When Is A Child Ready To Use A Smartphone?

September 26, 2019
Kids And SmartPhones

Children are susceptible to a lot of things and their development is key. When it comes to the brain, you want to take every step you can to limit your child’s screen time. As it turns out, children using a smartphone before their brain is developing enough can have real, lasting impacts on the chemistry of the person’s brain. Phones are dopamine-inducers. They are a lot like a mild drug that digs its way into your impulse control and neurochemicals. Screens are also bad for your eyes. It does not matter how precocious your child is, parents should always take great care to limit their children’s use of smartphones. 

Ages 4-6

Experts are unequivocal about anyone under the age of 6, they should not be using smartphones. Not only should you see to it that your kids do not use phones, tablets are no good either. These kids need to be allowed to be kids, and they cannot truly do that when they are being sucked in by the lights and sounds of mobile devices. The reasons that children ages four-six should not be using screens are many, but the main reason is that these devices are dopamine machines. When you get a notification, it has been scientifically proven that people get a shot of dopamine released. It does not matter who you are, to some extent you are being affected by the pings of your devices. When a child this young experiences these releases for the first time, it can become habit-forming beyond anything that can happen to adults. 

Ages 6-10

While many scientists do not think children from the ages of six-ten should not use mobile devices, it is generally accepted that limited time is okay. However, their use of electronics should be limited. Phones and tablet time should be short, scheduled when their homework, chores, dinner, and bathing is done. They should be turned off for bedtime. If you have trouble with your child listening to you about this, you can download one of the many parental control apps help you shut off devices to the internet and log screen time. With kids younger than ten, it is all about regulation. This is time where you really teach your kids moderation.

Ages 10 and Up

Ten is the age that kids get phones these days. It may seem young, and it is. But our modern world demands it in some ways. Parents want to know where their children are. Children need to be able to contact their parents, and there is the unignorably obvious safety element to having 9-11 on speed dial. 

When you first introduce your kids to having their own phone, it should be done carefully and deliberately. You should explain to your kids that phones are a privilege despite that they have become a necessity. Teach them about the dangers of the internet. Explain that screen time is not always good and that we all need breaks from our devices. If you are careful, you will be able to raise an adult that is capable of utilizing the benefits of technology while avoiding its pitfalls. 

Should Kids Under Ten Even be Trusted with a Device?

According to the specialists at the site MoneyPug, which is known for being a platform to find cheap mobile phone insurance, children are by far the ones who lose phones and cause insurance to go up. Children at these ages are not ready for the responsibility of having an expensive item like a phone. Most experts recommend that you introduce your kids to your phone or a designated tablet first, before getting them their own devices. Since children lose and break phones easily, it is also economically viable to wait on getting them their own. 

No matter how smart and competent your child is, it does not matter. All kids are susceptible to the damages of smartphones and the internet. It is better to prolong their involvement with these devices and give them the proper direction on how to responsibly use them. If you read up about the effects of smartphones on your kids, which you already have, and stay diligent to enabling them to use technology effectively, you will raise an adult who is not addicted to devices but can use them to get their advantages. 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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