4 Constructive Questions to Ask Before Allowing your Kids to Have CellphonesJun 01, 2021
Should children use mobile phones or not?
One of the thorniest dilemmas facing parents today is the issue of kids and technology. Especially with respect to mobile technology. At some point or another, parents have to decide how and when to allow their kids to use smartphones. This is a challenging ultimatum. Because technology might be convenient, but it can also expose children to harmful information. Information which may not be appropriate for their growth and development.
It’s Less About Timing, and More About Maturity
Parenting Expert Stacey Stein suggests that “ These days, the average age when kids get their first smartphones is around 10 years old… But exposure to mobile devices often begins at a much younger age: It’s becoming increasingly common to see toddlers wielding smartphones in strollers, and preschoolers zoned out in front of iPads at restaurants.” So how can you tell when it’s ok to let kids carry phones? What’s the best way to introduce them to mobile technology?
Here are a few questions to help chart the way:
1) Why are they asking for a phone?
When kids ask for a cell phone, it’s usually because they want to expand their social circles. Either the phone they’re asking for is a status symbol, or they want access to friends through social media. Don’t say yes without exploring why they’re asking for the phone. Set clear ground rules and how a phone should be used.
2) Does the phone give them too much technology?
Mobile devices today come equipped with a variety of cutting-edge capabilities. These capabilities can be used productively, but they can also be abused in daily life. Be careful about giving your children access to technology which would interfere with decent behavior. Think about their schoolwork, their discipline and susceptibility to misconduct.
3) Will they understand the value of the cell phone?
Cell phones might be fun, but they don’t exactly come cheap. Your child should only own a cellphone if they’re capable of using it without being negligent. Make it clear that their devices need to have a long shelf life. And that there are consequences for losing or damaging the cell phone.
4) Are they aware of the dangers that come with being online?
The sad reality of life today is that the Internet is a dangerous place. Children might want phones just so that they can connect with friends, but they also run the risk of encountering hazards like cyber bullying, human trafficking, political misinformation and so on. You won’t always be there to protect your kids from the Internet, so don’t give them a phone unless you know they have good judgement.
When parents contemplate trusting their kids with mature privileges, the first instinct is usually to be protective. Cell phones are banned, and kids are kept in a naïve bubble. But this is an extreme way to approach things when you think about just how much society uses cell phones. It’s better to teach your kids about cell phones early. Give them access, but also be observant about what type of an experience they're having with the phone. Teach them how to use phones appropriately so that they don’t get trapped by ignorant mistakes. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative courses, workshops and events listed on our websites and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how The RISE Academy can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success. For business development coaching by Richard Martinez, call at 626-202-2291 or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
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