By Savvy Cyber Kids January 30, 2019
Let’s look at what is actually happening with today’s youth.
On average, kids in the 4th and 5th grades have their hands on a powerful device that leaves them unsupervised and open to trouble. Sure, parents of previous generations had to face tough parental decisions. But the advent of smartphones and the connectivity of technology has brought with it even more challenging judgment calls.
And, like any other parenting decision, this is a personal one, driven by family dynamics. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for every family—and there may be different answers for each child in your family. I would put aside concerns about being fair and consistent with your children when it comes to giving a child access to a device that literally connects them with the world – the good and the very, very bad. Your child’s maturity and willingness to accept responsibility should be the driving forces in assessing his or her readiness for a phone.
But if you are looking for that very appropriate and scientific-based set of recommendations to gauge how you make this most important decision, I can tell you this: The longer you wait, the better it is for your child.
Medical boards and educational experts universally agree that waiting 12 or 14 years old to give your child a phone, gives them a chance to mature enough to begin to manage the complications that come with a phone: distraction, addiction, cyberbullying, pornography, sexting, child predators and more.
You have heard us say this before: Parenting in the Digital Age is hard.
So, if you are looking for an article or a study or an expert panel to give you the nod of approval for handing over a phone to your child sooner, you are asking the wrong questions. Instead, consider these questions:
This is a big decision to make and you should proceed slowly and thoughtfully. Here are some steps you should consider:
Above all, get involved in your child’s digital life.
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