“Mom, Dad, I want a cell phone!” Parents of primary school children should be familiar with this sentence. According to a 2019 study by the Xplora Institute, 60 percent of children in Spain want their own mobile phone before the age of nine. Many parents give up. According to data from the Spanish statistical institute INE 66 percent of 10- to 15-year-olds already have their own cell phone. For children over 12, the percentage rises to 75 percent. The question remains: is this actually a good thing?
It is not surprising that children and young adults are attracted to smartphones. They are an integral part of daily life in almost all families. According to a study conducted by the Complutense University of Madrid, young people hope to reach this supposedly limitless world, where the father and mother are constantly surviving using their smartphones. Your presence We strive for prestige and independence. Excessive use of mobile phone often has the opposite effectDifficulties in daily communication, reduced stress tolerance and inability to find solutions to problems on your own are just some of the findings indicated by the scientific study. So how do you accompany the child so that smartphone use does not deteriorate?
Just not too early
It is perfect for young people Only 16 or even 18 years old with your smartphone According to a descriptive guide provided by the alternative mobile service provider Som Connexió of Barcelona. Since this can hardly be implemented nowadays, Strict recommendation to prevent at least children under the age of twelve from owning a mobile phone.
Then the parents should be clear about the needs that need to be met by giving the child a mobile phone. Is it about being able to contact the child if, for example, he is traveling alone on local public transport? In such cases, one is sufficient Cell phone without internet connectionwith which you can only make calls”, says experts at Som Connexió.
When it comes to ensuring that children do not feel excluded from their peers in the digital world, parents can also help them Present their smartphone sometimes, for example so that children can participate in chat groups of friends. However, it is always worth checking here whether the connection should actually be made via the smartphone – or whether it is possible in person without any problems. Video games, excessive use of social media or unruly web browsing should remain strictly off-limits to children.
Agreement instead of ban
From the age of twelve it is recommended to have Clearly regulate mobile phone useTo discuss times and circumstances with the children in advance – and Keep agreements in writing. Where can the smartphone be used? not why? Special monitoring programs for parents can help check whether children are sticking to agreements. However, the most important is Open communication with children. Rather than simply banning it, it makes more sense to clearly explain the risks to young people and make suggestions together to avoid them.
Specifically, Som Connexió advises children aged 12-15 to use their smartphone for a maximum of 30 minutes per day in a closed WLAN – that is Not shortly after waking up, not shortly before bed, not while turning on the TV or while eating. Parents should also be close at first and never leave the child alone with the device. Step by step, conditions can then be made more relaxed.
Privacy step by step
From about the age of 15, according to the recommendation, usage times can be increased to one and a half hours on weekdays and three hours a day on weekends. A certain degree of digital privacy must also be granted. However, it is important to keep talking to young people about what they do with their smartphones. The same applies here: open communication is more important than authoritarian taboos.
From the age of 18, it makes sense to sign a mobile phone contract in the name of the offspring to give them a sense of responsibility. He must also be able to make his own decision when choosing a tariff.
Detailed information about bit.ly/HandyRat