" Should parents set a minimum age or some restrictions for their children to own a smartphone, and if so what would they be?

in #ecotrain4 years ago

You guys already know how big of a fan I am of the @ecotrain. Yes, I love it and the reason why I keep saying that or proclaim my love for all the other communities I am a part of because love only grows when you spread it and because it makes people feel good and because I am a super-expressive woman and love expressing my joy about things and even frustration when I am agitated. Lol.

Coming back to the aim of this post. This week the @ecotrain members were asked to give their opinion on the following question:

" Should parents set a minimum age or some restrictions for their children to own a smartphone, and if so what would they be?

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This is a topic quite close to my heart so I was really charged to write on it. Here is my take on it.

I am not addicted to my Smartphone at all. I got a phone, not a Smartphone when I was 16 and most of my friends and even my younger sister had gotten one when she was 14. I was never really interested in it but when I saw everyone flashing their own phone, I wanted one too. But even when I had it, I wasn't glued to it 24/7. Well, yeah there was a time when the adolescence hormones were running crazy inside me and I did have infatuation for someone so I did spend time with that person through my mobile phone, but that didn't last for too long.

Now too, I do use a Smartphone; it is quite an inefficient one really and I use it primarily because of my work requirements, I am not at all addicted to it. I do not use it all the time. In fact, I managed to stay alive without a phone for 3 whole weeks too. Woah! Can you believe that? I know @trucklife-family would be happy to hear that and she can believe this because this amazing woman doesn't have a Smartphone. Good job my lady! So yeah, I can survive without a phone and I believe each one of us can and should too.

While Smartphones do add a lot of convenience in our lives and make it easier for us to get access to information, kill boredom, get connected to people and learn lots of new things, their excessive usage is never good for our body, mind and soul too. I do not want to go into those details right now because I am certain almost all of you are already aware of the many hazards of using mobile phones constantly. For me, one of the biggest harms of regular mobile phone usage is that it makes you really cranky and really makes you drift apart from the real people in your lives. At least, that's what I have observed with a lot of the people in my life and even with my son too.

You know, when my son was younger, I wasn't a very responsible mother. I was loving and caring, but the responsibility element of motherhood hadn't quite settled in me at that time and it is painful for me to think of all that and I do feel guilty about it, but I have made my peace with it so I am okay discussing those things. So I was literally swamped with work when my son was 4 months old. I had to take care of him, the house and even work because we weren't financially too sound then. So to make things easier for myself, I started to put on rhymes on my laptop when I had errands to run so my son could watch them happily and work instead. I realized my mistake when he was 1.5 yo when he turned into a really cranky baby and did not speak his first few words also. So I started to cut back on his time spent in front of the laptop and play more with him. That did wonders for his emotional well-being and for our bond.

However, I repeated that mistake again when he turned 2.5 and used to hand him the phone to play games or watch videos and that again started turning him into a crankypants. Ah, the horror! I then finally realized what I was doing to him and slowly weened him off my phone lol. He does use it occasionally now; he has his limits like 10 minutes before lunch or for 10 minutes when there is nobody to play with or in desperate times, but other than that he is good. I think there should be a minimum age for kids to own a smartphone and even to use someone else's. Like for my son, I think I won't buy him one or encourage him to buy one for himself if he does start to make his own money by then till the time he is 14. That's when children here mostly start going out independently. well, a lot of them do when they are 8 or 9 too, but mostly kids learn to drive when they are 13 or 14 here and then can travel alone too so yeah for my son, that would be the age when I think my husband or I will let him get his own Smartphone, but with the changing times that are today, one can never be too sure of that so I hope I don't have to give him a phone before that.

However, I think it is not necessary for children or anybody to own a phone. Yes, it makes things easier and convenient and that's what a lot of us want these days but it also takes away your freedom and independence. Like you start depending on your phone to be entertained and won't be creative to think of something fun to do yourself. So whether or not you wish for your child to have a smartphone really depends on how you want to raise them or the environment you are raising them. Also, you can only put up this restriction till he/ she turns into an adult because once he is not a minor anymore, he can decide things for himself.

If parents do decide to let their young kids own their own Smartphones early, I think there should be restrictions on their usage and parents should monitor the content their kids see. I do that with my son and am around him when he uses the phone. He once found an animated song which was cute but it focused a lot on love, hatred and romance between the duck and wolf cartoon lol and I got my hands on it and blocked that site and deleted that song from the history. I mean my son was only 3.5 and there was no use for him to listen to that. So monitoring your little one's phone usage is important even if he/ she doesn't have his phone. I also think that we need to teach our kids how to responsibly use the latest technology because they won't be living in the times we did. They are a part of the digital world and to cope up effectively with that, they should know how to use the technology responsibly and make the best use of it. I think I have pretty much described my viewpoint on the question so now off I go to read the other members' posts.

Hey, hey, please do share your views on the topic in the comments below. They always make me happy.

Love and light,


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Its a great reading your phone story @sharoonyasir and its very important that we do not let technology take over our lives. For parents who want phones for their kids, its important they know that i requires a lot of sacrifice to monitor how the kids are using the gadgets.
For me, i enjoy teaching my children how to use anything to make a change in their lives, the lives of other people and to make the planet a better place.

I like your perspective on technology a lot! Thanks for stopping by. :)

Interesting Read!
For me, my parents waited until we are 16, when we finished high school before they gave us a phone. And I appreciate what they did till today because after I got into college with a phone, I realised how much of a distraction phone was, I had to enforce extra self-discipline on the usage of my phone, so that I won't let it distract my studies or affect my grades. But back then in high school, there was no phone to struggle with.
I suggest parents should wait until their children are out of high school before they give them phone, and if they must give their children a phone for any good reason before after high school. They should monitor the usage of the phone.

Yeah phones can be quite distracting at times especially nowadays with the option of downloading games and apps. I am glad to know you were and I am sure still are a lovely daughter. Happy to have you here. :)

Very cool!
I have been reading different peoples' views on this topic, and it is quite interesting to see what all they say.

I also notice my kids becoming cranky with too much screen time. Its easy for them to end up with too much if they have a handy device in their pocket that allows you to watch videos or play games any time they like.

I think the age that children are allowed to have smartphones depends on the child. No, I am not going to buy it for them, so if they want one, they need a way to pay for it. If we NEED a cell phone for them, in case they are out and about, a simple flip phone will do.

My kids are 8, 10, and 14, and none have cell phones, smart or otherwise, simply because they are not needed and they dont really want one enough to work for one.
Which is fine by me... :)

Yeah giving a child phone or anything else for that matter does depend on how he/ she is. I am glad your kids don't need phones for now. I am sure you're parenting them beautifully. Thanks for your great input. :)

We are all doing the best we can in this crazy world... Sounds like you have your parenting figured out too! ♥
Have a lovely day and give those kids a hug for me! :D

Thanks for sharing your personal story, it shows how sensitive children are to the negative impacts of tech. Even myself if I don't protect myself then I also notice changes in my mood. It shows that human interaction is way more beneficial than a phone and the bit when u said you were infatuated with someone well that's the worst just messages back and forth but nothing there is real just some words.

Yeah that was back and forth messaging and nothing else. I am happy Steemit has given me that safe space to openly talk about my life without the fear of being judged. Love your input. :)

That is some really insightful parenting lesson you have shared. I totally agree with you, we have excessively become dependent on smartphone but we ourselves can definitely control that.

Thank you for your great feedback. Feels good to have people agree with me. :D

You are welcome :)

My daughter is addicted at 14 years old, but then again so am I at a substantially higher age. What can I say?

I am a technology guy, but I still think it is wise to have some set age limit. Usually by the time students are in middle school or high school, you might want to consider it. By then they are in sports practices or after school programs and they may need a way to get in contact with you to pick you up. It is hard though. Smart phones are so powerful and accessible these days. The serve so many functions besides being just a phone. Mine is my book, my planner, my gaming system, my encyclopedia, my dictionary, etc. It may be wiser to reinforce proper digital citizenship as the time approaches for them to get one. If they view having a smartphone as a privilege as opposed to a right, it may make the difference.

Yes it is easy to just let the phone take care of your child, I'm sure most parents are guilty of this to some degree, myself included.

My wife and I made it a point to minimize the time our toddler spend staring at a TV / laptop / handphone. If he is watching them, we try to make time to watch it with him and teach him to repeat words and phrases spoken in the videos.

Each parent and each child is different with different circumstances. Our oldest boy got his first phone when he was ten. That mind sound like to young but he had massive restrictions, it was mainly because he played baseball and was away for tournaments and we wanted to make sure he had a way to contact us if things were running late or in case he got injured. On more than one occasion we had to meet him at the hospital for x-rays and casts.
A flip phone was out of the question because our carrier didn't support that style phone, so smart is all each of us have. The key in our case was he or none of the other kids "own" their phone, they belong to me and the wife, they just get to use them and we have taken them away from time to time as punishment or for improper using, during restricted times. The wife monitors the kids phones so she is on top of them about how and when they can use them.
When I was a kid there were pay phones about every 3 or 4 blocks so we always had a few dimes in our pockets to call home if we needed too. You would be hard pressed to find a public pay phone now on any street here, those disappeared as the personal cell phone costs came down.
Each situation is different and needs to be treated that way in my opinion, but monitored with restrictions has always been a part of our kids phone usage.

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