How to know if a child is ready to have their own smartphone

ABC Family



One of the most common tips given the rise of screens and electronic devices is not to give one of these devices to a child or adolescent until we see him ready to handle it. But how can we know that it is? For Sonia Martínez, psychologist and director of the Crece Bien Centers, families should take into account three aspects to evaluate this preparation:

1. If we see that he shows prudence. If, being by his side and handling our device, we see that he knows where to enter and where not to, what to accept and what not; if you know the dangers and ask before taking the initiative to participate in something you do not know.

2. If technology causes greater well-being than discomfort. «If the child uses the devices of his or her mother or father to learn, have fun, be with friends and, before, during and after use, well-being is greater than discomfort, it is because they are ready to have their smartphone. However, if there is frustration or anger at not having it on hand or at the end of the stipulated time of use and if it causes great displeasure, families should not take this step, since that means that the child is not yet ready to regulate the time to use it and not to use it as another tool “, argues the psychologist.

3. If as a family we have spent time talking about how to use it and we see that your answers are correct, that you know the risks and consequences that certain actions can have, then it is a good time to trust and buy the mobile.

For the director of these centers, this last aspect is “especially important.” In his opinion, with technology we should take the same precautions that we take before letting a child go to school alone. «In the latter case, we usually explain to our children to be careful with certain situations and we accompany them until we see them ready. With technology, however, seeing that children show great competence in the use of electronic devices, we let them use them alone, when in reality we should accompany them, since they are alone in a virtual world that they do not know and need a guide until they are ready ”, he concludes.

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