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Should You Give Your Child a Smartphone?

By Rizwan Ahmad - 17 January 2014 No Comments
Kids are most likely asking their parents for a smart device like the iPhone or Android or Kindle. But often, parents don’t want to have to worry about the big risks smart-phones. What to do? Get them a smartphone or tell them “NO”?

Most children want their own smartphones and if they get one, parents better be prepared. When parents decide to give their child a smart-phone, the burden is on them to make sure it's not being misused. There are some questions that parents should consider before purchasing such an expensive device.

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Should You Give Your Child a Smartphone?
Image Credit: Nasos Zovoilis

These mobile devices can be powerful tools for learning, communicating, and teaching kids responsibility. There are many games and interactive activities on mobile devices that are not necessarily about school subjects, but still useful beyond purely entertainment enjoyment. Smartphones and tablets provide students with multiple a variety of opportunities to access content and engage with the curriculum.

But beside these boons, snags are far more. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests kids spend no more than two hours a day on Facebook and Twitter. The most important thing you need to teach your kids about online anything is that there's no privacy. Physiologists suggest being in the presence of children who are using a phone so that their actions are being monitored. It’s extremely dangerous and not a good idea for children to have unrestricted access to a mobile device. Research shows that it’s important for parents to monitor and be in control of their children’s time spent on a mobile device.

If you've decided to give a smartphone to your child, make sure you've installed some parental control program on it before handing it over to them. This way, their devices will be in your complete control and you can restrict or limit their activities on their devices. It’s not about snooping; it’s about caring for your children. These parental controls help you monitor their texts and track their location in real-time. You can restrict internet use and apps installation to have fair use of it. You can also install iPhone spy app to have a remote access of their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Lastly, make sure they are browsing appropriate content and not becoming a victim of cyber bullying or harassment.

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The best age for a child to own a cell phone really depends on the individual child. The parents should ask themselves if their child is responsible enough. Will their child be targeted by a peer who wanted that mobile device? Will the mobile device be a conflict on the playground? Parents should have enough time to keep an eye on their children's activities. Moreover parents are the best to decide whether or not to give their child a smartphone or not!

What you think? just share it in the comments below.
 Katherine
About the Author:

Katherine Switzer is a technology loving writer and an avid blogger. She likes to write about internet safety, security, parenting and surveillance technology as a hobby. You may follow her on twitter @kathrineswitzer

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