6 Reasons to hold off Gifting your child a phone

no cell phone- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Today, as young as the tweenage (Pre-teen), youngsters start asking when they would be getting a cell phone. “All my friends have one” they whine and they can rattle off a string of reasons why getting a cell phone is absolutely critical for them.  But before you consider delighting them with a phone for their next birthday, here are a few reasons why you should hold off on that cell phone gift.

1. Radiation: Some studies have shown that there could be radiation from cell phones that impact the brain. Even though there is not yet conclusive evidence, we just do not have enough long term data to rule it out.

2. Staying up: Children tend to stay up late texting friends and losing out on valuable sleep. This impacts their day to day lives and their activities. They wake up grumpy and tired and are not well rested. It even impacts their appetite.

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3. Cyber bullying: Cyber Bullying is a very real threat today. With many cases reported about teen suicide as a result of cyber bullying, parents can never be too safe on this issue.

4. Social Media abuse: Teenagers are susceptible to hormonal swings which can lead to brash impulsive behaviour having long lasting consequences. Pictures on Instagram, Facebook and other social media sites can be shared and circulated out of control.

5. Disengagement: Children with hand held devices tend to disconnect from the outside world. Teenagers as such have a tendency to withdraw from family interactions and hand held devices make it worse  as they completely get absorbed into it and stop interacting with family. This distances them further.

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6. Lose the ability to enjoy the world: It has become common during many of our family drives to places, for children to be completely disinterested in the scenery outside. They are glued to their electronics. When children get phones this becomes more pronounced. Wherever they are or whatever they do, it becomes about the device and they do not look around and enjoy the present. They are consumed by the virtual world and lose the ability to enjoy the real world.

As bizarre as it sounds, UK has Tech detox programs and Japan now has tech rehab centres to help children recover from internet addiction after they found that 8% of children showed symptoms such as insomnia, depression and even deep vein thrombosis. While this might seem like a little extreme for us right now, if left un-curbed, these are very real possibilities that are happening worldwide with the digital invasion in our lives. So, let us be very conscious about the decisions we make for our children regarding the allowing of technology into their lives.

Click here to read when to give a cell phone to your children.

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