A smart phone is one of the essential gadgets one needs in this century. To buy goods, pay rent, transact from your bank account, surfing the internet and above all communication are some of the things that one can comfortably do from the palm of the hands thanks to the smart phone. More and more people, including children, are acquiring smart phones courtesy of their parents. Questions that should be in our minds as parents buying the smart phones among others include: is the mobile device really necessary? Is it going to add value to the child? There are some considerations one has to put in mind before buying smart phones for children.
Is the youngster ready to have a phone? Is he responsible enough to give a phone? The mobile phone can be distractive and time wasting if the person having it is not disciplined and responsible enough. One can easily surf the internet on a smart phone. This opens up a source for a wide range of information and ideas. Some of the information is good though other information is not so good. Depending on where one visits, the net can build or destroy. Also, one can waste a lot of time on the phone at the expense of other important things like education and personal study. If a child is not responsible enough, more time and resources may be wasted as they discover the power that the smart phone will put in their hands. The parent can talk to the child before buying to establish if he really is ready and guide him on good use of the device to avoid the disruption bit.
For what exact purpose am I buying my child this phone? Will it serve the purpose well or may even bring in more problems? The basic use of the phone is communication though with time this has evolved greatly. If the phone is to be used for the basic function it was meant for, one has to check if there is a better way of dealing with communication other than buying the child a phone if he or she is too young to handle the challenges that may arise. One may opt for house phones or giving nannies and baby-minders the phones to use while she is away. This way, the child can still get access to the phone but under supervision of an adult. This is somehow assuring as a parent has a modicum of control over what the child may be exposed to.
Will I still be able to exercise control over what he sees or does with the phone away from me? This fear of loss of control plagues many of the minds of the parents buying phones for their children. One may feel that the child would do things with the phone that may not be right. These are the things someone needs to check first before buying the phones. However, even after buying one may exercise some control in a number of ways. One may get the handset once in a while to physically check who the child calls, texts or engages with. This may not be the very best way of tackling the fear as the child may feel that you are not giving enough space even if you are the one who bought the phone. This encourages parents to invest in the phone monitoring applications. Some of the applications may help trace the phone if lost, trace where the owner is if in danger and even control who can be contacted or socialized with through the phone. This is a nice way of monitoring the phone use especially if the child does not realize it later as it may cause even more friction.
Whatever the fear or desire, a phone is a great gadget for one to have but without proper controls, it can be really misused.