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20Jul2015

What Is the Right Age for A Child to Start Using Smart phones?

 

Three objects were considered essential across all participants, cultures and genders: keys, money and mobile phone.”

– Jan Chipchase, Nokia

Jenn is 3; she uses her mother’s phone with great interest and amusement.  If she couldn’t find the phone at her reach, she would cry her eyes out.

Ann is 9; still she demands to have a mobile phone for herself. Peer pressure must be the reason. She doesn’t want to depend on her mother for mobile access anymore.

Stella is 12; she needs the best- branded phone. She cannot take the risk of bringing a normal phone to school.

Jenn, Ann, and Stella are not individual cases. If you are a parent you must have noticed your child’s obsessions towards Smart phones. From the time they start understanding their surroundings; smart phones become an important priority for them. Parents love their children but are confused whether it’s good or bad to gift children smart phones.

Everything you need to know before surprising your child with a smart phone:

Most parents believe that it’s not wise to give mobile phones for children. The decision has become tougher with the arrival of kid-friendly apps and interesting videos for children.

According to survey conducted on mobile phones and children,

  • 56 %of children ages 10 to 13 have a smartphone
  • 25 % of children ages 2 to 5 have a smartphone

But the right age of introducing children to smart phones till remains a mystery. Let’s forget about the right and wrong, we can evaluate the uses of mobile phones.

Family circumstances, child’s maturity level, the real use of mobile phones are all factors that must be considered before gifting children mobile phones.

Compared to indoor learning, we know that children enjoy EYFS syllabus. The way they are made to learn is crucial. Just like the interactive learning experience of EYFS, there are numerous applications available in smart phones that can make learning a whole- new experience for children.

The prominent question is, “What’s the phone for?” the manner in which your child uses the phone must be taken in to consideration. There are useful apps out there that can be used to enhance children’s knowledge. But the social media circle is too early for small children to be a part of.

The educational possibilities of smart phones must be taken in to consideration before declining its use as well. There are numerous exclusive apps waiting for your children at the play store.

Be Double Sure About Your Decision

Emotional maturity

Child psychologists confirm that there is no specific age when children are ready for smart phones. It is noticed that introducing children to smart phone at an early age provides them solid foundation of the digital world. The parents must be well-aware about their children’s emotional and physical maturity before gifting them a smart phone.

Children after sometime might become frustrated with technology this may develop hatred towards everything in life. Face to face interaction is equally important for children to develop emotionally.

Love yourself

It’s important for children to love their own company. With smart phones they remain constantly in touch with one another. Nowadays when people are alone, they reach for their phones rather than involving themselves in personal activities.

Parental involvement

Parents must be involved in their child’s electronic device experiences. You can help your children gain more knowledge by indulging with them in the right usage of smart phones. The interaction with children surely will enhance your relationship with them. Along with interactive mobile phone sessions, spend time for outdoor activities as well. At the end of the day, they have to live in the real world.

How you use is important

It cannot be ignored that the way you use your mobile phones determines the outcome. Parents should distinguish between entertainment content and educational content. While selecting apps for your children always go for age-based apps. Choose apps your child can handle easily and effectively. There are numerous apps available which are distinguished according to the age group.

Limited Screen Time

  1. According to studies:
  • Do not allow 4 to 5 years old to sit more than half an hour per sitting
  • Do not allow 6 to 7 year olds to sit more than one hour per sitting
  • High school students should limit the use to two hours
  1. Other problems
  • Never allow your child to interact or use mobile phones while taking dinner.
  • Over-usage of mobile phones can result in eye problems. 20-20-20 rule must be followed. Every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away

Random facts you may find useful:

  • If you are thinking of gifting your young children mobile phone. Opt for ones that dial only your contact number with pre-paid connection
  • Always opt for a basic handset for children
  • Apps your children download must be given special consideration
  • The social media usage must be under strict control

So, go ahead and teach your children the right smartphone habits. 

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