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Feb08

6 Pieces of Advice for Children to Make Good Use of Cell Phones

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Cell Phones
 Photo: I. Alix

The positive and negative effects of over-connection are two heads of the same coin. The Digital Age is hiding great potential but crossing the fragile and thin line that separates both realities is so easy that it could potentially become our enemy.

Here I will leave you with some recommendations to help our little ones develop good use of cell phones.

First, teach your child about cell phone use! Before they start using one it is necessary that they:

  • Understand the benefits and the risks that come with it.
  • Agree to the rules of use: schedule, bills, passwords…
  • Learn to use social media correctly (don’t talk to strangers, don’t share or upload photos or personal information, don’t harass or bother other children…).
  • Parents also have to respect their child’s personal space by limiting themselves to making sure they have good habits without invading their privacy.
Advice for children to make good use of cell phones:
  1. When? 13 years old is the age recommended by experts to buy the first cell phone so long as the child has displayed a good degree of responsibility, maturity, good habits, and respect for social norms. Before this age cell phone use should be limited and controlled by parents.
  2. Discover educational apps. The application market offers a wide variety of possibilities adapted to ages and areas you would like to train, such as attention, concentration, numerical calculation, language, reasoning, etc.
  3. Limited time to eliminate dependency. Use should be restricted, for example, they should not be using their cell phone during school hours or at night.
  4. Cell phone parking. Create a space at home where they can put down their phone at specific points during the day (meal times, family time, at night, when doing homework, family visits at home). Remember that they will follow your example.
  5. Be careful! Excessive cell phone use can lead to secondary problems like addiction to new technologies, anxiety, poor performance at school, obesity, vision or sleep problems, among others.
  6. Unplug your cell phone and connect to your life! Show and encourage your child to live in the present, without depending on their phone, by showing that face to face relationships continue to be more rewarding.

“Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.” Steve Jobs

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