When is the Right Time for Children to Have a Phone?Are you a parent often thinking about what age a child should get a smartphone, or is it possible to give a cell phone with limited access to your kid? Or are you finding it challenging to find an answer to ‘how to distract the child from mobile?’ Worry not! We got your back.
Parents often think of giving their kids cell phones with limited access to keep their kids safe and secure, but they are constantly worried about their kids getting addicted to the phones. It gets really challenging for most of them to decide what age a child should get a smartphone. Some even wonder why kids should have phones when their children start demanding them.
Phones have become an unavoidable part of our lives. It becomes a challenging question: at what age should a child get a smartphone? Some of you wonder why kids should have phones. We live in an era of technology, and cutting your child off is not advisable. So let’s weigh the pros and cons of smartphones.
- Easy connectivity: Children go to school and various other classes these days. Each child these days juggles between school and co-curricular activities. They might be going to horse riding classes, dance classes, etc. And because of these multiple places your kid has to be in, you must have a definite source to communicate with them. A cell phone with limited access can be a good option here, as it will solve the purpose of sharing and prevent children from using the internet or other inappropriate smartphone features for their age.
- Tracking: If you wonder why kids should have phones, geo-tracking is the answer. It is the easiest way to keep track of the places your kids are at. A cell phone with limited access can be a good option here.
- Online classes: No matter how much you try to avoid giving smartphones to your kids, schools will demand them. During COVID-19, the entire education system had become more dependent on technology. Your kids will have their assignments that they will have to research online. They will have to take online classes. And with this coming, deciding when a child should get a smartphone has become more challenging.
- Learning technology: As said earlier, technology has become an integral part of our lives, so to avoid it or to keep our children deprived of it is not a good option. You will have to expose your kids to smartphones. You should know how to distract the child from mobile phones. Knowing this will help you to create a balance.
- Parent control: Giving a phone can have its disadvantages. Children can access anything they want and watch content unsuitable for their age. But don’t you worry? Technology also comes with solutions, so the answer is to stop your children from accessing unnecessary content.
Giving phones to kids can have both positive and negative effects. While smartphones can offer educational and entertainment benefits, they can also have potential side effects. Here are some possible side effects of giving phones to kids:\
- Health issues: Using smartphones for long hours can adversely affect a child’s health. That is why deciding when a child should get a smartphone is vital. No government law can arrange this for you. The regulations don’t define this. So it is you who should know why and how you are exposing your kid to a smartphone. For example, if you are giving them a phone so that they don’t disturb you and keep playing games on it, it can become addictive. You should know how to distract the child from mobile phones in such cases.
- Games: The most addictive thing for a kid on a smartphone is the games that come along. That is why knowing what age a child should get a smartphone becomes essential. If you let them play on the phone from an early age, it will be almost impossible for you to cure their phone addiction. Also, the games usually available on the internet have violence in them. Such games corrupt the young mind.
- The dark world of the web: With the coming of OTT, social media, etc. the internet has become a trash box for all kinds of content. Children these days are brilliant, they know how to crack parental control too. Even if they don’t do it themselves, they will have friends to teach them. And this can become a problem for their mental health, as all kinds of porno and violent content is available online. And this content is easily accessible with a click. These things can force you to rethink why kids should have phones.
- Escaping: There have been many cases worldwide where children exposed to smartphones from an early age have become the victim of depression. These children usually find balancing the virtual and the natural world challenging. Many see the internet as an escape from life. They can quickly get addicted to it. Hence, you should learn how to distract your child from mobile phones.
- Social media: We all know that social media has created a fake world for our generation. It has built pressure to live life in a certain way. Well, that never happens. Life is different for different people. No two individuals can have parallel lives, even if they are siblings growing up in the same house. These days even the parents have become so crazy about their children on social media that they make their kids’ profiles. And this is not a good thing. Such parents must know what age a child should get a smartphone and social media profile. This should not happen before they at least become an adolescent,
- OTT: With the coming of OTT, we all have gotten addicted to binge-watching. In earlier days, TV shows would premiere at a particular time, so we could maintain a timetable to watch TV. But at OTT, content is available 24*7. In such cases, you know how to distract the child from the mobile. Talk to them, and play with them so they know there are other things to do in their leisure time.
In our tech-dependent world, keeping your children away from smartphones is nearly impossible. Hence, considering why kids should have phones is out of the question. Technology has its advantages and disadvantages. So the real question should be at what age a child should get a smartphone or find ways to get a cell phone with limited access.
Alongside, be prepared to distract the child from mobile so that he continuously gains knowledge with good academics and there is no side effect on his physical and mental health because of high screen time.
Different kids behave differently on having their cell phones. Hence, while there are many guidelines, suggestions, etc., available on what age a child should get a smartphone, ultimately, it is you who can take the call based on – the maturity of the child, the need for a smartphone for the child, your budget, etc.
Giving a smartphone to your children will always have some disadvantages attached to it. To mitigate these side effects, parents need to establish clear guidelines and boundaries for phone usage, promote healthy screen time habits, and encourage a balanced lifestyle that includes physical activity, face-to-face interactions, and other offline activities.
At Eurokids, we ensure that kids are well engaged in academics and sports to decrease high screen time. We also teach them to be responsible for using gadgets and have limited screen time. We make them aware of various excellent and lousy smartphone use practices.
Click here to know more or to visit a Eurokids center for preschool admission for your child