Parenting The right age to get a child a smartphone

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Do they even need one?

Best age to buy a child a smartphone play Best age to buy a child a smartphone (Courtesy)

Controlling exposure to technology is as much a part of parenting as giving allowances or discipline.

Most adults spend up to 6 hours a day on their cell phones already. So would it be prudent to expose a child to that level of cellphone dependency?

You also run the risk of exposure of your child as you can never be too certain that they are taking necessary precautions to maintain the most fundamental aspects of their privacy.

There is also the fact that online predators can easily prey on them.

On average, most children have phones by them time they are 12.

ALSO READ: Social media and the role it plays in mental health

However, for most parents, they would prefer their child owning a smart phone after they finish high school. But if they have to own one beforehand, Microsoft mogul Bill Gates recommends age 14.

According to inc., that age is perfect to assess whether your child has learnt the value of face-to-face communication and whether they can exercise restraint.

Ask yourself these questions if you still need more elements to consider before getting your child a smartphone.

  • Do your children "need" to be in touch for safety reasons--or social ones?
  • Can they get behind the concept of limits for minutes talked and apps downloaded?
  • Can they be trusted not to text during inappropriate times and to use the text, photo, and video functions responsibly?

Or you could go with the old fashioned methodology of 90s parents, "Utapata simu ukiweza kujinunulia."

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