Let’s face it … it’s a smartphone world today, and your kids are living in it. Phones are everywhere — in pockets and purses, and in parents’ hands whether they’re on the go or relaxing at home. Kids see this, and are naturally curious.
Nowadays, children as young as toddlers (sometimes babies) can recognize and reach for phones — after all, they mimic adult behavior. So in this kind of technology-centric culture, it only makes sense that as kids get older they want phones of their own. What does this mean for you as a parent? Here’s a look.
Questions Parents Tend to Ask About Smartphone Use
The minute your child holds a phone in his or her fingers, the questions start:
· What are the pros and cons of phones for kids?
· How do you know when your child is ready for a phone?
· Are there serious risks you should be aware of ahead of time?
· If you get your children phones, what safety and security measures should you practice?
· Are there rules that can be useful?
· How do you monitor usage?
Do these questions sound familiar to you as a parent? If so, you’re not alone. These are just some of the issues parents think about as they monitor smartphone usage for their children.
Pros and Cons of Smartphone Use for Children
As with so many difficult parenting decisions, there is no one right or wrong answer for all children. A good place to start, however, in thinking through the choice to give your kid a phone is in understanding the pros and cons. With that in mind, here are a few points to consider:
· Smartphones expand the world for your child.
· They put information at their fingertips.
· Smartphones make it easy to get in touch if you’re separated.
· Smartphones also open your child to risks such as cyberbullying, viruses, child predators, sexual content, violent content, etc.
To get a better idea of how to plan for and manage your children’s smartphone use, check out the link below fora slideshow, which details tips for setting rules, monitoring behavior, and other helpful tips!