If you are a modern generation parent, then you would be definitely suffering from this dilemma of whether to give your child a smart phone or not, or at what age to buy them a smart phone. What with the rising death tolls among children who have been indulging in playing violent games in smart phones, it makes you re-consider your decision about making your kid technology-friendly at all!
This is not at all an easy decision, especially if you`re raising kids in this digitally smart generation. Peer pressure on your kids makes them even more vulnerable towards smart-phone addiction. Here are some tips for you as a parent to balance your child’s access to smart phone, tablets and internet.
Controlling Your Own Smart Phone Addiction.
As a parent, you`ve got to practice what you preach. Children keenly observe their parents all the time and tend to pick up their habits involuntarily. If you restrict your child from the virtual world (tablets, smart-phones, etc.) and are yourself always at it, then you are not setting the right example for them. They would definitely question your authority and rebel at the slightest chance. So, parents also need to check themselves at home when they are around their children, when it comes to extensive usage of smart phones.
Track Your Child’s Smart Phone Usage
Parental guidance is important not only in Television access but also in smart phone usage. Make sure you know what your child is doing when you handover your smart phone to them for playing games. This way, you would be aware of their game choice and thereby about their psychological inclination. For example: playing fruit ninja or subway surfer is a normal phenomenon but playing blue whale is most certainly not! Be the smart parent and install apps in your phone that will help you monitor your kids (example: Offtime, BreakFree, Moment, etc.).
Engage kids in other activities.
You can always divert your kid`s attention towards something more constructive. Push them more towards physical activities including games especially outdoor games. You can also bring them up to read more books so that they choose reading instead of gaming when they have time to themselves. Engage their free time with hobby classes like music lessons and dance lessons. See what your child likes and nurture their hobbies. This way, they will not find enough time to indulge in unworthy things like smart phone gaming and their energy will be channelized towards learning useful things.
Talking about the right age at which you are to present them with their own smart phone, even though high school age has become the standard these days, it solely depends on you as a parent to take this decision, make sure it is neither too early nor too late.