Equipping the youngest children with smartphones is now a standard. More and more parents decide on such a step. When buying equipment for your child, however, it is worth taking a few tips. Here they are.
When is the first smartphone for a child?
At what age should you buy a child a smartphone? In practice, it is impossible to unequivocally answer this question. Children have different needs, and their behavioral development is also different. Certainly we should not succumb to peer group pressures such as “because all the kids in class already have one”. The decision to buy a phone for a child should be based on parental observation. This is the only way to choose the best moment.
Were things better without smartphones?
Certainly, you can not succumb to the voices that ”once, without smartphones, children were better off”. Each era has its own characteristics and needs – today it is becoming standard for children to use advanced technology. 20, 30 years ago young people spent more time interacting with each other in the real world than they do today, but the smartphone is also a great communication tool. It is estimated that up to 38% of children under a year old use a smartphone in a more or less conscious way
Pros and cons of buying a phone for your child
The primary risks associated with early phone purchase are:
- risk of addiction – every year there is an increase in phonoholics, or people who are addicted to using a smartphone; the addiction takes a toll on their relationship with their family, problems maintaining good relationships with peers, loss of passions or poorer academic performance,
- exposure to cyberbullying – a consequence of the feeling of anonymity on the Internet is hegemony and other phenomena related to online violence; unfortunately it happens that they lead to tragedies,
- widespread pornography – it’s very hard to protect children from the ubiquitous nudity and adult-only content online,
The advantages of children having a smartphone include
- constant contact with parents,
- the ability to call for help or emergency numbers in case of danger,
- feeling responsible for the equipment,
- learning to use resources wisely,
- feeling of taking another step on the road to independence.
How to avoid misunderstandings? Write a contract
Excessive smartphone use can lead to parent-child disagreements
A compromise can be reached in a simple way, which used to be done in school grading: write a contract. In this contract, the parent agrees to allow the child to use the smartphone under certain conditions and for a certain period of time. The child will know that his/her life is not all about the smartphone, but at the same time will not feel disadvantaged
Safety of your child while using the phone
Once you have purchased a smartphone for your child, you need to put some effort into ensuring their safety while using it. Of course, developing a proper bond with your child and teaching them responsibility will be the foundation. However, you can use an app to locate our kid. You should also upload a program that censors access to inappropriate content. It is also possible to temporarily restrict access to network resources
The first smartphone as a gift
A good occasion to give a child the first smartphone is St. Nicholas’ Day, a birthday or First Holy Communion. However, it is worth explaining to the child that it is a valuable item and that he or she must take care of it.