As your kid grows older, you need to make more choices about their upbringing and the difficulties they face. The cell phone is one of those challenges. Almost every child nowadays wants to own a smartphone. And you’ve likely learned from your tween that he or she requires a cell phone to speak and text to their friends. But parents should be conscious of all the hidden pitfalls these powerful devices may have. Cell phones are intended to enhance our lives, but if used uncontrolled, they can also cause severe issues. So how to find the right equilibrium in the universe of modern techniques and guide your kid? Scroll down to know the right age your child get a cell phone.
Know the risk of cell phones
You’re offering them an extremely powerful communication tool when you hand your kid their first mobile phone. They can not only send emails, create pictures and send videos to friends, but also access websites and upload pictures and videos online if they are using a smartphone. There is also a danger that they will just spend too long to pursue safer activities on their phones.
Having unrestricted access to the internet poses many hazards to kids. We’ve all heard terrible tales about kids being groomed online, but there’s also the danger that by downloading applications or playing games they might unknowingly rack up substantial bills. They could have access to inappropriate content as well. With so many hazards, it’s not surprising that this problem is so crucial to many parents.
Right Age Your Child Get A Cell Phone
No two children are the same. Having phones in primary school is not uncommon, but 2016 research shows that a child’s average age to have their first phone is 10.3 years old, although many parents are waiting until their child starts secondary school at the age of 11 or 12 years. The same research discovered that at the age of 12, 50% of the kids also have social media accounts, mainly Facebook and Instagram.
That may sound young, but there are practical reasons for a kid to need a phone in many instances. For instance, if they attend sports clubs outside of school, just start leaving home alone, or make their own way to school, parents will feel reassured if they have a phone.
What should you consider before giving a cell phone to your child?
You should take into consideration several points before you actually purchase a new gadget for your kid:
- Be willing to spend a substantial amount of cash on a device that can be broken or lost. Think of your child is accountable enough to have at his disposal such a valuable thing.
- Usually, children don’t understand that runaway data cost money. Don’t be surprised if your credit card will be charged to buy games, not to mention bills for conversation, text, and mobile data.
- You may not even have an indication that your kid may view or send content that is inappropriate or adult. This can destroy the mental health of the child. Have a discussion about what is prohibited and what can be done on the phone.
- There are a number of internet hazards that bring a potential danger out there. These include social media, chats, forums where children may get harmed. Do your utmost to guard against internet hazards.
- For many families nowadays, a kid with a phone in hand at the dinner table or bed is a typical situation. If your kid gets hooked on the screen, breaking the habit will not be simple. Even a special treatment may be needed in serious instances.
How do you keep mobile phones safe for your child?
It has been estimated through studies that the average age for a kid to get a smartphone is about 10-12 years. Due to the current child unsafe situation, a cell phone becomes essential to make us aware of our children’s whereabouts. However, if parents are not alert and cautious, mobile phones can do more damage to our kids than healthy. Six tips to maintain your kid secure on mobile phones are listed below.
- It is hazardous to text or talks on the mobile while driving (in the case of kids aged 18 +) or even cycling. So let your kid know the consequences of doing so can be deadly. Rather, ask them to stop driving or cycling when they have to text or call. After all, just a stop of 2 minutes won’t create any difference.
- You have to limit your telephone time and inform your kid before you bring it a phone, that you are strictly forbidden from using or keeping your mobile with it at all times. For instance, you should refuse to use your mobile during family, dinner or if you have any guests over.
- You have to inform your kid that if someone attempts to bully or harass her online or through text messages, it’s not all right. In this situation, she must tell you instantly. Tell her that doing the same for others can hurt the other individual and her too, and that the impact on both parties could be bad.
- It is prevalent for all to be on social media nowadays, more so for kids. Do warn them, however, against sharing private information to strangers such as their email, phone number, personal images, etc.
- You should also prohibit the purchase of things online for your child. She may purchase game applications or additional content and features that can be a waste of money.
- In addition to the above, you can buy plans (with the assistance of service providers) that will make it safer for your kid and not weigh heavy on your pocket as well.
Parental guidance and alertness are the best way to make your child’s cell phones secure. It is important to know the right age your child get a cell phone. Parents should monitor the phone usage and content of their child on a regular basis. It should also be made compulsory to limit screen time, or else it can be harmful to the kid.