8 Proven Rules to Help Kids Use Smartphones Wisely

The reign of smartphones is ever present in today’s times. After all, everyone has their nose deep into their phones, either scrolling through social media or checking emails or texts from work or friends.

The fact that you can do almost anything on your device nowadays and that it can serve as a way to entertain, help and socialize makes the process of putting it down ,even for a minute, all the more difficult.

What’s more is that it caters to people of all age groups and is a particular fascination for kids and young children alike. Your big viewdisplay phone can serve as a great distraction for whenever your child needs something out of the ordinary to keep them interested. It also acts as a way to reward them for showcasing good behavior.

However, this can have a downside as well, the most important one being addiction. If you play by a few rules, you can actually help them use these gadgets wisely. Here is how you can do so.

 Set limits on screen time

It’s all about boundaries. Of course, your child shouldn’t be restricted from using a smartphone completely but they should also know when the time is up. This ensures they do not get too carried away and get addicted to these gadgets.

Inform them about the amount of time they can utilize to play with the smartphone. If they are downloading apps, make sure you check them out first and see that it is appropriate according to their age. 

Making sure that gadget use does not extend well beyond their bed time is also important to ensure that the phone is used in moderation.

Emphasize quality over quantity

Smartphones are a direct way to connect with a variety of people. So inevitably, when children have a smartphone in their hand, they are tempted to set up social profiles, constantly text their peers and share information. Instill in your child the idea of quality rather than quantity and the difference between followers and friends. Being liked in person is more important than being ardently followed online by people who are irrelevant.

Teach them the concept of privacy

Show your child how to set up privacy features and tell them how it safeguards them from strangers. Let them know in all honesty about the real dangers of online predators and why you need to avoid them.

Remind them that hiding certain things from family members is a no-no. You, as parent, have a right to access their social media pages as well as browsing history. This parental watch encourages them to safely and ethically use the smartphone.

Aim for balance

Instill a sense of balance in your children. Just as accessing or using a smartphone comes with advantages so does going out and indulging in physical activity and connecting with people in real life.

Setting limits to balance online as well as offline activities ensures children grow in an all-round and disciplined manner.

Make them aware about cyberbullying

Tell your kids that smartphones shouldn’t be a cause for worry in any way. Make them aware about the signs of bullying and how to stand up to the bully if necessary. Moreover, let them know that they can inform you about the same, in case anything out of the ordinary occurs.

Establish an open conversation with them

Begin the safety conversation early and speak about it as frequently as possible. Establishing an open conversation with your child from the beginning gives you the peace of mind knowing they are safe and can make the right decisions.

Moreover, children who are used to talking about what they do online are more inclined to tell someone when they are upset or worried about something that happens to them in the digital world.

Setting clear boundaries

While setting limits on calling and chatting with people is a must, how much time your kid spends playing games, watching videos or operating the gadget is equally important.

Generally speaking, 30 minutes on weekdays and an hour or so on the weekend is an acceptable form of using smartphones, however it is you who should ideally consider the timelines and set the boundaries according to their use-case-behavior.

Don’t overthink it

Although during the initial years, that is for children under 7 years of age, parental guidance needs to be a little more active, after the age of 7 years, children obtain cognitive and moral reason to understand right from wrong. A majority of them also gain the required amount of self-control to comprehend how to accept their mobile usage as a privilege. Remember, there is no substitute for knowing your child and adjusting to their maturity levels.

Moreover, picking up the right brand for your kids is equally important as well. Brands like PanasonicSmartphones, Vivo, OPPO, and Motorola manufacture smart friends which are easy to manage, use and provide an exceptional experience.

So there you have it. Inculcating these rules into your child from an early age helps them use their smartphone wisely and responsibly. Giving them a phone of their own depends on whether you can trust them with their belongings as well as how they use its features.

This is, however, more applicable for your older kids. For those who are still young to own a smartphone of their own, giving them access through your own phone is a good way to introduce them to these above mentioned rules. 

Remember, these points are sure to help kids think first and act later, thereby limiting the chances of using smartphones irrationally and unethically.

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