In the society we live in, technology rules all. Your child has grown up seeing you on the computer, smartphone and tablets all of their life and now they feel it’s their turn to have a little piece of this tech life. The issue is what should your child have and when? I am going to share what tech items I think are best for your child.
This is probably the most requested tech item from kids all over the world. Having a cell phone seems to be the in thing these days for kids as young as age 8. We gave our daughter one after she turned 11 and started Middle School. It was a HUGE decision for us that we are still evaluating months later! While I won’t tell you when to give your kid a cell phone, I will share a few questions to think about prior to giving into the request for a cell phone:
- Is your child responsible and mature enough for a cell phone?
- Will your child benefit from having a way to call/text parents at any time?
- Are they involved in before and after school activities?
- Does your child show signs that they can handle a cell or smartphone?
- With social media being important, how many of their friends have phones?
- Are you able to let it go that you didn’t have one until you were much older?
Each family and children is different, you will know best when the time has come that you feel comfortable handing a cell phone over to your child.
Most children are being taught in school with a laptop on their desk, it’s simply the world we reside in at this time. My daughter has a laptop for her to use when she’s in school. Most every school has a tech program and more often than not the standardized testing is completed by using a computer. When should your child have their own laptop?
- Is your child responsible enough to surf the internet safely?
- Do you have parental controls enabled so they can’t access inappropriate content?
- What does your child want a laptop for?
- Do you already own a family laptop or computer that your child can use within reason?
- Can you monitor their usage to make sure they are using it for schoolwork?
- Will they commit to making sure they continue to write and improve their handwriting despite the ubiquity of typing on devices?
Most families have a computer or laptop in the home that the child is allowed to use, which will play a huge role in whether or not you feel your child should have their own.
Your wonderful child has picked up a love of photography, and now they are begging you pretty please for their own digital camera. The good news about a digital camera is you will be able to find low end ones for beginners up to ridiculously expensive digital cameras for the advanced user. Clearly your child should start with a beginner model or in between model because you have to ensure that they will be responsible with this expensive item.
There isn’t as much to worry about when it comes to providing your child with a digital camera other than making sure you feel confident that your child is mature enough to not break it within 24 hours of owning one. Perhaps this is a nice way to ease into the tech world without having all the connectivity that goes with a phone, laptop, or tablet?
Making Your Decision
There you have it a few of the top tech items asked for by children that parents really have to think about before handing said items over. Whether or not you allow your child to have their own cell phone, laptop or digital camera really depends on what your personal beliefs are and what rules you have set forth within the household regarding this subject.
The key for us is making sure they use it correctly and within reason. You will see and likely know, they can become zombie-like, completely unresponsive and immersed in the web, apps, or social media. There are many dangers to be looked out for, too, but child protections should help alleviate that. Also, just being on top of them should be enough. We don’t let them huddle in a corner of their room and veg.
It’s a big decision, so do what you feel is right and best of luck! It’s a brave (and scary) new world!