So, what is the right age to give your kid a smartphone? In Mirror’s recent interview with Bill Gates, he said his children didn’t have a phone until the age of 14.
James Steyer also agrees with this opinion. He is the CEO of Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that focused on family-oriented products and content. Steyer says that in order to get a phone call to children, they must be in high school when they can understand the value of face-to-face communication. Hence, Steyer advise for the parents who have to make a choice: “The age of a child is not as important as his own responsibility or maturity.”
If you’re looking for a way to assess the maturity level, PBS Veterans has prepared a list of practical questions you should ask yourself before giving your child the first mobile phone.
- Do you want to stay in touch with your child for security reasons or social reasons?
- Will it leave behind the concept of bounds for spoken minutes and downloaded applications?
- Do you know that they will disturb the surrounding with telephone conversations during lessons?
Even after the distribution of mobile phones, Gates pays attention to limiting the screen duration. For example, they don’t use smartphones on a dining table. (It applies both children and parents.) The overall screen duration for younger children is even more limited: “Most of the time, we have set times when we are not dependent on the screen, so the children are sleeping at reasonable times.”
If you want your child to have all the resources in the world, but will handheld devices harm or help their development?
Here are some general guidelines for smartphone usage:
The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages media use for children under 2. The brain develops better through unstructured playtime and human interaction. Early studies indicate children with heavy media usage under 2 are at risk for language development issues.
The 1-in-4 Rule
Allow your child one more hour of access to media every four years.
And follow the instruction below.
- Limited use of digital devices.
- Exposure to educational media aimed at development.
- Can have their own iPad or tablet.
- Tablet use should be strictly monitored
- Can have their own cell phone.
- Cell phone use should be strictly monitored.
- Can have their own smartphone.
- Smartphone use should be monitored, but less and less over time.
THE 20-20-20 RULE
Regardless of any age, when you’re using media, every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking at something at least 20 feet away.