Now that we are in the digital age, children are more interested in mobile devices than in toys and sweets. Parenting now seems more difficult because, in addition to the “general” challenges of getting them to do their homework or to go to bed early, there’s the challenge of mobile device use.
Depending on the age(s) of your child(ren), the type of mobile device provided should vary. As you will find on ReviewsBird.com, especially on mobile subscriptions reviews, there are telecom companies with a variety of mobile devices for different age groups. But then, you wonder what the perfect age is for your children to own and use a mobile device.
There are several guides to determine the safest age to get your child a mobile device.
The first thing you should do is to understand the risk. Purchasing a smartphone for your child means he/she is now exposed to the dangers associated with the use of phones. If you ask yourself whether your child is mentally responsible enough to handle a mobile phone and your answer is “no”, then you should not purchase the phone.
In addition to this, experts have provided an age-to-age guideline as can be seen below.
· Ages 2 to 6
Kids in this age group have higher basic needs than much older children and the use of mobile devices can disconnect them from their needs. According to the Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS), a screen time of less than one hour per day is enough for 2 to 5-year-olds. It is not advised to even expose children less than 2 years to smartphones. Kids in this age group are easily addicted to phones because their brains are wired to crave easy dopamine.
· Ages 7 to 9
Children in this age group should not own mobile devices. However, you can give them access to one in case you need to keep in touch with them when you’re away. A simple phone with no access to the internet should be enough. Asides this reason, they have no business owning a mobile device.
· Ages 10 to 12
Children of ages 10 to 12 should be allowed to use mobile devices only under strict conditions. You may not grant them full ownership to the device, but they might have minimum access to the internet, if necessary, with parental controls installed.
In this category, many children suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. However, they are also the groups that need mobile phones for various activities. Most certified recommendation for the supervised ownership of a smartphone is age 13. This claim is usually subjective. You need to consider the maturity levels of your 13-year-old. Ask yourself if they can be trusted enough not to text in class or bully and harass others on social media. Ask yourself if they’re able to handle cyber-bullying or report cases of cyberbullying to you.
As age 13 seems to be the most generally accepted “safe” age for a child to own and use a smartphone, you must still try to manage their phone usage. There is no need to rush. If your child at age 16 gets a mobile phone, he/she will catch up.