Mobile phones have become an integral part of the modern lifestyle. Most adults cannot live without their cell phones around and some parents would even allow their kids to have one as well. Having a mobile phone is also becoming a norm with high school kids. But what is surprising is that some children as young as six years old are allowed to have their own mobile phones. There are even mobile phones for kids that are readily available in the market today. But the question is, are these kids ready to have a cell phone of their own?
Allowing your child to have their own phone would of course have benefits. It makes it easy for parents to keep in touch with their kids and help monitor their safety as they make their way to school and back home. It also comes handy whenever there are emergencies. However, there are also consequences that need to be considered. The use of cell phones can disrupt their school work, keep them up late at night because of texting, or worse it can be used as a bullying tool just like the internet and social media.
As tempted as you are in buying mobile phones for kids, it is essential to make sure that your child is ready for it. More than the child’s numerical age, it is their maturity and sense of responsibility that can best gauge their readiness to have their own cell phone. Some of the factors that you may consider include the child’s ability to take care of his belongings, attitude towards following rules, and level of understanding in the safe use of cell phones.
Once you have decided to allow your child to have his or her own cell phone, make sure to lay down some rules first before actually buying one. Basic rules usually cover what, when, where, and how often a child can use the phone. There are mobile phones for kids that are also equipped with safety features to minimize the risk of misuse. Most of these models have pre-paid kits that limit the number of messages and voice calls along with a pin protection feature.
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