Do you remember that toy you just had to have as a kid? It seemed like everyone had one of them except you, and you just knew that if you got one, you would officially be “cool.” You probably begged your parents to get you that toy for every birthday and Christmas. Chances are, you’ve probably heard these same requests from your child, but instead of a toy, your child has likely been begging for a phone.
It seems like all of your kids’ friends have phones—a fact which you’re probably reminded of so frequently that you’re starting to feel like a stick-in-the-mud. Is it really a big deal to give your younger children a phone? What age should kids get a phone, anyway?
Let’s check out some of the pros and cons of kids having cell phones so you can decide what’s best for your family!
Staying in Contact
Even young kids today seem to be involved in numerous extracurricular activities, school functions, and friend outings. Having a phone helps them keep in contact with you if they need a ride or have a change of plans. Phones also help kids stay in touch with their friends, making them feel like a part of the group rather than feeling self-conscious about not having a phone. How much your kids are out with friends or at activities might help you answer the question “when should kids have a phone?”
Because kids have more activities and events nowadays, there might be times that they need to call you because of an emergency, and having a cell phone will make that much easier. Say your child gets hurt at an extracurricular activity—they can give you a call to let you know what happened. In more serious situations, your child’s phone can help you track their location through GPS location sharing apps. If your child is ever in a dangerous situation, you’ll be able to find exactly where they are thanks to their phone. Troomi phones come with a built in GPS and the ability to check on your child’s location at any time through our Parent Portal. Check out Troomi for safe phones that grow with your child to give you peace of mind.
A phone is a big responsibility. By taking care of their phone and learning how to use it wisely, your child can develop skills like accountability, self-control, and responsibility. Sitting down with your child and outlining some rules and expectations for their phone use can help them think about how they use their device and teach them discipline as well. As they learn how to handle their phone responsibly, your child will also begin to develop good, lifelong technology habits.
Every parent dreads learning that their child is being bullied, and unfortunately, technology has made bullying worse than ever. If your child has a phone, they might become a victim to cyberbullying over social media or text. Troomi phones, however, don’t have social media and allow you to prevent all unknown numbers from contacting your child. With these specialized phones, your child can avoid many of the cyberbullying risks that other phones might expose them to.
One of the greatest risks that comes with kids having cell phones is screen addiction. Your child’s brain is still developing, and by introducing more intensive technology use, their brain processing and attention span can be negatively affected. Too much screen time can cause your child to develop an unhealthy reliance on technology and eventually create a screen addiction.
The overuse of technology can negatively impact your child’s mental and physical health. If your child begins to use their phone excessively, it can keep them from getting the physical activity they need. Things like social media can also begin to foster unhealthy expectations in your child of how they should look or act. These unrealistic expectations can lead to mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression or body image concerns.
So the next time you ask yourself, “when should kids have a phone?” consider some of these pros and cons of kids having cell phones. You might also wonder “what age should kids get a phone?” but don’t forget: there is no “right” age for kids to get a phone—this decision ultimately depends on your child’s maturity and what you feel is best for your family. Even if you’re starting to feel like a stick-in-the-mud, don’t feel pressured to get your child a phone just because all of their friends have one.