Is It The Right Time To Give Your Kid A Smartphone?
Only a few years back, many parents used to ponder about the right age and the right time they should give their kids the opportunity to handle car keys. In recent times, a trickier question is doing the rounds – when is the right time to give your kid a cell phone? A cell phone gives your child uninhibited Internet access which has its pros and cons. Driving at 16 is legal in a few states, but there are no strict guidelines or a legal instruction on the appropriate age for kids to own cell phones.
It’s a matter of debate as many children are given easy access to a cell phone at quite early an age. Studies reveal that, on an average basis, children nowadays receive a cell phone at around a meager age of 10. Some experts on internet safety also reveal that children at an even younger age of 7 get a hold of cell phones easily these days. Though, some parents have an adamant insistence on forbidding their young kids from having a cell phone, maintaining a strict stipulation for the little ones in their family. The rule is simple – the kids get access to a cell phone if they are in high school and only after they imbibe restraint and realize the worth of communicating face-to-face.
There’s No Perfect Age
Many experts agree that though it’s entirely up to parents to decide on the right time and age, there isn’t a magic number, and a kid’s maturity and responsibility level matters more than anything. So how do you determine whether it’s the right time? On asking, many experts disclose that the longer a parent waits to hand over a cell phone to their kids, the better. Some experts marked the age of 12 as appropriate, while others stuck to 14, but agreed upon the latter as being a safer option. The reason is simple. Cell phones can prove to be a big distraction from schoolwork, and kids become more prone to child predators, online bullying, and other harmful online activities. Simply put, a child won’t get exposed to the dark side without it.
Half Of Kids With Cell Phones Are Already Addicted
According to a research, 70,000 children were surveyed over a period of 18 months, and facts reveal that on an average, kids started watching sensitive material online as young as 8, adult chatting initiated in the fifth grade, and addiction to explicit materials took them over at around the age of 11. A separate poll among 1,240 parents and their children had 50% of them admitting their addiction to cell phones.
Pros And Cons
Cell phones do have their own benefits. Accessing educational tools through powerful apps, connecting with pals through chat apps, and an ocean of information and knowledge on the net are all the pros associated with it. But, a kid stands at the doorstep of darkness, too. Adult chatting apps, distracting games, and of course, social media sites where they can become a victim of online bullying easily, are the dangers that one can’t turn a blind eye on. If not a cell phone, a tablet or a computer can do the damage, too. Parental supervision is the order of the day and is the best way you can keep a track of your kid’s activities.
Realization of Responsibilities
At the end of the day, parents decide when their children are in need of a cell phone. But, it is essential to dip your toe in the water before giving your kid an access to one. Start off with phones through which your child can make calls or send texts only. This way you can assess whether they are able to handle the device in a responsible way. Even when you gift your kid a new one, you can set some limits – signing a contract which will bar them from crossing the boundary, which, if disregarded, will have many consequences. That’s a strict but effective way to keep a tab on them.
And of course, a time-to-time supervision from parents can ensure that their kid won’t tread on the wrong path. Set some rules and stipulations to keep a check on their usage. Accessing the Internet has many benefits. But there are disadvantages galore, too. It is tough to bring your child back once they’ve had a chance to explore the Internet. So ask them to look before they leap. Be with them, and guide them.
More in Family Counseling
Celebrity Moms Teach Us About Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is real. Gone are the days when depression was thought of as a period of sadness or bad mood....May 24, 2018
Caring For Your Self When You Are A Parent
Have you ever wondered why the emergency instruction in a flight says that you in case there is a need, one...May 24, 2018
How Social Media And Substance Abuse Are Correlated (And How To Avoid The Trap)
We live in times where everything is just a click of a button away. For example, sharing and accessing information is...May 24, 2018
How to Help A Friend Fight Drug Or Alcohol Addiction
Fighting an addiction all by yourself is tough. It often leads to a serious case of depression or worse. Alcohol or...May 24, 2018
Why You Should Not Give Up On Rehab
The feeling of hopelessness or guilt is something that cannot be fully explained to another person. Most people who go to...May 24, 2018
Celebrities Who Have Sought Therapy For Their Bipolar Disorder
Almost 2.6% of the entire American population is affected with bipolar disorder. Earlier called manic depression, bipolar disorder is a brain disorder...May 24, 2018
Four Unexpected Ways Your Childhood Affects Your Relationship
Perhaps it has never crossed your mind as to how your childhood affects your relationship, but in some cases, maybe you’ve...May 24, 2018
How To Reduce Stress As A Single Parent
Single parents are becoming more and more common with every passing day. Some are by choice, while others are divorced or...May 24, 2018
OCD 101 — Busting A Few Myths
OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a widely known mental illness. However, it is also one of the most highly misunderstood...May 24, 2018