While it seems like everyone has a smartphone today, determining if your child is ready for one is about gauging their understanding of the rules, experts say.
According to Cleveland Clinic Children’s child psychiatrist Dr. Joe Austerman, a child should be educated on the dangers of smartphone use while also being taught how to work through such issues so they know the appropriate rules of interaction.
Children under 10 should not have a smartphone, Austerman said. In addition, he or she should be mature enough to understand the dangers of cyberbullying and predators, along with the responsibility.
Austerman advises that parents make a contract with their child that spells out the responsibilities and repercussions of inappropriate behavior, and should lead by example.
“I always say to parents monitor, monitor, monitor and be engaged with your child so that he or she feels comfortable talking to you if there are problems with the handheld device,” Austerman said in a news release.
Austerman added that parents should set up parental controls on their child’s phone— if your child is not okay with it, they should not have the phone.