Since the advent of technology, parenting has become more comfortable. Whenever the children are crying or causing trouble, parents often hand them their smartphones and get busy with their work. Yes, technology has resolved many issues not only for parents but also for children. But it has caused irreparable damage too.
Smartphones have created a smart age where people are glued to their phones for the longest time. Humans have certainly become overly reliant on their phones. Whether it is about having a conversation with someone or remembering things to do, the smartphone does everything.
Nonetheless, it is essential to realize that smartphones have intruded on private spaces and disrupted socialization. When it comes to children, parents have to decide the right age to provide smartphones to their children.
Children and smartphones
Nowadays, you can see smartphones in the hands of most children. Some of them even have high technology gadgets. Most of the studies show that children spend 70% of their day viewing or playing electronic devices.
The screen time that children spent on smartphones poses several harmful effects on their bodies and minds. Even adults can be seen dealing with a lot of diseases and disorders due to smartphones.
Till six years of age, children’s brain functioning can be molded in any form. The most dangerous thing with excessive use of smartphones is that there is no bar on what to watch and what not to.
Parents are not aware enough of the harmful effects of smartphones on their children. Many applications like Youtube have taken the initiative of introducing restrictions for smartphones being used by the kids. If you want to control smartphone of your child, check out this site.
Pros and cons of smartphone
Technology advancement only betters the functioning of society. However, excessive use of anything can be dangerous. Following a few points to explain how smartphones have positive as well as negative effects on children:
- Children get to learn about new concepts and applications through smartphones.
- There are several poems, stories, and lessons available on video; this can help children in enhancing their visual memory and learn quickly.
- Smartphones help in enhancing the technical skills of children because they have seen the functions since birth.
- They can get a classroom learning experience at home without using traditional books.
- Parents can always keep in touch with their children and now their location to ensure their safety.
- When children are given smartphones and tablets at an early age, they tend to get addicted. Researchers say that smartphone addiction is seen as a major problem amongst youngsters and school-going children.
- Smartphone addiction can also lead to several mental health issues. This is also because children do not go outside to play anymore. Typically, they are stuck with their smartphones playing games online.
- Excessive screen time can lead to headaches, fatigue, and other physical health problems. If significant attention is not paid to the children, such damage can become irreversible.
What do the researchers say?
Researchers have claimed that smartphones have done long term damage to children’s minds. It can be seen in their lack of attention and capacity to manage stress.
The experts have provided guidelines and manuals through their articles for parents to decide the time and age when smartphones should be provided to children. This is because smartphones have an internet connection. Everyone knows that the internet is a wild space where children can do anything and know about everything.
If the children are provided smartphones at an age when they are mature and smart enough to deal with the realities of life, it will benefit them and contribute to their future growth.
Harmful effects of the smartphone on children
There are various harmful effects of smartphones on children and adults. Since children start using them at a fragile age, they have a long term impact on their mental health.
Smartphone addiction has harmed several relationships. Parents tend to leave their children with smartphones for hours. This results in the distance between them.
Considering the generation gap, parents must have conversations with their children from time to time to build a good and healthy relationship. Otherwise, the children will tend to indulge themselves on the internet more and more.
Poor academic performance
Children have to suffer academically often because they spend more time on smartphones than reading books and studying. From 1 to 6 years, children are at the risk of getting into bad habits.
Sitting for hours with the smartphone and playing online games without making time for family and themselves can lead to harmful effects. Lack of recreational activities leads to students performing poorly in academics. Things like drawing, playing outdoor games, and studying course books can lead to better academic performance.
Sleep disruptions and medical issues
Sleep is essential in the initial years of human life. Lack of proper sleep degrades the brain’s productivity. If children are busy playing online games, surfing through the internet, and talking to friends online, their sleep cycle gets affected.
This leads to several medical issues at an early age. Children are at significant risk of obesity and other illnesses. Moreover, this can have a substantial impact on their physical and mental health.
Which is the most suitable age?
Parents often think about when is the right time to give smartphones to their children. To determine their age, they need to strike a balance between the advantages and disadvantages of smartphones.
Usually, researchers and experts recommend that the perfect age of providing smartphones to children is 15 years, which is when children have attained puberty; hence they have a road ahead for maturity.
When the children are mature enough to understand what is good for them on the internet and what is harmful, they can protect themselves from the negativity.
How much is too much?
Parents have a clear understanding of how mature their children are. Most children request their parents to get smartphones because of peer pressure. But it must be the parents’ discretion to determine whether their children can handle all the risks of smartphones.
But while taking care that parents do not give smartphones to their children early, they also have to make sure that it is not too late. Parents can not always be scared; they have to show some trust and faith in them. Parents must realize how much is too much.
Age is just a number, and it is true. But parents need to see if their children are mature enough. If your child is not mature enough to deal with the realities of life, then smartphones will only have a negative impact on him or her.
After all, smartphones aren’t smart enough
Smartphones do not provide many restrictions because they do not have a demarcation between adults and children. The ideal age for children to get smartphones is 13 with supervision and 15 without any supervision from parents or guardians.
Even when the children are under the supervision of parents, there should be limited use of smartphones for children and adults. The parents should make regular checks if children are provided with smartphones before 13 years of age for education purposes.
The best way to decide when smartphones should be provided is by weighing all the factors that affect the children. If you can determine the necessity of a smartphone in your child’s life, then the decision will be much easier.