With the increasing rise of smartphone usage in the world recently, this is a question that almost all parents are going to ask themselves at some point. It is a more difficult question to answer than you might realize, too. For one thing, there are many benefits to having a smartphone which you can be sure your children will enjoy. It is also true that they are now so commonplace that people will have them anyway, so there is little use in denying your children the same. But that is not to say that they are without problems, and it is a question that you do need to think carefully about if you want to make sure you are doing what’s best for your children and ultimately keeping them safe. In this post, we’ll look at some of the things you might want to think about doing to mitigate the dangers.
Wait Until A Certain Age
Many parents give their children smartphones far too young, and that is certainly a problem. You don’t want to feel that your child has to have a smartphone the moment they can use one, as that is unlikely to do them much good. Overuse of smartphones has been linked in research to decreased mental and cognitive capacities, inability to temper emotions, and a reduced ability to sleep. Clearly, you want to wait until your children are a little older until you start handing them their very own phone. What exact age is up to each individual parent or family, but it would seem reasonable to wait until they are teenagers at least. That way, much of the concert will simply be removed as they won’t have a phone in the first place to worry about. This is definitely something you will want to consider.
Track Their Usage
Whatever it is that you are most worried about when it comes to your children using smartphones, you should find that you are able to make it less worrying by simply finding a way to track their usage. This is actually much easier to do than you might think, and it is something that many parents are doing these days as a way to keep control over their children’s phone usage in a way which works well. All you need to do is get hold of a parental control app and install it on the phones in question, and then you can track them and their usage perfectly well. You can look into their web history, their location history, their email and contacts – even their photos. This can be a most useful tool for a worried parent.
Finally, there is nothing wrong with giving your children smartphones but limiting the amount of time they are allowed to spend on them. In particular, you might want to reduce their use before bed, so that they are more likely to get a lot of good quality deep sleep. That will help you to worry less – so you’ll sleep more peacefully, too.