Over the years, cellular phones have become increasingly popular for their fun and functionality. It’s almost unheard of to not have one and the ability to call virtually anyone, anywhere is taken for granted by our culture. You’ve probably even seen a few children with cell phones, but is this appropriate? What is the best age to trust a child with his or her own cellular phone?
Establish the basics with your child from a young age; they need to know that cellular devices are not toys and should be handled with care. Toddlers can have supervised time on a smart device such as an Android cell phone for short periods of time There is a vast array of content available for download that is designed to entertain and educate your little ones. This is not only a great bonding opportunity but a wonderful time to teach them about cell phone care. Also, it’s never too early to teach your child how to dial 911.
When a child is aged seven to nine, they will most likely be ready to use the phone on their own for short periods to play games, listen to music, or even talk to family. They should exhibit good phone care and should be willing to discontinue use of the phone without arguing. Some parents choose to give their children their own phones at this age, strictly for use in an emergency.
Most parents agree that the teen years are the best time to give your child a cellular device if they are able to responsibly keep one. Smart phones provide access to the internet which means your teen will have information when they need it most; this is excellent for school. They provide a sense of comfort for parents and enable the family to stay in contact. Some applications have been designed to help keep track of children by utilizing the GPS capabilities of their child’s phone. Various cell phone providers even offer the ability to limit the use of your kids’ talk time, texting time, and the online content they have access to.
No matter when you decide to give your child a cellular device, know that you’re not just giving them the gift of gab. You’re giving them the ability to work efficiently at school, entertain themselves, and contact you in case of an emergency; having the peace of mind that your children are only a phone call away is simply priceless.
Jennie is a full time student residing in Minnesota and enjoys blogging in her spare time.