Children learn by example so it is no wonder that almost every toddler will become entranced with his mummy’s mobile phone. This is made even truer if you happen to spend a lot of time on your phone. While many new parents vow to never let their children touch a mobile phone, computer or even television, often we do give in sooner or later. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before handing over your iPhone or opting into a family plan for your kids.
Pretend and Play Phones
We all remember the classic Fisher Price dial up phone. Although stores still sell this colourful classic phone, most young kids will want to play with one that looks more like the real thing – the modern mobile phone. That is why toy manufacturers have made mobile phones that play music, make sounds, light up and even talk back to your child. Letting your child have a pretend phone to play with is a great learning tool but there will come a time when he learns the difference between his phone and your phone and wants yours instead.
If you are allowing your child to play with your phone, make sure you have a cover for it. This will protect it from any accidental drops. It is also a good idea to have a lock in place, especially for the App store. Turn off the App store features so your children cannot buy Apps, accidently or on purpose.
Furthermore, spend some time in the App store and look for educational games. Some of the good ones include Toddlerlock, MathBoards, Fish School HD and Intro To Letters, which will teach your children about shapes, colours, animals, letter recognition, ABC’s, writing and math skills.
One of the simple things that my toddler loves is watching movies of himself that I have taken on my phone. It teaches him about self awareness and gives me a few moments of silence while we take a trip down memory lane together.
Mobile Phones and Young Teens
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in three children between the age of 5 and 14 in Australia have a mobile phone. And no, we’re not talking about the pretend ones. The main reason why parents allow their kids to have a mobile phone is for safety and emergency situations. However, the right time to buy your child a mobile phone will depend on many factors including his or her maturity level, respect for the rules and your current financial situation.
When the time comes, a good idea is to buy a pre paid phone. That way you do not end up with a massive bill at the end of each month. Furthermore, it teaches them that once the credit is gone, then it’s gone. Hopefully they will learn to only use the phone for emergencies.
Limit the access on your child’s phone. For example, perhaps turn off the internet connection and lock the App store. You can get assistance programming your phone from any mobile phone company when you buy it.