Delay, Delay, Delay
Push off getting the phone as long as you think you can. Then, push off allowing social media as long as you think you can. Parents don’t often say “I wish they would have had Snapchat sooner” but will often say, “I wish I would have waited to allow that.”
Phones, social media and video games cause a spike in dopamine deep inside the child’s brain. Those spikes pull your attention (adults too!) like a magnet making other tasks seem a lot more difficult. As your child’s brain matures, they will be able to better monitor where their attention is placed. When you fight with your child about this technology, you are fighting dopamine!
Threats of Kidnapping
Parents tend to over-worry about safety concerns, like kidnapping, that they think about in making this decision. Parents UNDERESTIMATE the dangers that come with smartphones and social media.
A Common Sense Media survey of teenage girls in March found that 60% had been contacted through social media by a stranger that made them uncomfortable. The same survey found that 12-15% saw information related to suicide on a daily basis.
Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok declined offers to be a part of this article.
Smartphones are a double-edged sword: They give parents peace of mind to know they can contact their child, or vice versa, while they are apart from each other, but they also pose real threats to our children. As parents, we try to never disappoint our children, so we must be constantly engaged in the activity taking place on the device should a smartphone be given to a child.