Sunday, July 5, 2015

Is your child phone ready

Last time I visited a mall I saw a toddler in a pram who could barely speak handling a smart phone and playing a game on it. Now days finding kids with phones that are expensive and complicated to operate is not at all uncommon. We find them all the time but it raises an important question as to what is the right time to give a phone to a kid.
Ready through the post I was set off to explore the various points that would decide if a child is ready for his or her first cell phone
# 1. The first pointer is a valid reason to have one. My neighbors kids remain with the maid after school hours and are off to one class to another and need to be contacted from time to time so does that make them eligible for a cell phone. So according to Mihalas article it is a case of Your Child needs a cell phone vs your child wants a cell phone. If it comes to tracking a child’s where about and contacting him then the scale tends to tip in the favor of the child getting a phone.
#2 Refers to the fact that the child must be ready to be tracked and monitored in terms of data usage and net activity by the parent. I have seen children as young as ten talking extensively for hours with their friends over the phone, being constantly disturbed by messages during their tution classes and using the phone as a gaming console and playing endless hours playing games. In such cases the usefulness and productiveness of the phone is greatly diminished and it becomes more of a distracting factor in their live an addiction which is hard to get over with.
#3 Talks about the maturity level of the child. As to if the child is mature enough to take care of his or her things. There is no point in giving expensive devices to a kid who is constantly keeping and forgetting things or losing then in parks or school bus. Only when the child is mature enough to handle and look after a smart phone should be given.I completely agree with this point.
#4 As a parent it becomes our responsibility to see what apps are there on the phone and if any of these lead to the child being bullied in any way. I think that this is an extremely important point as one needs to be aware of the possible dangers of using the apps and the dangers of exposing the children to unsolicited content and anonymous contacts who could either intimidate the child, bully him or her or create any negative effect or influence in their lives.
#5. It talks about the relationship of the parent / garden with the child and the ability to be able to communicate and explain to them the potential dangers of using smart phone and using discretion such as not disclosing their information and contact details with strangers.
Overall the article can be used as a ready reckoner and a checklist for preparing both the parents and the child for the first smartphone for the child.
The original article can be read here
 “I am participating in the ‘Ready For Rewards’ activity for Rewardme in association with BlogAdda.”

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