“Is your child ready for a cell phone?” Many parents ask the same question not once or twice but many times. ‘Whether your child is ready for a cell phone or not?’ Cell phones or mobile phones have become very basic requirements in day-to-day life. From children to senior citizens all need cell phones though the usage and need are entirely different from one another. A study has been conducted and it is formulated that 22% of kids in grade school have their own mobiles or cell phones.
So, it is very natural to have this question in your mind about whether your child is cellphone ready or not as there are pros and cons to it.
Is Your Child Ready?
To answer this question, you have different approaches which allow you to analyze whether you should give your child a cellphone or not. Many parents give their children cell phones for one major reason and that is for their safety. Safety is a big reason for parents to give cell phones to their children. Every parent wants to be there when their child needs them the most. It makes perfect sense as when your child is home alone or if they are walking back from school to home, something unpleasant might happen to them therefore the reason to give them cell phones becomes very necessary.
If we put this safety scenario into consideration then giving them phones makes sense for a while, but if we consider the downside of giving them cell phones at a very young age, it might create problems for them as well.
They can get exposed to content that is not meant for them. This content can be inappropriate for your child. The content may be violent, sexual, or related to death. Therefore, it can be in a sense harmful for your child as well.
Young children are sponges, whatever thing they face, they have a huge impact on themselves. When you introduce cell phones to them, you can set a screen time limit from the very beginning so they will get the hang of it and use their cell phones in a limited way.
There is no right age for having a cell phone, you can introduce these devices whenever you find it necessary according to the needs of you and your child. You can always set rules and if your child breaks those rules what will be the consequences afterward. Talk to your child about the screen time that they can have and frequently have a proper conversation about it.
It will be difficult handling them in the beginning, but they will get the hang of it.
Make a proper schedule in which they can use their cell phones. This will help your kids to maintain a balanced and healthy life. Moreover, it will also make it a habit for them to limit their usage. Apart from this, you need to have more face-to-face connections with them, it will keep the technology from becoming a disease for them.
Effects Of Cellphone
It is obvious that everything has its own pros and cons. And it is not that hard to analyze how technology is negatively affecting us. Though there are many beneficial aspects of it, most commonly the negative aspects somehow left behind the positive aspects of the same thing. The constant relation and connection between any smart device like laptops, tablets, cell phones, etc. can be very harmful and it can cause short as well as long term health problems.
Now the question arises ‘how it is causing health problems in the long term as well as in the short term?’ As we know most of the users (if categorized into age categories), belong to the age group of 16 to 25 years. Are highly exposed to technology. Moreover, the minds of the young generation i.e., till 25 years, are still in the developing phase. An analysis done and conducted by the scientists of the National Institute of Mental Health states. Many scientists believe that the new generations have a higher aptitude toward technology because of the constant exposure to it. They say the brain of this generation is much more adaptive and developing according to its surroundings. That means higher exposure to the technology results in higher capabilities and tendencies to cope and cooperate with it. Though the downside changes which cannot be ignored is difficulty in having proper communication skills. Your child’s brain is in the stage of development. The use of technology directly affects the part of the brain that controls the core of a person’s personality. Hence, in a broader way we can say the effect can cause the alteration in the field of;
- Their understanding capabilities
- Their communications skills
- Understanding gestures and signs
Some scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences come to know about the parts of the brain that get affected using technology, and they are;
- The prefrontal cortex– prefrontal cortex is the part of the frontal lobe that controls and is responsible for the personality, cognition, and social behavior of an individual.
- Cerebellum– cerebellum is responsible for regulating muscular activity as well as the activity which is linked to the language of an individual.
- The parietal lobe matures– the parietal lobe is responsible for interpreting language and words.
Therefore, excessive use of technology might damage the developing mind of your child and any individual who is exposed to technology very profoundly.
Taking A Decision
When you and your child can sit together and come to terms with using the cell phones then they are ready to have their cell phones. And if they are not willing to make such a pact or list then they simply are not ready. Moreover, if your child can make good and healthy decisions then you can take into consideration that he or she is ready to have their cell phone.
Moreover, you can go through your child’s cognitive ability, and then you can come to a fact whether they are able to make the right decision or not between good and bad.
You can also judge their maturity and responsibility level by their actions and if you give them a task and they complete this task on time. For example, if you ask them to clean their room and they do it on time. This shows their aptitude for responsibility.
Therefore, with the help of these points and indications, you can come to know the right time to give your child their cell phones.
Tips For Safe and Responsible Cell Phone Use
If you give them their very own cell phones, for safe conduct, you can always go through these tips;
- You can use apps like; there are parental controls apps that limit the content for your child. So, they are restricted to a certain area or content that is relevant to them.
- You can tell them not to download too many video games and apps. If the download too many games and apps, it is more likely that they end up exploiting those terms that they have made with you.
- You can also do one thing, instead of giving them the latest smartphone, you can give them a basic phone. This will again limit their usage and, being the basic phone, they are unable to do any type of extra activity.
- You need to be a good inspiration and role model to them. If you can limit your phone usage in front of them, they will inherit that as well.
- You can set screen time limits for them so they can end their screen session on time.
- Have a good and friendly relationship with them so they can tell you and share with you their day-to-day experience.
- You can ask them to let you know about their passwords as well.
- You need to put away your child’s phone 1 hour before their bedtime, this will ensure good sleep quality, and as well as they can have a proper sleep routine.
- Give them problem knowledge about all the aspects of the contents which they might get in touch with while using the smartphone. This content can be based on violence, sexuality as well as on death. Hence, they should know the meaning and differences between each of them and be able to think about what is good for them and what is not.
These are certain tips which you can follow, apart from these tips to build a good relationship with your child. Become their best friends so they will always reach out to you first if they get stuck in some problem or inconvenience.
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