Most parents wouldn’t let their children play alone outside until they learned some basic ground rules – look both ways before crossing the street, don’t talk to strangers, etc. The same principle should apply when allowing children to use smartphones or other connected devices.
Children are reportedly receiving their first cellphones between ages 10 and 12 these days – a period during which many children still are unprepared to cope with the freedoms and dangers created by access to the Internet without parental guidance. Although many parents may be reluctant to give their children any type of connected device, it’s important for all children to be taught about responsibility and safety in the digital realm, just as they need to be aware of safety when playing outside the house. Many parents feel more comfortable waiting until eighth grade to give kids smartphones.
If you are considering buying your child a smartphone, but are concerned about what that might mean for their safety, read the following guide. It will give you some guidelines about when your child may or may not be ready for a smartphone, and how you can help to guide their behavior online in a healthy and safe manner.
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