Smartphones are becoming a major part of our lives now and have become next to impossible to avoid. Children as young as elementary graders have started carrying smartphones that are provided to them by their parents now, a survey showed that the percentage of elementary kids who had smartphones back in 2013 had doubled by 2017. The reason behind this is that parents find it easier to stay in touch with their children through smartphones, but they also know that giving a smartphone to a child comes with its own dangers.
Most parents think that a potential theft or some other form of unwanted attention could be the worst thing that their child could become exposed to by having a smartphone on hand. However, a study showed that the greatest danger of carrying a smartphone for a child usually comes from inside of their school or from the device itself. Children who own smartphones at young ages are a more likely to become the target of cyberbullying or become cyberbullies themselves.
Many children who carry smartphones are often bullies and victims at the same time, a study showed that out of all the third graders who owned smartphones, only around 35% were uninvolved in bullying. This is because of the fact that children can interact with people online with far lesser accountability than there would be in real life, this makes them do things online that they normally would not do.
The results of this study showed that the more severe cases were all found amongst younger children, you might be wondering that handing a phone over to your kid is a bad thing now and therefore it should be completely avoided. Fortunately, children can be taught to use smartphones in a responsible and safe manner. Let’s take a look at how can that be done.
Clarify Who The Phone Belongs To
You should make sure that your child knows that the phone is not theirs completely, you are “lending” it to them and expect to take it back whenever you feel like it. This makes children behave more responsibly while using their phones, a survey by MacAfee showed that children behaved better online when they felt that their parents were monitoring their behaviour.
Do Not Let Phones And Study Mix
Set a ban on phone usage (or limit it) during study hours, your child should know that when the time comes for homework, they need to set their phone aside and focus on working. Doing so makes sure that your kids concentrate more on their studies and also learn to live without their phones.
Disallow Use Before Bedtime
Many people have become familiar with the concept of blue light and how it effects your sleep, children should not be allowed to look at their phone screens before going to bed since this can disrupt their sleep, making them more irritable and more likely to take part in bullying.