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What is the best age to give my child a cell phone?

What is the best age to give my child a cell phone? This is one of the most frequent questions we are asked by parents. According to Common Sense Education Center, the majority of kids get their first phone at the age of 11, but when to get your child a cell phone is a personal decision based on the benefits and drawbacks of smartphones on children. This decision can vary from kid to kid based on maturity and need.


What are some benefits of kids having phones?

  • As children use smartphones, they effectively prepare themselves to engage with future technologies.


  • In the unfortunate event of an emergency, students with smartphone access can find help more easily.


  • Through early guidance and support, parents and teachers can help children learn how to self-regulate the time they spend on their phones. This lesson will help them create and practice healthy self-awareness and self-reflection practices.


What are some drawbacks of kids having phones?


  • Recent studies indicate that children who own cell phones are 35% more exposed to cyberbullying.


  • A smartphone may give kids access to content on the internet that may include graphic, disturbing, or illegal content.


  • Studies have found a considerable link between using smartphones and getting less sleep.


How can I know if my kid is ready?


The Digital Intelligence Institute has introduced a test in order to establish new ethical standards for individuals, particularly children and teens, by modeling for them the characteristics of a responsible digital citizen, in order to better protect them from threats posed by the Internet.

Based on the Digital Intelligence Institute, this test will allow parents to better support their children to become confident digital citizens. Also, this test can serve as a first step to help parents in taking the important decision of giving or not a cellphone to their kids.


The new Digital Citizenship Test can be found at https://www.dqindex.org





References:


[1] https://www.commonsense.org/education/

[2] https://www.dqinstitute.org/



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