Children are at a greater risk than we believe from smart phones and social media!
The NEW YORK TIMES reports that children, especially girls (1 in 4) are deliberately harming themselves. This at a time when our society seems to be “child focused.” Many children are spending up to 9 hours per day on their phones, where other people are evaluating their appearance and words. Children are jockeying for a sense of status that is largely unattainable. This often results in a poor self-image and depression.
The average age a child a receives a smart phone is 10. These are powerful tools designed for adults! I question why a 10 year old “needs” a smart phone. I suggest that at age 10 they are NOT emotionally mature, and should not be given such a device. They are nearly impossible to monitor, and put your child at risk of interacting with complete strangers.
As a parent, it is not healthy and simply unnecessary to be in constant contact with your child. If you feel your child needs a phone for emergency purposes, use a “flip phone” and severely limit the minutes purchased!
Once you give your child a smart device, it is nearly impossible to take it away (even for an hour). Help you child and give yourself a favor, delay giving your child a smart phone until they are mature enough to appreciate the responsibilities the use of such a device entails, and appreciate the social pressures that they will face.