With the development of technology, children are incredibly involved in mobile and the internet. Parents often fear either their child misuse their mobile phones and might get included in several online dangers and crimes.
By right, children should not be allowed cell phones besides their study proposal. You can apply basic rules of using cell phones to your kids as it is a platform to utilize leisure time. If they utilize it correctly, they can get different bits of knowledge in addition to learning from educational toys.
As a parent, you should realize the appropriate age of children to use cell phones. They should not be given phones at an early age. While allowing cellphones, you can set rules for them to use the phone.
At What Age Should A Child Be Allowed to Have A Cell Phone?
The average age of kids to receive phones is a minimum of 11 years. Before that, children should not be allowed to use cell phones.
Unfortunately, it has become a norm these days for families to allow kids as young as age three to play with mobile phones. Many parents do not explain the dangers of such use but treat mobile phone usage as a temporary distraction to keep their toddlers quiet and occupied.
Parents must become proactive with the effective use of their kid’s cell phone rules. In the beginning, you need to have a family meeting and discuss the safe use of cell phones and talk about the dangers of cell phones and clarify to your kids why you are enforcing them.
The Onset of Cell Phone Addiction
Cell phone addiction and its effects on children started as parents are the main culprit. They give the phone to their children as most of the parents are working the whole day and cannot look after their child properly due to which they provide them with a cell phone so that they get distracted.
Worse, they offer mobile devices during mealtime, bedtime, and so on as mobile is the best entertainment source for kids.
Parents offer cell phones to kids for a half-hour, one hour, and unknowingly it increases gradually and becomes an addiction to kids. These children start asking for cell phones regularly, unable to move away from the temptation of playing with mobile phones, even when they are out for a walk in the stroller.
Effects of Mobile Phone Addiction
Cell phone addiction has a physical and behavioral impact on a child when they get so much used to cellphone usage. Some of the common problems arise include:
- Poor performance in studies
- Poorer vision
- Sleep pattern disturbance
- Low memory power
- Being socially disconnected from the outside environment
Thus, children do not respond to parents’ commands and become aggressive when addicted to cell phones. This is why parents must apply effective rules to a child while giving cell phones to play.
Nine Effective Cell Phone Rules for Younger Kids
Here are some effective cell phone rules for younger kids you can apply to ensure a healthy use of the mobile technology.
While the following advice do not guarantee a 100% prevention of the effects of mobile addiction, correctly applying these rules will help minimize the potential dangers of overusing cellphones in toddlers.
Parents should restrict the use of a cellphone to their kids during bedtime. If you allow them cellphone during bedtime, they do not get sound sleep. Proper sleep is essential for growing kids for healthy growth.
Children tend to lose their sleep due to mobile phones. They chat with their friends and play games the whole night, affecting their health. Let them store their phone in the kitchen or living room during the night.
Set the limited time for using mobile phones, and you need to encourage your child to have slept for at least seven hours a day. If children do not get proper sleep, it hampers their healthy growth.
Similarly, teens often stay up late at night if they have a phone with them. Some teens might wake up at night to check their notifications and messages and start chatting if they get the reply back, which hampers their sleep and cannot become active throughout the day. In this way, they do not concentrate at school and get more involved in the mobile phones if you allow them at bedtime.
Sometimes your kids might ask phone and ask for an excuse to set the alarm to wake up in the morning. You must say no and formulate the rules continuously.
Another effective rule is setting a screentime limit for using each app. When you select a screen time limit, they cannot use cellphone more than the time. You can set screen time based on the age of your child.
You can give cell phones 2-3 hours for younger kids, while for teen children, you can provide 5-6 hours per day and access the appropriate websites for their learning and studying.
The kids between 8 to 18 years spend about 7.5 hours per day using devices such as TV, Smartphones, Laptop, Tablet, and other devices for entertaining themself and passing the time.
Kids spend most of the time in front of a screen, affecting their eyes. Therefore, setting a screentime limit is essential to limit devices’ use.
When you allow the child to use the phone anytime, they do not put it off even when they are in the family gathering, such as for Thanksgiving, Christmas or birthdays. So it is better not to allow them to use the phone when they are having dinner or something else with family.
These days parents often stay busy using their phone even when they are with children and do not spend quality time with family. This will cause a negative effect on children as parents should give more and more time to their children and interact with them.
If you want to spend quality time with family, you can turn off the internet and become device-free instead of liking pictures on Instagram, playing mobile games, online chatting, etc.
You can set rules where phones are not allowed during family time, set time for a meal with the whole family, and interact with each other. This increases the family bond, and children often become happy and learn many things when they spend time with family as family is the first teacher for children.
Once you allow the cellphone to your kid, you can block the sites that are not appropriate for them. Kids often do not know what is safe to use and what is harmful to them, so they click every link and be charged for crimes.
As a parent, you need to recognize what is right and what is not appropriate for your kid before offering the cell phone. You can block all the inappropriate websites from their devices according to their age.
You can set an addition to the content and privacy restrictions on their phone to monitor them from your phone and restrict the kind of any inappropriate content that you would like your child not to get access to.
You need to communicate openly and clearly with your kid about the benefit and effects of using the cell phone so that they can be aware of the harms.
Before allowing cell phones, you can clearly say not to expect any privacy from parents. You need to set a passcode yourself and tell your kid if he/she changes the passcode, they will not get a cell phone any longer.
You should always have access to your kids’ phones when you needed to check their phones and communicate well to ask if there are any issues.
The interaction and communication between parents and child make both happy as parents can ensure their child is safe and do not feel like parents are spying on them regularly.
As a parent, you must teach your kids about the consequences of cyberbullying. If they do not know about cyberbullying, it remains a substantial problem and, unfortunately, harms your child.
You can give time to teach your children against engaging in cyberbullying behavior on their phone, and make sure either they are a victim or not by checking their phones from time to time.
While parents are at home, they can turn off the internet when they do not have any work on the internet and spend more time with their kids. When you have toddlers, you need to spend more time interacting with them rather than keeping yourself busy chatting with friends or colleagues.
Turning off the internet helps you and your kids stay away from cellphone and other devices, and you can engage yourself to play with your child rather than giving them phones.
Similarly, you can keep your kids away from using cell phones and socialize with family members like talking to their grandparents by turning the internet off.
As a parent, you can protect your kids from misusing a cell phone by tracking their activities. You can monitor calls, messages, social activities, contacts, photos and videos, Simcard, and location with parental control software.
The software helps identify the apps and websites your kids’ visit and determine the usage time of individual sites. Parental control is the best solution for those parents who cannot trust their kid and feel that their child is on the path of doom.
Using parental control can help parents ensure that their child uses cell phones safely and is not involved in online dangers.
It also prevents your kids from cyberbullying and other online crimes by tracking all your kid’s device activities. You can also block apps that can cause violence from your kids’ devices.
You can use fenced.ai, one of the best parental control apps that protects your kids from digital hazards. Parental controls keep your kids away from the smartphone and online dangers you want to save.
As a parent, you must disobey your kid once you apply the specific rule. Otherwise, they would always demand you something and break the rule once you allow them.
They might say, please, one more cartoon or one more game, but you need to stop them by saying the rule is the rule and your time is over for today.
This will make them obey your rule when you become strict. Otherwise, they will start to disobey you when you allow them to longer use your cellphone without setting time limit.
If you get tired of your child’s everlasting nagging, you can use the parental control app and block the content you do not want your child to access.
When your child finishes the time limit, they might ask you to use your cell phone more and ask to unlock it during bedtime too. You need to deny and say no to break the rule in this situation.
Offering your kids a cellphone is useful in some instances if you can protect them from any digital hazards. You can give them a less expensive or old phone that lacks bells and whistles but safe to use by setting a screentime limit.
Kids need extreme sleep for their healthy growth and good health. So allowing them phones at night hampers their sleep as they spend the whole night texting and playing games or watching videos on Youtube and Netflix.
They cannot become fresh in the morning due to lack of proper sleep at night if you allow cellphone at night, which will lead to poor performance in learning.
The child’s mind is brilliant as it can capture things quickly. So allowing them cellphone for studying purposes is good, but it might hamper their study if they get addicted to phones.
Using cell phones regularly for a long time results in poor performance, dull mind, low memory power, headache, and mental illness that can impede your child’s study.
Have frequent communication with kids and be aware of the safety and harmful of using a cellphone not to access inappropriate content. Using parental control software can also help your child use cell phone productively.
Toddlers are in the phase of growth, and their growth and development depend on how parents treat them and what they teach them as parents are the first teacher of every child. Parents should spend most of the time with their children and teach them the good and bad sides of using a cell phone.
However, you need to set rules for using cell phones effectively for the kids to become productive mentally.
Otherwise, they tend to spend the whole day in front of the screen and do not listen to their parent’s command, and interaction between parents and children decreases that might hamper the parent-child relationship.
Thus, you can use the above tips for your child to use cell phones. If you have any queries regarding the article, please feel free to mention them in the comment section below.