It can be tough for any parent to know their child is ready to use a smartphone, but they are probably not ready. Usage of mobile devices can not only harm their eyes, it can lead to problems with the development of their brain. We are in unchartered territory with our phones and tablets, and the frequency with which we use them is a social and medical experiment. We don’t fully know the repercussions of our obsession with technology, but we do know that limiting screen time, especially for young ones, is a great way to ensure that they will be healthy, productive users of technology. So, how old is old enough for smartphones? And what can you do to limit your children on screens and the internet? Read on to find out.
Children under Six
Experts who deal with the neurochemistry of the brain are not divided on this issue—any children under the age of six should not have a smartphone. At this age they shouldn’t even be using yours, but this is difficult to keep control of. Still if you do your best to take devices out of their hands when they grab onto them, you will be raising a happier, healthier child. This also helps them understand from an early age that mobile devices aren’t all shining lights and pinging sounds. They are actually dopamine-inducing and habit-forming machines. That’s why, if your children is under six they shouldn’t be using a smartphone.
Children between Six & 10
Even between the ages of six and 10 scientists suggest that you greatly limit your child’s screen time and internet use. This is the period in which you can truly introduce them to phones and tablets, but you should always limit their time and teach them that there are designated periods in which they can use these devices. They should not yet have their own phones. According to the site MoneyPug, which is known as a platform to find cheap mobile phones, parents often want their child under 10 to have a phone in case of emergencies but they also lose phones frequently. They are not yet mature enough to deal with the responsibility, and it isn’t good for them anyways.
Children over 10
Around age ten is when most parents decide to buy their child a smartphone. This, by most standards, is too early. But the modern world has demanded that everyone have a phone, and it gives parents peace of mind when their child has one, so if you absolutely have to buy your child a smartphone you should see to it that they are only using it during designated times, when they have finished their homework, chores, and before bedtime. This is a great time to teach your kids that the internet is not all fun and games and people need to schedule for no-screen time. Balance is key. When you get your kids started off right, they will respond.
Parental Control Apps
A great way to ensure that your child isn’t using their screens too much or during the times when they should be eating, doing homework, or sleeping is to use a parental control app. These applications are great for keeping track of your child’s time on devices and that they are not using them when it is time to be doing something else. You will also have the opportunity to keep track of your child’s internet browsing history. Keep them off the sites that they shouldn’t be seeing and even see to it that there is no cyber bullying going on. Parental control applications are a good place to start when it comes to monitoring your child’s interaction with devices.
Whether your child is interested in technology or not, you should do your best to prolong their involvement with smartphones and screens in general. The longer you wait to get them on these devices, the better they will be adjusted in their adult lives. When you establish balance early on, they will naturally exhibit it in their engagement with technology. It is never too early to regulate your child’s interaction with mobile devices. Get started today.