Smartphones are terrific for connecting with your children when they’re at school, but they also provide things your child may not be ready for. There’s an ongoing societal discussion regarding the right time for parents to let their children access technology such as smartphones, and there’s no clear answer. Continue reading to learn why parents might wait to give a smartphone to their children.
Smartphone Use Can Affect Their Brains
One of the most apparent reasons you shouldn’t give a smartphone to your child is that it can affect their brain. The National Institute of Health performed a study looking at the differences in children’s brains who didn’t frequently use smartphones and other screens versus those who did. In their results, they discovered that children that spend more time on these screens have a premature thinning of the cortex. People process sensory information in this layer of the brain.
Much like their ability to process information, these screens can also impair a child’s sleep, affecting other parts of their life. Even when you allow them to use smartphones, you should try limiting their use.
They’re a Distraction
A significant reason you should wait to give your child a smartphone is that it can be a major distraction for them. Smartphones have social media and access to the world of information, and it’s hard to look away—even for adults. This information can distract children from more important things, including:
- Looking for cars when crossing the street
- Academic performance
- Interpersonal communication and friendships
- Spending time with family
If you want your child to stay engaged with what’s happening around them, you might want to hold off on giving them a smartphone for the time being.
One reason your child shouldn’t have a smartphone is that they might engage with social media too early. All these sites have age restrictions, but it takes one click of a button to get around them. Social media can be a fantastic place to foster friendships and explore interests, but you must have a healthy relationship with yourself and know how to safely navigate these spaces. Younger children do not know how to confront these issues yet and can easily end up in negative social media spaces that lead to image and identity issues.
Parents should wait to give a smartphone to their children, but that doesn’t mean they can’t provide them with any technology. While you should hold off on the smartphone, you may still want to see where your children are and what they’re doing, and you want them to have some freedom. If that’s you, come to us at TickTalk! Our kid’s smart watch is a terrific and safe cell phone alternative that your kids can still have lots of fun with while you keep an eye on them.