In a world that revolves around gadgets, deciding whether or not to give your child a mobile for personal use could be an ordeal. Heated debates between parents with varied perspectives on the use and usefulness of the device at a young age have not been conclusive enough to make a choice for children.
While disadvantages scale over advantages, the pandemic forced millions of parents to get mobiles to facilitate their child’s online learning. A chain of issues followed with screen fatigue, vision problems, and emotional disorders in children. With endless entities gaining authority to enter your child’s privacy and age restrictions unchecked, when should you really get your child a mobile?
When there’s a real need
When online learning became the need of the hour, parents chose to buy mobile phones over tablets and desktops, considering the cost efficiency and ease to procure irrespective of children’s age. Likewise, when mobile becomes an inevitable mode of communication, parents should get it for their children.
A trip or travel away from home.
Considering the amount of violence and abuse against teens under unpredictable circumstances, parents should get a mobile for their children when they are alone or traveling during unavoidable circumstances. Their phones should have all emergency contacts saved in the phone and permanent memory. This way, you can track your child and monitor them until they reach home safely. Remember to add child helpline numbers so that help reaches them quickly and from more than one source during an emergency.
Level of Maturity over Age
If parents can judge their child’s maturity level, handing over a mobile phone wouldn’t be wrong. Some children behave with a commendable sense of care and caution while handling their mobiles, whether for socializing or productive communication. It is for parents to observe and decide.
Mobile at 16
During the course of a child’s life, the high school years pose maximum challenges in terms of learning, gathering knowledge, social interaction, and personal development, a period when they are most vulnerable. And what can keep your child busy is the action plan for their future. Giving a mobile device at the age of 16 would be more like a gift for your child’s composure and appreciation of your child’s willpower of not being demanding.
Parenting has changed drastically with technology, but it is still hard to make the right choice for your child. Especially when you are not sure if it will be a help or hurt in the long run. When you eventually give a mobile phone to your child, acknowledge what you appreciate in them, and remind them what you expect from them as responsible citizens.