“But mom, all of my friends are on the group message in iMessage! All of them! A very rare moment!”
“You’ve been playing way too much.”
“Ugh! You never let me do what I want to do!”
Think of a time that this has happened to you. Where one of your parents (or, if you’re a parent reading this, and you might have done this yourself) takes away privileges to a game or phone. Well, it happens every day: Parents vs. Kids in the ‘device wars’. Kids should have a tablet, or even a phone, at age nine or ten. Yes, kids get distracted. Yes, playing on a device often takes time off of other things the kid could be doing. Yes, kids play WAY too much. But if kids get a phone too old, they might not learn things they they could have when they were young. That can be fixed easily by giving them one when they are ready.
One way I know that kids shouldn’t have a phone until 4th grade is this. What if the kid gets separated from the family and is lost? When you’re young, you normally keep to your parents side. What will happen if they’re kidnapped and taken somewhere completely different than where they’re supposed to be, and they can’t contact anyone to help? No one would come, and something terrible might happen to the kid. They might get hurt, or used as bait for money.
According to the article “Toddlers on Touch Screens: Parenting The ‘App Generation’”, a man named Fang Chang bought his first iPad and his son, Kyle (two years old), was not only loving it by the minute, but he had mastered it. Chang says that “within 10 minutes of using it, he knew how to use the home button and how to open apps.” Things like these are very good learning experiences. Also in the article, in a Nielsen survey, 80% of tablet owning parents allow their young children use devices.
So what should we allow kids do? All of the parents out there concerned about how much time their child spends on a tablet and what age they should get them at? Parents should let kids around the age of nine through ten use electronics. Parents should give a reasonable amount of time the child can spend on or off the electronic. Kids should be able to have a device in 4th grade.
About the Author
“Toddlers on touch screens: parenting the ‘app generation …” 2013. 26 Feb. 2015
“New Milestone Emerges: Baby’s First iPhone App …” 2013. 26 Feb. 2015