Raising the Smartphone Generation

Most parents and child psychologists are still skeptical about allowing children to use smartphones. Experts believe that touch screen devices such as smartphones or tablets have a negative effect on a child’s developing brain. Some believe that it is better to let kids watch television as it’s a passive activity compared to using a smart device. In fact, child psychologists warn parents of the dangers of using smartphones. They believe that over-exposure to such devices can impact a child’s attention span, appetite control, and concentration. Too much screen time may result to lower self-esteem and affect their ability to understand a person’s emotion. Emotional and social intelligence are essential when they reach adulthood.

Technology within smart devices has become an indispensable day to day life tool. How can we be responsible tech-savvy parents?

Wait for the right time

“Mom, Dad, can I have a smartphone? Please?” It’s a common request that parents get from their kids. As a parent, it’s hard to decide if they’re ready to own one. Do they really need it? Are they responsible enough to own one? It’s hard to say “No” to a child but we need to ask these questions before granting their request. According to Dr. Carolyn Jaynes, Leapfrog Enterprises’ Learning Designer, parents should let their children learn from interaction from peers and real-world experiences before introducing smart devices. Although, there are mobile apps designed for learning, online safety is still a pressing concern. Unsupervised use of smart devices could lead to online threats such as “online grooming” or cyberbullying. Jeanie Galindo, Manatee County School District’s Instructional Technology Supervisor, suggests that parents should introduce smart devices to children aged 11 and 13.

Saying “No” to your children’s pleas for a smartphone is okay. If you feel that they’re not yet ready to own one, wait for the right time. Teach them the value of patience.

Parental guidance is highly recommended

Balanced exposure is the main goal of cyber parenting. It’s recommended that parents get involved with their children’s online experience. Child experts recommend that parents must keep televisions, computers, smartphones and other touch devices out of the bedroom. All types of media devices should be inside a family area – a living room for examples. It’s best that parents use these devices with their children. Co-viewing isn’t just about monitoring their online activities; it’s about guiding your child while he or she explores a mobile app or website. This helps your child become more sociable by allowing him or her to ask questions. Explore the outdoors with a smartphone. Take pictures and search them online. Research on these and discuss them with your child. This will help them understand the world they’re living in and gain new knowledge. Guide them as they use their smartphones to help them develop their cognitive skills and strengthen the bond between child and parent. Parental guidance is highly recommended.

Limiting screen time and checking online content

In today’s world, content is king and everyone consumes it like food. All parents are anxious about their children discovering harmful websites such as pornography and other websites. Access to information is easy and one of the easiest remedies is to check the online content they’re viewing. Regardless of their age, the content they view or play with matters. MomSecure’s services differ from the mobile apps available on the market. Our cyber security experts can help you by monitoring your child’s online content consumption. They can custom deploy different security settings which can’t be changed or removed by your kids. We also support both iOS and Android platforms. This will give you peace of mind and assurance that your child’s online content is safe.

Another online safety tip is to limit your child’s screen time. A four to a five-year-old child should only have a 30-minute screen time daily, while a 13-year old should only have an hour’s worth of screen time. The general rule is: As they get older, they can have more screen time but under constant supervision. It may sound harsh at first but they’ll understand it as they mature.

Raising the “Smartphone” generation is challenging. However, technology shouldn’t be overbearing or intrusive. MomSecure offer specialized premium cyber services which provide unique protection and customization. Learn more about our services by visiting our website.