Deciding when to buy your child their first phone can seem like an important decision. Everyone has their own opinion about the right age, and since there are no strict rules, it can be difficult to know when to buy your first smartphone. So at what age should a child get their first phone?
To begin with, a parent knows the answer to this question better than the Internet. However, sometimes it can be helpful to have statistics to help you make an informed and balanced decision.
Here are some tips to help you decide what age to give your child their first phone.
Does Your Child Need a Gadget?
Today it’s impossible to do without gadgets: they have become a part of our lives. By and large, children have the same needs as adults: computers and smartphones allow them to communicate and get information, as well as to have fun and assert themselves among their peers. Even by posting videos on TikTok.
However, a children’s tariff will allow you to limit access to adult content, which includes sites with gambling, sports betting services, and adult movies.
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Do Gadgets Affect a Child’s Development?
Many parents practice using gadgets solely as a distraction. They turn on the baby cartoons in order to quietly go about their business. The child switches to a bright picture, stop being cranky and frees mom for a few minutes.
There is nothing wrong with this practice if the child isn’t too young and you do it not often. But you should remember that at one year a child has other tasks: developing motor skills, body, speech, and lively communication. If we overlap it with cartoons, other functions will suffer.
The parent’s task is to achieve a child’s development in three directions simultaneously and in a balanced way: intellect, motor skills, and emotions.
When to Buy the First Smartphone
At the age of six or seven, you can buy your son or daughter a cell phone or smartwatch – this is the age when children start school and become more independent. In this case, the child will benefit from the gadget:
- He will feel more relaxed, knowing that he can always contact his parents.
- Responsibility develops – it’s necessary to make sure that the smartphone or tablet is not broken, not lost, to charge it in time.
- The attribute of “adulthood” appears, and the child feels more confident and independent.
Can a Smartphone Harm a Child?
Controlling the time spent on a gadget is a necessity and responsibility of parents. Therefore, they should teach their child to interact with the smartphone in a way that does not cross the line where the real world is replaced by the virtual world.
An adult, while hanging out with a gadget, is aware that he is trying to relax, and distract himself by looking at pictures or funny videos. The child himself can’t understand why he can’t give up the phone. And if you don’t establish the rules for using the gadget, it may develop an addiction. And hence – anxiety due to the fear of losing the phone, lack of understanding of what to do, the difficulty in communicating with peers.
But it’s important not to ban gadgets, and to develop a sense of proportion in their use. And here all the responsibility is on us, adults – we must reach an understanding with the child, and explain to him why it is important to limit the time spent on the phone or tablet.
Also Read: Easy Ways Gadgets Can Help You Sleep Better
How to Instill the Right Attitude to Gadgets?
There are two effective methods: communication, explanation, and own example. While the child is young, we set the rules and stick to them so that the child takes them for granted.
And from 7, we explain what the risks of excessive communication with gadgets are, and what the consequences can be. We need to talk about the responsibility and dangers in a language understandable for the child, just as we tell about careless handling of fire, about the dangers of smoking and drugs.
Forming the right attitude to gadgets is difficult if parents themselves are constantly sitting on their phones.
When the child sees that his father spends all evenings playing computer games, and his mother doesn’t let go of her smartphone, he is unlikely to comply with the requirements set by the adults. Gadget rules are mandatory for the whole family.