Observe the Child Before Giving Them a Smartphone
Experts in the area say that it’s very important to observe and know how your child reacts in different everyday situations in order to decide on their readiness. If your kid is relatively on top of things and they don’t get very emotional and upset when something didn’t happen how they wanted it to and if they follow rules in other areas of life, they may be ready for their first smartphone. However, there can still be some great kids that don’t have good self-control or kids that are struggling with anxiety and depression. If this is the case, it’s better to try and postpone their introduction to a smartphone.
The Issue With Smartphones and Kids
Kids can get in a lot of trouble online, especially if they start using social media. Many different kinds of research have shown that the time spent on social media correlates to issues with depression and anxiety. It’s very possible for social media to open up kids to some things in life that they’re not ready for. They also could gain access to imagery that can affect their body image and self-esteem. And although many parents think that this is the norm, now, giving your kids a smart device is actually dangerous. Even if they avoid a certain type of content, they can still see things that aren’t good for them or they can find workarounds and access things you have forbidden them to use/look at.
Start Small if the Child Isn’t Ready
If you’re not sure if your child is ready for such a big step and responsibility, you should start with something smaller than a smartphone. A good way to start is a smartwatch. Most smartwatch options offer basic phone, text, and GPS capabilities. The thing with smartwatches is that you offer your child access to a smart device with a lot smaller reach. They’ll be able to communicate with you but not with anyone you didn’t allow them to connect with. If they use the smartwatch reliably, it may be just what’s needed to be sure that they’re ready for the next step – getting a smartphone.