Knowledge — 9 months ago

When to Give your Child a Smartphone

by Rachel Greene

When to Give your Child a Smarphone

Pros And Cons Of Giving Your Child A Phone At A Young Age

In the present technological backdrop, staying connected with loved ones is important. Back in the day when cellphones were a novelty, they were more a luxury product. Now, cellphones are more of a necessity than a luxury. A new question arises at such a juncture: what are the pros and cons of giving your child a phone at a young age. Such a question is important because as a parent you want to stay connected with the child but at the same time want to monitor cellphone usage. Children these days cajole for their personal cellphone for the world of videos the internet offers. An acceptable age limit in the past for a child to get their personal phone was 12, but now it is ten years or lesser.

The pros of your child having his/her own phone

giving smart phone to child

  • Tracking the child’s location: The biggest advantage of a giving your child a phone at a young age is the tracking technology embedded in the device. When turned on, the feature helps locate the child. Parents will know that the child is safe and at the same location, he/she said they would be at. It may seem as being overprotective, but until the child is of a certain age, monitoring their movement is essential.
  • The world of learning: Cellphones these days are capable of accessing the internet. Internet, despite the chagrin of exposing young minds to unnecessary information, is also a trove of useful knowledge. The child benefits from internet access through informative videos and content. Apart from educational purposes, life skills such as finding the right direction with the aid of maps or reading the weather report, is developed through internet usage.
  • Responsibility starts young: When you give your child a phone, you are entrusting him/her to keep the phone safe. Indirectly, you are teaching the child to be responsible for their belongings. Apart from safekeeping, the ground rules that you set in terms of usage instills in them a sense of discipline.
  • A point of contact in case of emergencies: One of the most frightful situations for a parent is having no means of contacting their child in case of emergencies. These could be as benign as running home late from a meeting and keeping the child informed about the same. If you want to reach your child, calling on their cellphone is the easiest way.

The dark side of giving your child a phone

should i give my child a phone

  • Control is not absolute: In a world of information overspill, it is impossible to constantly monitor the child’s activity and engagement with the cellphone. Parents will never have absolute control over who the child speaks with or in the case of slightly, older children, who they are texting.
  • Cellphones don’t come cheap: There are new launches of cellphones every day. Children want the latest iOS or Android devices which don’t come cheap. If you give your child an older model, they’d rather leave it behind at home than use it in front of their friends.
  • Cheating becomes easy: Children have started cheating on tests with cellphone use. There are students who are caught using their phones under the desk while taking a test. Getting caught for cheating has grave consequences.
  • A pesky distraction: Cellphones are distracting for adults and even more so for children. There is only so much you can order a child to stay off the phone at mealtimes or while doing their homework.

In the end, parents need to trust their children. If the child misuses the privileges, take necessary action.

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