While the best age for a child to receive their first phone is a topic of wide debate, there are still some ages that most people consider too young. We’re not here to debate what those ages are, but we do want to give you some reasons why you shouldn’t give your child a smartphone. Unfortunately, telling them that you didn’t have a phone at their age isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Phones Are Too Expensive
Have you seen the prices of smartphones recently? A thousand dollars is starting to become the norm in the industry. Granted, we’re aware that most parents will buy their kids a cheaper one, but even on the bargain side of the market, they can easily go for $200 to $300. It’s hard to trust a small child with a “toy” that carries such a hefty price tag. Plus, phone plans themselves can be fairly expensive.
There are much better options for kids on the market, such as child-safe tablets and smartwatches. These watches, in particular, can give parents all the benefits of a smartphone for their child but at a fraction of the cost. On top of that, they’re attached to a wrist, which means they’re less susceptible to drops, spills, and broken screens.
They Could Abuse In-App Purchases
Even though parental features are common these days on smartphones, kids always seem to find a way around them. Then suddenly, before you even know what’s happening, they’ve spent$100 in a game. Since young kids don’t have a fundamental concept of money yet, you can’t even blame them for it. The best way to avoid the situation altogether is not to let them have a phone in the first place.
They Might Become Dependent on Them
While there are ongoing studies on this topic, it’s hard to argue that people don’t have some level of dependence on their devices. If you don’t think that’s the case, try going for a week without your phone and see how you feel afterward. If it didn’t have much of an effect on you, congratulations—you’re stronger than the majority of us.
Regardless of your view on the subject, developing a deep dependence on technology is a big reason why you shouldn’t give your child a smartphone at a young age. Kids’ brains are still developing and don’t need an all-powerful smart device to be at the center of that development.
It’s Good To Tell Them “No”
It can be challenging to keep denying your kid when they continuously ask you for a phone. However, contrary to what you might read on Facebook, saying “no” and setting boundaries with your children is a good thing for them. If they never hear the word “no,” they will go the rest of their life expecting everything to get everything they want when they want it.
Standing your ground and not letting them have a cellphone until you believe they’re ready is one of the best ways to instill a more realistic behavior in them. Plus, your kid will be even more grateful on the day they finally do get a phone than they would have been if you just broke down and gave them one when they asked.