What Age Should Kids Get a Phone | A Guide for Kids' Phone Using
What Age Should Kids Get a Phone
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With the modern-day parenting challenges, you may be wondering why parenting never comes with a manual. The reality is that it is not easy, especially with modern-day technology. Smartphones have become a thing for everybody, children included. So what age should kids get a phone? What should parents do to ensure their children are safe when using a phone?
Are You Considering Buying a Cell Phone for Your Kid?
A significant number of people use phones to message and catch up with their friends and families. Online schooling has become the norm, emphasizing the need for kids to have their won phones. What's more, kids are equally social beings longing to interact with their friends who are far away. Keeping this in mind, check out some important reasons to get your kid a phone.
In modern-day, parents spend little time with their children, so they always have to check up on them via phone calls and texts. Sometimes terrible things beyond the parents' control may happen to their children in their absence. Phones remain to be the best medium between parents and children and more so in emergencies.
What's the best way to remind yourself about the most important events and occasions? Smartphones come equipped with alarms, applications for taking notes, timetables, and other better organizers. These tools will help your child to be more organized in their life.
3. Phones Help Kids to Develop Vital Skills
Because we are living in a technology-driven world, it is important that your kids start using technology when they are still at a young age. Buying them a phone when they are still young will allow them to understand modern technology at an early stage of their life. In turn, this will develop your child's skills and knowledge. They will use these skills and knowledge when looking for work or when studying in school.
4. Social Interactions
Phones are a great way to keep in touch with long-distance families and relatives. As such, this has become the norm with parents working out of the country or out of town. Teens also use their phones to express their feelings, likes, and dislikes.
What Age Should a Child Get a Smartphone?
Parenting is different for everyone. Therefore, each parent has their way of raising kids. If you're wondering what age should kids get a phone, let's look at what other parents believe is the right age. Panda Media Center recently conducted a survey that showed about 40% of Americans believe that children should get smartphones when they are between the age of 11 and 13.
It was, however, reported that about 25% of kids below 6 years already have phones. Out of this percentage, half of them spend more than 21 hours weekly on their smartphones.
Do You Have These Worries About Kids Owning a Phone?
Before getting your kid a phone, you should evaluate them to decide if they are ready to use the device.
Do They Understand Safety Matters?
Adults understand that you can use phones for other reasons than calling your friends. But does your kid recognize this as well? How sure are you that your kid will safely follow the rules you have set for them when you are not around? Be sure to discuss matters to do with cyber-bullying and social media applications before handing a smartphone to your kid.
Define the Appropriate Functions
According to PewResearch Center, more than 37% of teens aged between 12-17 own a phone. While smartphones have numerous features and better applications are unveiled daily, it doesn't mean they are safe. Do you feel safe knowing that your kid can access a wide range of social media platforms? If you do, consider a simple phone for quintessential communication.
Is It a Necessity?
What is the main reason for getting your kid a smartphone? That should be the benchmark behind buying them a phone. If you are getting your kid a phone because their friends have one, then you might want to reconsider your decision.
How Careful Are They With the Other Properties They Own?
You can take this to the bank: If your kid often loses their stuff, such as clothing and toys, they are very likely to lose or damage their phone. That will be crazy if the smartphone is costly.
Is Their Brain Development Ready for a Phone?
Did you know that spending lots of time on the screen somehow affects the development of a kids' brain with regards to their age? Introducing phones to preschoolers and younger kids can make them addicted to the screen. It can also make them anti-social with peers and other people. Teens are in the critical thinking stage, so getting them a supervised smartphone is a good idea.
Important Things To Know After Buying Your Child a Phone
After buying a phone for your child, the following pointers are crucial:
- For children who are aged between 4-6 years, screens can cause them overstimulation. This, in turn, can make them highly addictive. If you have introduced them to a phone, start with the one that does not allow internet access. Also, put a screen time limit.
- Children between the ages of 7 to 11 years tend to access sites that encourage reliance on what their peers have to say. For this reason, this can promote bullying among the kids. It is also advisable to speak out clearly and openly about the risks associated with smartphones. As such, it is essential to enhance parental controls on what to access.
- Children between the age of 12 and 14 tend to prohibit or block the development of impulse control and problem-solving. So the parent needs to choose when to give the phone in regards to their level of maturity.
- For those who are 15 to 18 years old, their prefrontal cortex still requires 20% more to develop. For them, it is ideal to have spelled out rules and consequences regarding the use of smartphones.
How Can Parents Relieve These Worries?
Parents should always dictate how their kids use phones. FamiSafe help is a parental control app for iOS and Android smartphones designed to set control measures. FamiSafe allows parents to set a screen time limit. This way, you can be in control of the time your child will on spend using a smartphone.
It even gets better: the app comes with an anti-cyberbullying feature. Because anything can happen when your kid is on social media platforms, this feature can be very useful. The app sends you alerts whenever someone sends your kids certain red-flag terms related to cyberbullying. Additionally, the FamiSafe app alerts you whenever your child receives suspicious messages. You can monitor more than seven social media platforms, which allows you to know when your kid posts something inappropriate. The app will also show you the location and age of anyone who wants to friend your child.
What's more, the FamiSafe app comes with a browsing history tracker that allows you to track your kid's activities on the internet. This allows you to check whether they are exposed to any harmful site and prevent them from visiting the site again. Lastly, the app sends you alerts you whenever your children visit restricted sites. You will see the category of content they were viewing and the time they visited the website. Being aware of potential issues is important because it allows you to address your kid in a safe environment and protect them from cyberbullying.
So what is the bottom line to all this? Despite the age you choose to give your kid a phone, it is imperative to take them through usage. This is especially important when it's a smartphone.
As a parent, it is necessary to sit your kids down and teach them about phone responsibilities and functionalities. Let them understand clearly the repercussions that will come about in case they take advantage of the privilege.
Establish proper rules, and guarantee their consequences should they be flaunted. As already mentioned, have parental controls on their mobile devices and monitor their screen times using the FamiSafe app.
Make sure that you devise ways to have your kids remain social beings, even when they are away from the digital scene. You can do this by creating some family time without the use of technology. That will improve their human interaction skills and even enable them to learn away from digital platforms.
Smartphones are great devices in the current world and have great benefits when used in the right way. The above tips and concerns will guide you as to what age should kids get a phone.