Saturday, February 7, 2015

3 Tips for Gifting Tech to Children

A huge question amongst parents is whether or not buying technology for kids and teenagers, especially mobile phones, is a smart move.
An iPod he got for Christmas
While the thought of being able to keep in touch with your kids at anytime is very appealing to most families, your child owning a personal smartphone can open doors to many issues on the parenting front.

If buying the latest iPhone for your kid is something you have considered doing, here are some important tips to keep in mind.

1) Open Lines of Communication
           
Smart devices, quite literally, put the world at your fingertips. This can prove tremendously beneficial for young curious children, but unrestrained access to the ‘world wide web’ can expose younger kids and teens to a darker side of the world that they aren’t quite ready for yet. Sit down and have a chat about inappropriate versus appropriate content, and the consequences of seeking out the former.


2) Be Aware of Cyber Bullying

With over half of teens reporting being the victim of cyber bullying, the chances that your child will encounter incidences of either being victimized by, or even perpetrating bullying online are quite high. Familiarize yourself with the signs of bullying before buying your child a phone, tablet or computer.

3)  Set Reasonable Limitations

Ownership of a personal phone, computer or tablet is a huge privilege, and should be treated as such. 24/7 access to messaging, applications and texting can be a recipe for disaster for kids and especially teens, who will often forego hours of sleep to chat with friends or play games. The AAP recommends no more than 2 hours a day of ‘screen time’ for kids and teens alike, so it’s important that you don’t permit excessive use. Use the application OurPact to set time limits on your childs iOS devices (iPhones, iPods, iPads). From your own personal device, you can easily schedule times that internet is available on your child or teens device, and block internet and applications at a touch. A simple, free and essential application for parents :).
Enjoying the games

What other tips do you have for parents to keep in mind when buying children and teens phones or technology as a gift? Share below!

26 comments:

  1. Not this time, perhaps 3 years from now. But I like your tips specially the 3rd one.

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  2. I don't really have much for tips. I do however thing some technology is okay for kids if they're learning from it. My daughters learn a lot that from the computer I let them use. I only let them play learning games so that they'll actually be able to learn. Although I do try to have others get them something that will make them active as I think it's a lot better that way.

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  3. That is a hard one and only a parent will know their own children and just how far that child will try to push the limits. I agree with children having cell phones in this day and age so everyone can keep in touch--but a smart phone--I'm just not sure.

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  4. I am not sure if I will buy my kids there own cellphone. My son is already had trouble with cellphone. He does not own one.

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  5. My teen went through a brief period of cyber-bullying on her phone. It hurts as much as face-to-face, and it's not something we thought of when we agreed to let her have the phone (it was a gift from another family member). I'm glad you brought it up.

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  6. Haven't heard of OurPact until now. Our son plays with his iPod a lot. I think we need to have that app. I'll be checking on that, for sure!

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  7. My parents would always set us limitations on our tech usage. My mom would not let use our gadgets unless we're done with the household chores and assignments.

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing your tips. I was worried when my daughter and SIL bought the grands cell phones at an early age, 9 & 10, but they've been really responsible with them and I followed suit and bought them tablets so we can connect online.

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  9. Setting limitation and being aware of cyber bullying is such an important factor. Thanks.

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  10. I set rules for my kids they love technology but my son has to get on the computer in front of me or near me so I can monitor his youtube usage and my daughter has a limited amount of tv that she can watch.

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  11. very god and nforaive post. i agree with all ur point and sugestins. thank u very much for sharing (brook)

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  12. I worry about my kids and technology these days! We have very strict rules on our technology and that the kids are allowed to do.

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  13. I'm the sort of parent who won't give her child any tech until their teenage years, I want him to have a normal childhood. I didn't get my first mobile til I was 12 and computer until I was 14 and the world seemed a much simpler and safer place back then.

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  14. We followed similar principles when computer became accessible to children. We definitely had to make sure and set some restrictions.

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  15. Those are amazing tips. It is important to introduce technology slowly and set limitations

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  16. Despite the current trends pit there I think my kids first phones will be dummy phones. I'm sure they will be unpopular amongst friends, but they have access to iPads here at home and I can control the content on those. Smartphones for kids just kind of scare me.

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  17. One of the first things that comes to mind is security. How can I protect their information, oversharing, the safety of apps, etc.

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  18. My kids are still under age 8 so we haven't delved into this too far yet, but our oldest did get his first video game at Christmas. We gave him the opportunity to save for it so he felt the ownership and responsibility of it. His game time is always connected to him helping out around the house, and he has a very strict time limit. I think you've got great advice for phones and computers.

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  19. This is a great post! I am always worried about cyberbullying and how to stop it!

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  20. Was an good post I enjoyed reading today as I do think worldwide, we can always learn something new every day!

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  21. My sister gave her old phone to Ykaie but she's onlu using it for selfies..LOL!

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  22. The inter-webs are scary. My younger sister was cyber-bullied but still refused to delete the girl on Facebook. Believe it or not?! I was 16 when the internet started hitting big time and I remember the importance or identifying who was cool to chat to and who I should have kept away from.

    Crystal recently posted: Why you should go to Cuba Right Now

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  23. In such a tech savvy society, I think it is important that kids learn this stuff early. But limits are important.

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  24. My Hubby and I are really discerning when it comes to the technology and apps our kid uses. Yes, we may be strict, but it's been helpful because she enjoys the 'real time' interaction.

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  25. It will be awhile before I let my children get a phone of their own. I'll definitely have to keep these tips in mind down the road! :)

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  26. Great tips! We've had to bridge the phone gap with our oldest already. Not looking forward to the others catching up.

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It's always a pleasure to read what you have to say! Thank you!

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