Delaying Your Child’s Smartphone Usage

girl engross in the content of the mobile phones
It is a fact that kids do not have the maturity and perspective to manage constant temptation and the social pressures that come with 24/7 connectivity—so the longer parents can delay the first smartphone, the thinking goes, the better off kids will be.
When I was researching this story, a friend messaged and said he had gotten advice to hold off as long as possible, because the phone “turns them into different people.” But what if most of your child’s peers have smartphones and your child is the only one without? You don’t want them to be totally out of step with their peers.
The good news: Some parents are managing it—waiting to buy smartphones for their children until eighth grade or later, and their kids aren’t pariahs. I spoke to a few parents who have successfully managed to delay for their best tactical advice.
Let’s be honest here: it’s not just children who are glued to their devices. If you’re hunched over your device rather than fully participating in conversations or non-digital activities with your family, what are your kids supposed to think about the relative value of a smartphone versus a book or a fishing rod or a paintbrush? If children see that adults can’t get through a restaurant meal or a camping weekend without digital input, they won’t learn how to do so either (or even believe that’s valuable). Therefore, cyber wellness is important not only for young kids but adult as well.
Don’t Totally Deprive Them of Electronics 
No smartphone doesn’t mean no digital experiences at all. Allow them to engage on the iPad on weekday mornings before breakfast and after dinner. In between, they have to entertain themselves as well. It would be a good exposure for them to learn about the online world.
Encourage Real Life, Fun Activities
Keep them active, get them to be physical and creative. Imagination is an important part of growing up. Be outside with your children, encourage outdoor things like jumping from high places into water or being with their friends on a river. Take walks every week. Make them do sports. Have conversations with them every night during dinner. Teach them about healthy food versus treats, explore with them their taste buds.
Ultimately kids are going to make their own decisions, just as adults do, and sometimes that decision is going to be to hibernate and stare at a screen.