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Friday, April 26, 2013

How young is too young for children to have an iphone?

iPhone 4
photo isn't mine
There is a lot of controversy in the media about what is the best age for children to have their own iPhone. For every person who says that it is OK for them to have one at 9, there are just as many people who believe that it is not OK  and that they should wait until they are 15. Really there are a lot of factors to take into account, such as the maturity of the child, what they phone will be used for, and the personal views of the parent. Every single child is different, and every circumstance is different, so there is no clear answer to the question without looking at the individual child. 

 For some parents they feel that their child is not responsible enough until they are about 15, or in high school, whichever comes first. This poses the question about when children are responsible enough to be the caretaker of a piece of technology such as an iPhone. Basically, an iPhone is a computer, so we need to think about what age we would be happy for our children to have a computer of their own. Because of the applications on an iPhone that make it possible to go on the internet, whether they are old enough to have a phone is similar to the argument about whether they are old enough to have a computer. The same threats of them running into something that might be inappropriate for a young child, still exist with the iPhone, as well as for a computer. Having said that, there are ways of putting parental controls onto the iPhone, so parents are able to ensure a level of parental control over how their child uses the it. Some ten year old children are much more mature than other ten year old children, so this might mean that they would use the iPhone more responsibly than others of the same age. 

 There is also the question of whether their friends will use it responsibly. Pressure from their peers may over-ride their mature ways of thinking in the moment and they may end up behaving in ways that they wouldn’t normally, just because they are amongst their friends. There have been stories of children taking their iPhone to sleepovers and their friends using up all their credit in the one night. This is a risk that could be avoided through using suitable parental controls. 

 On the upside, the child can also enjoy the benefit of having something that is personal to them. With Vistaprint’s iphone 5 covers that personalize the phone specifically to the person, the iPhone can become an extension of the child's personality and allow them to express their personality in a way that is unique for them. The child can choose a picture that they love and have it as a cover on their phone, which would give them an extra incentive to keep it safe and look after it.

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Victorious Smile!

She won an international smile contest for the month of October 2009. This contest was sponsored by Division of Pediatric Dentistry, Department of Oral Health Sciences, University of British Columbia, Canada.

God bless y'all!