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How Young is too young for a mobile?Today’s children are growing in a world of technology. They can operate a touch screen phone before they learn to speak! Mobile phones are no longer a luxury but a necessity. But make sure you make some rules so that your children don’t misuse the gadget. Here’s what you need to know:
 
It is predicted that by 2013, India’s teledensity will rise to a staggering 75 per cent and a colossal 1.159 billion people will have mobiles. With this wave sweeping across the country, how can kids be left behind? Now children as young as 6-7 years expect their parents to present them a mobile phone. While it gives a security that you can call them anytime to know their whereabouts, it also gives far too much freedom to your child. Young is too young for a mobile. So before buying a mobile consider the following things:
  • EXPENSE

Mobile phones, nowadays, are priced according to the market (there is something for everyone). Buying a mobile is not a problem, it is the bills or recharges that is an extra expenditure. Also with children the chances of theft or misplacing it are higher. We suggest buy a trendy mobile and the cheapest one at that! Never buy your child a very expensive phone as children tend to mishandle their phones often which makes them prone to breakage.

  • PRIVACY

Privacy is a very important matter. While it will be easy to contact your child but remember other (read: unwanted) people can also contact them. Always check the mobile phone every now and then to see the calls list. Your child may call you a nosy parent but tell them either you get to keep a check or they do not get a mobile.

  • SEXTING

Too young for Mobile

Sexting or sex texting is very common among adolescents. Jokes and sexual innuendos are often exchanged within the comfort of knowing that mobile is a personal mode of communication. Make your child aware that sextexts can be used against him/her.

  • PHOTOS

While exchanging photos might be fun it can have dangerous repercussions. Tell your child about blackmailing and that they should never send semi-nude pictures to any friends.

  • SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is the lifeline of many children. Phones allow you to log in to social media websites round the clock, and most children stay glued to see updates from their friends and keep commenting on them. This can make your child distracted and an addict to social media. Unfortunately there is little you can do. Yes, you can keep a watch but cannot stop them from checking it out.

How Young is too young for a cell phone?

  •  SCHOOL

Ensure that you take your child’s mobile from him when he goes to school. Most schools in India have a strict policy against carrying cell phones to school. However, if for some reason you fell that its important for you to contact your child, ask the teacher if you can call them. But restrict those calls to emergency situations only.

  • TIMINGS

The best way to stop your child from treating a mobile as a life line is to restrict the number of hours he can use his mobile phone. Ideally, give the mobile to your child whenever he steps out and take it back when he returns home.

  • GAMES

Most children become gaming geeks as a mobile offers many gaming options. But playing non-stop on the mobile is as unhealthy as watching TV. Don’t allow your child to get addicted to mobile gaming.

Discuss these with your child before buying him a phone. It will be easier for your child to understand that a mobile is for his safety not a gadget to show off.

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