Smart phones accompany us through everyday life at any time. The vast majority of parents have a mobile phone with a touch screen and Internet function, so children can get in touch with the digital all-rounder. At the latest when the first friends and classmates get a smart phone, children also want a mobile phone for chatting, surfing and telephoning. But at what age are children mature enough to deal with a smart phone?
A smart phone requires responsible handling, after all, many personal data are stored on the devices. Contacts, photos, and messages should not have access to strangers. And even friends should not be able to read all chats or view pictures unasked.
More And More Children Use Smartphones
The use of mobile phones and smart phones is growing strongly among 8 to 14-year-olds. Almost two-thirds of the children in the age range access the Internet via a mobile phone. With their smart phones, the young users communicate primarily with peers. These results were published by the Landesanstalt für Medien Nordrhein-Westfalen 2015 in a study.
Mobile Phones Are Dangerous For Children, But They Also Have Many Advantages
Nearly half of the interviewees were distracted from the mobile phone, for example, during homework tasks, or gave inaccurate data. Nearly a quarter of children experienced the high cost of using or felt the constant communication as stress. The older the respondents, the greater the bond to the smart phone and the more likely they had negative experiences with the devices. In addition, with the age of the children, the rate of hand-users and the pressure to be mobile also reachable for the other peers.
In addition to the dangers and difficulties of hand-held, smart phones for children have many advantages. Both parents and children appreciate day-to-day relief through smart phones. Children can easily get together with friends or exchange ideas with them. Communication with parents is also simplified. The children are easy to reach even if they are not near the parents and can always report in emergencies. The ambivalence between the potential and threats of smart phones shows that it is important for children to learn a responsible and sensitive handling of the mobile phone.
Tips For Starting With The First Smartphone
Together with the public TV stations and a TV magazine, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has launched the initiative”SCHAU HIN! What your child is doing with media”. It informs parents on the related Internet platform about practical tips and hints on the media use of children. The network recommends a separate smart phone for children aged 11 or older. In addition to the age, the jointly dealt with the device is crucial.
Look For The Smartphone Together
The smart phone should fit the needs and abilities of the children. Not always the desire object of the kids the appropriate device. To give an example: A large Phablet is probably hardly in small hands. In addition, low radiation should be taken into account. This is indicated by the SAR value.The effects of radiation on the young user can be additionally minimized by headsets and good headphones.
Involve Your Child At The Cost
Children get a sense of the cost that a smart phone causes when they are involved in spending. This applies both to the cost of the device, the prepaid card or the contract. How much the child gives, should be appropriate to the pocket money.
If you decide for a contract, a tariff with a monthly cost limitation protects against unintentionally high expenses. In the prepaid version can only be shuffled, chatted or telephoned as much as credit balances have been booked. The best way to explain this to your child is to show hidden charges for add-ons, ringtones, apps, and games. For security you can lock some of these services directly with the provider or provide a password.
Protects Your Smartphone And Personal Data
By setting up the smart phone device with your child, you can show him the safe handling right from the start. Together, you set up passwords and anti-virus protection. Once the first steps are completed, you can download the first apps together.
Installs Child-Friendly Apps
The Initiative Schau hin! Recommends that in the first time only parents download the apps. To enable the child to participate at any time, apps can be selected and loaded together. It should be tested by the parents or together with the child whether the programs are suitable for the child. You should pay particular attention to the transfer of data. So you can be sure your child is using appropriate apps. After some time and with about 12 years, children have learned enough experience and sensitivity in handling the smart phone, so they can decide about downloads themselves. Nevertheless you should exchange regularly about the experiences with the smart phone.
Develops usage rules with hand types
At The Acquisition Of The Smart phone, Schau Suggests! To Set Rules for everyday life. Breaks are important especially when eating, doing homework or before going to bed. Because common meals also go along with communication about everyday life and for homework it needs undisturbed concentration. Before sleep, the smart phone timeout has a technical reason, which interferes with falling asleep: The light of the smart phone screens leads to the distribution of the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep and sleep times. In order to come to rest, it helps to put the mobile phone at a fixed place in the evening.
To prevent the children from being distracted from the smartphone often, it helps to consult with the child, which one can clarify well by chat and for which a call is worthwhile. This is the first step in order not to write long and ineffective back and forth. Distractions by the smart phone can also be anticipated by switching off push messages. This prevents them from ever being distracted by trifles.
Test The Use Of The Smartphone Together
An objectively correct time for the first smart phone of a child does not exist. For not only the age, but also the maturity of the child decides. From around eleven years on, children are so thoughtful that they can handle a mobile phone with care. It is particularly important to set up the mobile phone together to let the child participate. As a result, it has accumulated experience from the outset on security, privacy and data protection. Together with your child, you work out rules for everyday use, avoid stress and bundle expectations on the hand-to-hand of both sides.