While there are concerns about children owning and using smart phones, we cannot dismiss the benefits. I would like to believe that when children have access to smart phones at an early age they learn to use them correctly. This also can be a parent-child bonding tool if parental support is at its maximum. Your child may not necessarily have to keep up with the latest models or own a smart phone of their own for most parents may prefer to share ownership.
Miles Young highlights that today children begin learning with smartphones as early as 2 years old. In fact, 36 percent of children ages 2 to 10 spend their time on smartphones using educational media. The parents of those children report that their child has better cognitive, vocabulary and math skills as a result of using a smartphone at least once a week for educational purposes. With so many ways to play and learn, it’s no wonder children ages 12 to 15 say they would choose their cell phone over television.
Here are some pros to children smart phone use according to Changes Psychology.
- Smartphones come with the advantage of allowing us constant connectivity with our children, which creates a sense of security knowing they can contact us and us them, at any time.
- Appropriate use of smartphones for entertainment purposes allows children to have some downtime, gives parents a few minutes to get things done when we need the children entertained, and, if we monitor it properly, can be educational too.
- Smartphone use can be a reward and motivational tool.
- Activities on smartphones and similar devices can improve visual skills such as tracking visual information, searching, developing peripheral vision and visual acuity.
- Use of such technology linked to data plans helps children access information through online resources such as encyclopedias, cyber searches, dictionaries, and educational applications.
- Gaming can help develop decision-making, and problem-solving skills.
In conclusion of this series, I strongly believe that it is important to consider your family situation when you decide to buy your child a smart phone. You know what is best. As long as a parent monitors their child’s smart phone use and guides them on the right apps to use and games to play and also sets realistic limits on time and discourage over reliance on the devices, a smart phone can indeed be a blessing.
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