Many parents struggle with this decision making. How do you gauge when is the best time to give your child a cell phone, and then prepare your kid, for what is ultimately a big responsibility?
Common dilemma from parents – phone opened up a pandora’s box of potential issues: bullying, sexting, distraction, tech or game addiction, impaired social interaction skills.
Potential benefits – your child could make use of apps that make their life easier or more productive! Such as, bringing them to places using Google Map, translation and dictionary apps which can help your kids when they do their homework, participate in school project and homework discussions with teachers and classmates etc.
At the end of the day, the decision lies in your hands as a parent what is the right age to give them a cell phone. In my humble opinion, you have to consider your child’s characteristics and what is the purpose of giving him or her a cell phone.
When your child starts to take public transport to and back from school and you are using the cell phone to contact her to ensure she has reached the location safely, this seems like a valid reason to me to provide her a cell phone. I will consider giving a primary school kid a keypad phone at this age based on this instance. She can use the productivity apps from my smartphone when required. 😉
When a child reaches 13 years old and starts attending secondary school, there will be tons of after class lessons or extra curriculum activities in school. In my own perspective, I would prefer him to be contactable especially if he is coming home much later due to school work or group discussions. Many school teachers in Singapore create WhatsApp group for their class students for homework discussions and support, and I wouldn’t want him to miss out on such beneficial participation.
Before I give him a smart phone, I would definitely sit down and have a chat with him first. *I think I will be a nagging mother… Just so he knows the reasons why I am rewarding him a smart phone. Whether or not he listens and follows through, you got to give your child a chance to learn and this is an opportunity for him to earn your trust.
What about you? 😉 At what age do you think you will reward your child with a cell phone?
Featured image source: yourhealth.asiaone.com