Smartphones were still a dream 10 years ago and cell phones were just making their introduction 20 years ago. Kids of the 90s and before did not have these privileges or distractions as parents would like to call them today. We all know the importance of cell phones /smartphones in today’s world , but there are several disadvantages of giving smartphone to kids , like its addiction ruins kid’s social life and also affects their school grades. So many parents are caught in a dilemma regarding their kids’ cell phone usage and giving them freedom with technology.
So the answer is clear; while it is okay to avail the privilege of cell phones to your kids , you should also set boundaries on their cell phone usage.
Here are some suggestions on how you can set limits on cell phones
Speak with your children
Ahh.. this doesn’t mean you start lecturing your kids about how evil cell phone are. You just have to make sure your kid does not use cell phones extensively or spend their precious sports time on texting and forwarding hundreds of messages. Tell them while it is good to be connected, there are far more important things that matter the most. Be the matured adult who can show them the real world besides the electronic boxes.
Don’t just try to please your 10 year old’s nagging by presenting him/her with the latest Smartphone with super features. Try to be modest and train your kids to be the same. Putting a high-end technology into your children’s hands leads them to think of it as a status symbol over ruling their original purpose. So its better to give them a basic phone at first.A basic feature set mobile with basic functionalities is good enough for your pre-teens and primary schoolers.
Data plans and Talktime allowance
Limit your kid’s data usage to an optimum level like 1 GB or 2 GB per month and if its not really necessary (like emergency school project) be strict in not allowing any extra usage. Do the same with talktime tariffs. It is never a good idea to go with postpaid plans for your child’s SIM card. There are phones like firefly mobile phone that allow kids to call only their parents and give parents the exact location of their kids.
Practice phone time-out during homework, meal and during bed time.
Above all, do trust your kids and let them limit the use of technology by themselves by making them understand the real values.