October 1, 2018

What’s the Right Age for my Kid to have a Smartphone? And who should make that decision? Me or my kid?

“But I’m ten, but I’m five and soon they will Say but I’m two. All my friends have one! Please, please, come on mum, can I have one?”
How many of you have heard this argument before? Are you struggling to say NO? Are your kids mature enough? Then, remember that you’re the parent and they’re still the kid.

So weigh up the Pros and Cons before heading to the mall and try to consider the benefits and challenges that could go with it. It will probably be used for communication and entertainment. But if utilized properly, smart phones can be used to acquire , share new knowledge and socialize with people. This would benefit all us parents .

Some experts say , that you should wait till preschool age . As posed by Dr. Carolyn Jaynes, a designer from Leapfrog Enterprises. “Children under two years of age learn best from real-world experiences and interactions, and each minute spent in front of a screen-based device is a minute when your child is not exploring the world and using their senses, which is extremely important in their development process…”

So what’s too young? Well , I think two is young. I personally believe that at this stage, they’ll be missing too much of nature’s gift if they’re allowed to play with smartphones or tablets. Why not go to parks instead, or your backyard and let them explore and play with other kids. We’re all busy with work but I guess spending at least 30 minutes per day outside won’t hurt. On weekends try going on picnics, let them experience playgrounds and parks, see gardens and zoos, visit aquatic centres or even museums and let them have a real world interaction. Teach them to appreciate nature’s unique beauty and play real games.

To experience nature and human interaction first hand will help develop their curiosity so when it’s time to go online for the first time they have loads of stuff to investigate further.

Some say that 16 is the best age since that’s the same age kids are allowed to drive. It’s when you could entrust them with something that would give them access to the outside world. But in today’s world, sixteen seems so old for a five or even a ten year old. They are more than likely experiencing so many forms of technology even before they start their schools years. Most of us now have our own smart phones and tablets and computers have been in the home for years. So their nature curiosity means they probably understand what all this technology does and probably understand how to connect to the Internet long before their school days even start. The Internet offers so many interesting and wonderful things and being able to access all this amazing information in the palm of our hand is really mind blowing.

These suggestions are not applicable to all, but keep this proverb in mind ‘Train up a child in the way he or she should go: and when he or she is old, he or she will not depart from it.’ It’s really up to you to decide but decide when it’s time to go online wisely!