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Cell Phones For Kids

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KIDS AND CELL PHONE ADDICTION

One of the biggest concerns responsible parents have is the addictive qualities of cell phones. I say “responsible” parents because lets face it, many parents are addicted to their smart phones themselves. Is this what the modern family has┬ábecome?

Parents on phones

That is NOT what most parents want their families to turn into and preventing your child from cell phone addiction is certainly an uphill battle. That is why so many Moms and Dads want to delay giving their kids a phone as long as possible.

No matter how simple your child’s first phone is, it is the gateway drug that will eventually lead to a smart phone and all the things that go along with them like texting. Parents know that and if they can delay that first phone they are at least temporarily delaying their kid’s inevitable decent into that addiction.

This is the first generation being raised on cell phones. Its a new problem for society as a whole as we raise children who are used to dealing with a computer and cell phone screen and much less so dealing with a real person. Kids are comfortable today being immersed in the online world and personal face to face skills are being neglected. In many cases they would rather interact with a phone than they would with another person. It is truly sad!

What can you do to stop or at least slow things down?

1) Pay more attention to your kids than ever before. Many parents are happy to have a built in babysitter (cell phone or iPad) and it keeps the kids quiet and out of their hair. But good parents know that they should be engaging their children at a very young age and providing them with a variety of things to do. Real things like swimming lessons, trips to the park and museum, introducing them to the library, encouraging them to play outside, and getting them on sports teams like Little League.

2) Limit TV watching and video game playing. Again, those are the modern babysitters but those two things both go hand in hand with cell phones and the mindless staring at screens that will inevitably result. Encourage (demand?) your kids learn to play with real toys and build their creativity by using more of the things us parents grew up playing with. Make sure they get a lot of time playing outside in the real world.

3) Delay that first phone as long as possible. When the time does come to give your child a cell phone, have it be a real simple one that just does the basics. They will be happy just to have that for awhile.

4) When the time comes to get a more exciting cell phone, make sure it is one you can monitor like the Kajeet brand. Let them know you are watching them and tracking what they do. Always be honest with them. They should be young enough to willingly let you do it, especially if you patiently explain to them why you are doing it. The more trust you build with your child and the more things you explain to them, the better the chances that they will understand and put up less of a fight.

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