Most parents cite safety as one of the main reasons for giving their child a cell phone. It enables them to easily reach their child whenever they need to and have their child be able to do the same as well. However, equipping them with a smartphone is a whole different ballgame. Smartphones have video, internet, and image functions which expose your child to media which may be inappropriate for their viewing.
Before making such a purchase, there are certain important points to take into consideration. Giving your child a smartphone is giving them a very powerful tool for communication. Your child will be able to send text messages, images, and videos that can be widely shared and uploaded to the internet instantly.
Here are 5 things to consider:
- Does your child show a sense of responsibility, such as letting you know when they leave the house or school?
- Do they show up when they say they will?
- Does your child need to be in touch for safety reasons?
- Do you think they’ll use the phone responsibly — for example, not texting during class or disturbing others with their phone conversations; will they use photos and video functions responsibly?; will they limit time on social media?
- Is the smartphone a want or a need for your child? Ensure that he/she doesn’t develop a sense of dependency on technology at an early age. Consider upgrading if he/she shows a sense of responsibility or does well in exams. This way, the child learns the importance of working to earn what they want.
When these steps are taken into consideration, you would find that your child’s level of maturity and their ability to follow your instructions will play a great part in helping you make your decision. Please leave your comment below and let us know what age you believe is appropriate for giving a child a smartphone.