5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Give Your Child a Smartphone
Digital Wellness - Bits & Bytes
10 years ago, about one third of adults owned a smartphone. Fast forward a decade and now it’s virtually everyone (97%). When it comes to our children, the average age that a child gets a smartphone is 10 years old.
But how do you know your child is ready, regardless of age? Well here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you give your child a smartphone:
Can they focus in the face of distraction?
How is your child now when using other technology like a tablet or the tv? Do they make positive choices, can they shut off easily, and do they listen when you call their name? If not, you may need more practice with other technology before jumping to a smartphone.
Do they exhibit good judgement?
Does your child make good choices independently? Do they come to you when they have a problem they don’t know how to solve? Regardless of your answer, a smartphone contract that you co-create together is a smart strategy to help your child exercise good judgement with a smartphone
How does your child manage social relationships?
Do they get into lots of conflict already with friends and struggle to navigate problems? If so, you will need to support them as they begin to connect online with their friends.
how does your child take care of their other valuable posessions?
Smartphones are pricey, so it is worth considering whether or not your child is ready to take care of an expensive smartphone. You may want to consider having your child show responsibility with other items first before providing them with a smartphone.
Can you mentor them?
Finally, and most importantly, will you have the time to mentor your child? Be sure to schedule a time each week to review what they are doing and learning on their smartphone and stress the importance that they approach you whenever they are worried, upset, or scared about anything that happens with their smartphone.