Benefits of Smartphones for Kids
The relationship between parents & screen-time is a tricky one. I, for example, don’t like the thought of my children being glued to their screens when there are so many other experiences out there. However, from the moment my daughter could grasp objects in her hands, she was reaching for my smartphone. And the fact is, sometimes I let her! Without it, I would NEVER get anything done! Smartphones are my saviors when I’m trying to cook dinner or do a bit of work.
As for when she’s older, I am already conscious of the fact she will want her own smartphone. Do I let her? If I refuse will she be the only child in the UK who doesn’t own a phone?! Seeing as the average age for a child to get their first phone is a meer 10 years old, it’s a question I’m going to be wrestling with sooner than I thought. There is lots of ongoing research into the pros & cons screen-time provides. The costs of children using devices is a much focused upon topic, but surely its important to also consider any positive cognitive & behavioural affects technology has on kids.
With this in mind, I asked some fellow parent bloggers their thoughts & opinions on the benefits of smartphones. I’m so glad I did as there are many ideas I hadn’t considered before!
“My god children have them, they are 7 & 10. Their parents separated last year. The adult to adult communication isn’t the best so it’s made it a lot easier for the children to stay in contact with the other parent.” Champagne & Petals
“My little girl is 2 and a half and uses mine to facetime with family, specifically my brother who lives in Austrailia. It means she can stay connected with family who may not be as local.” Fab Fat Mama
“We let our kids use our smartphones sometimes. There are some amazing apps for learning now, they don’t even realise they are taking things in!” Pink Pink Bear
“My middle niece (7) plays amazing apps, that are educational as well as fun! They’ve helped her confidence so much – especially in school when it comes to answering questions or solving maths problems etc.” From Rachael Claire
“There are a lot of interactive, educational apps that parents and children can use to combine early learning and fun together.” Welsh Mum of One
“One of my daughters has a speech delay and her therapist has recommend letting her use specific apps designed to develop language skills on my smartphone. It seems to be really working.” Navigating Baby
Support for School & Beyond
“When they start school they know some basics of current technology” Mummy Gummie
“Both my older kids (7, 5) have my old smartphones without SIM cards to use like a tablet. I think it’s about moving with the times a bit, the children now use tablets in the classroom to learn with, and I love that they are so tech savvy personally. I have parental locks on so they aren’t in danger” Even Angels Fall
“It’s great for improving manual dexterity and a lot of employment now require you to use touch screen devices. The sooner kids learn, the better in my eyes.” Household Money Saving
Peace of Mind
“Tracking them! Some great apps for this & now mine are a little older it’s good to know I can see where they are when they are out.” Our Altered Life
“Our high functioning ASD son communicates more via text than he does speaking to us, annoying at times but …teens for you! It also enables him to keep in touch with us as he makes his way independently to and from school.” Autism Mumma
Saves Our Sanity!
“Having a meal in peace! Whenever we go out to eat & the kids start getting a bit irritable, we put on a movie on our smart phones and it keeps them quiet so we can enjoy our meal. It means everybody else in the restaurant can also enjoy theirs! People can sit & judge, but if I want some quiet to enjoy my one meal out every six months…I don’t care how I get it!” Ever After With Kids
“My 11 year old has a smartphone – that’s because, where we live, they go up to middle school (extended secondary) in year 5, so she needs one to let me know where to pick her up/what time. Our 9 year old starts the same school in September and he’ll be getting my husbands Samsung smartphone as he’s due to upgrade. My daughter looks after hers and she knows what’s right and wrong and she’s responsible: hopefully my son will be too” Pack the PJs
Preparation for Society
“Technology is the future, and denying that is not going to be a good thing for our kids. Mine had learnt to search for things for their home education, from titanic to weather, it’s there at their fingertips” Kelly Allen Writer
“Mine are 3 and 6 & they don’t have their own smartphone, but we’ve let them use ours from around age 2 years old. I think it’s good as they need to know how to use this type of technology, it will be more important for them than us. At preschool, from age 3, both of mine have had learning on iPads and computers. At school from age 4 they have computer and iPad time too, as well as some homework on two school apps, so it’s vital they are comfortable using these things. Obviously it should be restricted, but there are so many learning apps it’s not as bad as people think!” Healthy Vix
“Because, like it not, computers are our age bow and arrow. They will live in an age where cars will not need drivers. And that’s just one example. If they can’t use computers at an early age it is like not learning how to write & count. Smart phones are computers! My son has ASD and he couldn’t talk at the age of two, but he could play a coding game & CBeebies apps. It help him to develop skills we didn’t know he had – because he couldn’t talk! Muddy play is important but so are other skills like learning how to use technology.” Captain Bobcat
**Benefits of Smartphones for Kids is a collaborative post