Smartphones are all the rage these days and it seems like almost everyone has one. Since smartphones are so popular, it is common for children to want one of their own. While it may be tempting to get your child what they want, is it really in their best interest? Here are a few reasons that preteens shouldn’t have smartphones.
Less Face Time
When children are developing, they need a great deal of face time with their parents in order to develop like they should. Face time with families has decreased from an average of 26 hours a week in 2007 to an average of 18 hours per week in 2010. This reduces the amount of time that children have to interact with their parents and develop properly. Children need positive role models and positive examples. If they are simply staring at a smartphone all the time, then they may not be getting what they need.
More Access to Predators
Sexual predators are more prevalent now than ever before. Individuals who prey on little children spend all of their free time online looking for their next victim. If your child has a smartphone, he or she may be spending time on chat rooms or social media sites and connecting with these sexual predators. They may think that they are talking to another child or someone they can trust. If they set up a meeting with this person outside of your supervision, it could be a huge problem.
One of the big problems that could develop from having a smartphone is compulsive texting. Many children who have smartphones learn that they can text message their friends and then they want to do nothing else. They always want to read their latest text messages and respond to them right away. If you don’t let them get their hands on a smartphone, then they won’t develop this addiction at an early age.
Cheating in School
Another issue that many parents have to deal with when they give their child a smart phone is cheating in school. When a child has a device that allows them to easily communicate with others, they can use it to get the answers to a test. For instance, they can quickly text message one of their friends outside of class so that they can look up an answer for them. This can lead to suspension, detention, or even expulsion from school. If the smartphone was not present in this situation, then that issue would have never come up.
Since cell phones are still kind of new in society, the health risks of them are not fully known yet. A number of studies have led to some questions about how healthy it is for a child to be talking on a cell phone regularly. The cell phone lets off a certain amount of radiation and can cause tumors or other growths inside the body. If the child is subjected to this type of radiation frequently, it could lead to a number of health risks later on in life.
In most cases, it is best to wait until your child reaches 16 or higher before they get a smartphone. Use your best judgement, but giving them one too early can lead to issues.
Cindy Jarvis has been a middle school teacher for the past 6 years and enjoys writing on topics that appeal to the age group she teaches, their parents, or other teachers. She also helped to create “How To Become A Middle School Teacher” for others interested in becoming an educator in middle school.