Do you remember teaching your kid cycling? Or, dealing with a microwave because it’s so attractive for them and makes an interesting noise? Every step was accompanied by explanations and warnings.
There are more complicated issues, such as dating, alcohol, driving car, etc. But before proceeding to those talks, nowadays parents need to bring up the subject of the first mobile phone and how to use it safely. Why? It turned out that the device usage can lead to tech addiction, sleep deprivation, and abnormal online exposure. Thus, here are 6 things every parent needs to know when giving a device for the first time.
- Devices can substitute the communication you used to have with kids. Devices are so attractive. They meet emotional demands of a person. Curiosity, interest, adventures, intellectual challenges – whatever your kid wants, they can get it with a device without you. So, make sure before giving it, you taught your child those values and morals they need to interact with the world.
UNICEF in its Winter 2017 report warned the society about “bedroom culture” which is fueled by smartphones. Thus, before granting a smartphone, make sure that outdoor activities are not a priority for your family anymore.
- Devices influence kids’ brain and sleep. It’s a well-known fact that the tech addiction is aka alcohol and drug addiction since it affects the same brain zones. When overusing the device, the brain is like in a constant crisis since it is on alert for new data that will provide the dose of dopamine.
Kids tend to fall asleep putting the device next to their head. The first thing they do when waking up is checking social media accounts or turning on an app.
- Kids can make in-app purchases. This was actually the case of iPad. Back in 2014, Apple refunded $32.5 million for unauthorized child in-app purchases. If you have shopping apps installed on the device and you give it to a child, make sure those apps are disabled.
- Kids go online, and that’s where the whole “magic” happens.
Are you aware of cyberbullying and child sexting? You’re firmly convinced that your kid won’t encounter them. According to the Megan Meier Foundation, in 2017-2018, 13 million kids will be cyberbullied. Obviously, these stats are about older kids. But parents need to be aware of all those risks coming out with the device usage.
- Communication skills may suffer. Life is about communication, a verbal one, not digital when you express your emotion with an emoji. The basics of debates, negotiations, concession are being taught in real life with real people. Thus, lack of communication may result in complexes when a kid is involved in a real-life conversation. The question is “Are they capable of carrying it at all?”
- Devices can affect the kid’s self-esteem. First, they boast of whose phone is better. When given too early, the phone can produce the lack of self-respect. When comparing yourself with others they feel poor and miserable for not having iPhone 8. Make sure the age is quite appropriate for having a device.
Any e-safety experts would recommend parents raising their awareness on everything their kids might deal on the Internet. Parents should also communicate basic e-safety rules to their children. You can find out more about e-safety here. But the most reliable way to prevent tech addiction and online risks is to use a parental control app in everyday routine.
Handing a device for the first time is inevitable. But the thing is to teach to behave online appropriately and meanwhile supervise this behavior. This is where the parental control app comes in handy.
It monitors the way kids use the device and the Internet, allows parents to manage it by putting filters and blocking sites and apps. Also, the parental app helps follow the current GPS location. If there are places parents don’t want their kids to go, they can set no-go areas on the map and be immediately informed when children cross them.
There are also apps that provide extra features like the Kidgy parental control software. It offers parents the Daily Planner and the Panic Button. Both are perfect when it comes down to fostering discipline and accountability.
The app claims to be a reliable family assistant and proves as such among many families all over the world who are already using it.