What is the right age for kids to own their first smartphone? This is a very serious debate and the parents seem very concerned about what to do in a scenario like that. While smartphones can be very handy on a number of occasions, their inappropriate use might turn out to be very dangerous. Considering the fact that kid friendly applications are available these days, the decision has become even harder for the parents.
According to the results obtained by a recent survey, almost 56% of the kids belonging to the 10-13 years age group own their own smartphones. You would be shocked to find out that a high percentage of 25% of the kids belonging to the age group of 2-5 years also use smartphones. While these numbers are pretty unexpected, the question regarding the appropriate age for a kid to own a smartphone is still intact. In order to find that out, we carried out some research of our own. A few things to keep in mind when you are about to decide if the time is right for your kid to own a smartphone are given below.
How is the phone going to be used?
The first thing you need to consider is to think about the potential use for the smartphone you are planning on giving your child. Think about the stuff that makes your kids desire for a smartphone in the first place. So before you say no to your kid’s request for getting a new iPhone, you should carry out a discussion on what they are planning on doing with it. Obviously, the usual usage would be to interact with their friends on different social networks and chat applications but there are numerous other things about a smartphone that may turn out to be very useful for your kid.
According to the opinions put forward by majority of the experts associated with child psychology, there isn’t any standard age that makes a kid ready to own their own smartphone. Some of the experts believe that handing your kid over a smartphone serves them right by building up the right sort of foundation for them to excel in the digital world of technological advancements. However, it is critically important for the parents to make sure that their kid is physically and emotionally mature enough to handle a smartphone the right way.
Hurting or helping development?
According to the experts, smartphones do not play any role in the social development of a child. The excessive screen time may turn out to be a problem, but you can’t let go of the fact that technology provides us with lots of learning opportunity and experiences and a smartphone is going to do the same with your kid. Smartphones may be very helpful especially in cases where kids do not possess and other sort of positive emotional and cognitive simulation.
The appropriate age for your kid to own a smartphone
So what is the right age for a kid to own a smartphone of their own? As discussed above, nothing can be said with certainty. Different schools of thought share different opinions in this regard.
According to Media Psychology Research Center’s Director Dr. Pamela Rutledge, it is completely unreasonable to give a smartphone to a kid younger than a six grader. It is insensible and developmentally inappropriate. So if your kid is a six grader, it is somewhat safe to give them their own smartphone but it is critically important to do the necessary homework first.
Before thinking about handing over a smartphone to your kid, it is recommended to talk to them about how they feel about a smartphone and what are they planning on doing with it. Try to be as humble and empathetic as possible in order to make a good judgment here. If you believe your kid is ready to have a phone, give it to them after installing a good parental control app like Kidgy.com. There are different types of monitoring apps in the market. You need to consider a few different choices and go for an app that appears to be the best suited option.