How to teach children to effectively use smartphones

2017.01.11

Allowing children to use games and apps often leads to them asking to borrow your smartphone frequently. It is worrisome when they become so engaged in the smartphone they have trouble letting it go which will lead them to have bad habits when they get older. However, in today’s society where schools are implementing the use of tablets, it is not appropriate to prohibit your child from using the technology at all. In this article, we will introduce some problems that occur in regards to smartphone use among children and how parents can try to prevent their children from getting into bad habits.

Create rules regarding their smartphone use

Many families limit the amount of TV time their children have and require them to turn off the TV while eating breakfast and dinner. It is important to create similar rules for smartphone use. When eating, it is important to focus on the food and conversation so smartphones should not be allowed at the table. Also, using the smartphone before bed can interfere with the sleeping hormone so it is best to only allow smartphone use during the day in the living room.

The number of children with decreased vision is increasing

Smartphone use is being added to TV and Game use as a main reason for decreased vision among children. According to the Ministry of Education, in a 2015 survey of schools 30.9% of elementary children has less than 1.0 uncorrected eyesight, and the % for middle and high school students reached more than 50%. The number of kindergarteners with poor vision is also increasing and many experts blame the use of smartphones and games for these numbers. Many children hold the smartphone screen too close to their eyes. It is important that children take breaks and only use the smartphone in bright areas.

High credit card sales trouble

Financial trouble caused by small children to middle and high school children purchasing apps is increasing. Research shows that 5,000 cases each year exist due to online gaming. Some parents have received a bill of 150,000 yen from the game company. To prevent this from happening, it is important that parent control is set into place and children do not have access to their parents’ credit cards and that the credit card information is not saved on the smart phone.

Be careful about downloads

It is important that parents control what apps their children can download. Some apps and games that can be easily downloaded lead to high data transmission fees and/or have content that should not be in the hands of young children. Some even contain spyware and viruses. Depending on the brand of the phone, parents can often set that a password is required to download and set a filtering system to limit the apps that children can access. Parents should use these functionalities when possible.

As adults, we find our smartphones really convenient but it is important that we are careful with our use of them, especially around our children. When dealing with younger children, it is not only social manners and health issues that need to be taken into consideration. If we are not careful, we may end up with a very high bill, computer viruses and many other problems. All children in our current society with be using smartphones and tablets in the future so it is important to teach them the correct way to use them as soon as possible.

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