
Having a cell phone for your child means keeping an eye out for how they use it. Keep in mind the rules you set out for them and make sure it is followed. This will show you greatly how ready they are to handle such a gadget.