“Mom, one of my friends got a smartphone of the latest model. Can you please give it to me as well?”
“Why do you need a smartphone? You are just 11 years old.”
“Everybody has smartphones mom. I’m the only one who doesn’t have in my class. Do you know how insulting would that be for me?”
“You are too young to handle a smartphone. I got my first smartphone when I was 17 years old. You will get one then because I know what is right for you and what’s not. Don’t run behind the smartphones until then. I know exactly when to give it to you.”
“You cannot control me the way grandma used to control you.” And the child walks away and cries himself/herself to sleep.
Does this situation seem familiar to you? It happens in almost every household and I’m sure most of you all can relate to this situation and the above conversation.
At last, the child gets what he/she wants on her birthday and then the child hugs you for their dear life and you decide that your happiness lies in yours.
10 years later, the same parents are standing in front of their child’s garlanded picture not knowing the reason behind the child’s death. Little did they know that the mobile phone which they gifted him 10 years ago started to plot his death since then?
Let’s figure out the reason behind this death step by step.
Smartphone addiction in children
The one and only thing the parents use to control their kids is only by handing them a smartphone at a tender age. If they want their child to eat, give the child a smartphone. He will watch and he doesn’t even care what he is eating. This way, they wouldn’t be picky over their food choices and they get to eat healthy food. They will always obey you and do whatever you ask them to. Sounding good right? But no. That’s not the case. They will become addicted to those things and they will start pestering you to get them what they asked for. Eventually, you will be left with no option other than obeying them. So, we can say that smartphone addiction has started in children even before they were sent to preschool. This is very alarming. Stop this before it gets too late.
What is your child watching on Smartphones?
You being a very caring parent gave your kid a smartphone the next moment he/she asked but the thing you are least bothered about is their watch history on that phone you gave them. Either you respect their privacy or you are too busy to look at that.
- If your child knows the limits, then it is okay not to check their watch history, but if your child gets easily influenced by the surroundings, then it is a must to check on them and their mobiles.
- Call it not respecting their privacy, but according to us, it is called keeping a check on them. They have a chance of getting influenced by bad people.
- And now, they started playing games like pub g and blue whale, etc. This is making a huge impact on the education and psychology of the child. It also makes them down in their academics as well.
- Just take a look at their phones. A peek a boo into their phones won’t hurt and them much. Don’t yell at them if you found out something inappropriate in their phones. Tell them smoothly and softly because no child would ever likely to get close to an always yelling parent. This will affect your bond with your kid and you will become strangers living in the same house. That’s the worst feeling ever.
The right age to buy smartphones for kids
There’s nothing called the right age to buy a smartphone to the kids. It all depends on their mental age and the maturity they have attained in the years that have passed. It all depends on your thinking and the trust you have on your child. Don’t give them too much if freedom and in the meanwhile, don’t let them feel like you have locked them up in a cage. Both are not correct. Give them enough freedom to trust you and enough strictness to think about the consequences before they do something wrong. That is the correct and the best way of parenting.
Restrictions on what they watch and for how long they use phones
Restricting your kid to some extent is okay but too much controlling and restriction makes you nothing but a control freak in front of your kid which is not at all appreciable.
- Make them follow a time table as to how long they have to watch and use their phones. Let them design their own timetable and let them follow it.
- Reward them if they do it correctly and if not, try to make them understand in a better way by explaining in a calmer and cooler way especially to the teenagers because they are very hard to handle and they have to undergo a lot of pressure everywhere. Try to make them understand your point.
- If you think that you are not that patient, install a parenting app on their phones and link your phone to them. The rest will be taken care of by the parenting apps. That’s the last thing you have to do when you think your kid has gone out of control and he is beyond repair.
- Even if your kid is watching something in the incognito mode, the chrome will send the notifications regarding the sites they watch in the incognito tabs. Many of the kids including me do not clear their chrome history. Most of the things they do are visible to the person who opens their chrome history. You can check right then and there.
Some Final Words
It’s not right to spy on your kids and at the same time, it is also not right to leave the kids unsupervised. Trust your children enough to get them a smartphone but meanwhile keep an eye on them as they are not misusing the facilities they get from their parents. Trust your parental instincts.