It used to be that parents feared the day their children became teenagers and began “needing” all those expensive teenager things – brand name sneakers, jewelry, cars, etc. However, it seems that these days, parents have it even harder when it comes to learning how to say “no” or “not now” to some very pricey requests. As a matter of fact, if you ask around, you might be surprised to find that children even as young as elementary school-aged are putting in some hefty demands, and technology is at the top of that list. If you are the parent of a young child, then you may find yourself in the position of asking, “How young is too young for a smartphone?” There is no sure right answer because children mature in different ways at different ages, but here are some things you should at least consider:
What’s the attraction? It may be obvious to us why a young person might want a smart phone. After all, there is a lot you can do with a smartphone, from searching the web to playing games. However, you need to ask your little one what the attraction is, because you might be surprised to find that your child really doesn’t even know what a smartphone can do. It may just be that peer pressure is the answer, in which case it is safe to say your child is too young to appreciate a smartphone, or even use it to its full potential.
What kind of phone do you have? If you have a thirty dollar flip phone and are making it just fine, then does it really make sense for you to fork out several hundred dollars so your child can walk around with a smartphone?
Is your child responsible enough for such an expensive piece of technology? Okay, so you may have determined that your child is plenty capable of using a smartphone. Now the important thing is to consider whether or not your child is responsible enough to take care of a smartphone. Remember that these high-tech gadgets are expensive, and they are not indestructible. Before you drop hundreds of dollars on a phone for your child, assess the likelihood of having a broken or lost phone on your hands in the near future.
Is a smartphone necessary? Does your child really need to be able to do more than talk and send text messages on a phone? Really?! If all of those extra features and capabilities would be lost on your child, then a smartphone is, simply put, a waste of your money.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when deciding whether or not your child is too young for a smartphone. Assess your circumstances carefully before making such a big purchase, and remember that there should be no rush to growing up.
About the Author: Marlin Agresti works for an IOS development group and loves technology with a passion. That said, he still won’t allow his children to have expensive cell phones or cameras until they are old enough to use them properly and appreciate their value.