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A Mom Navigating Life

Kids Lead The Way

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: July 27, 2013 | Categories: Children, Gadgets, Guest Posts, Internet, Parenting, Technology

Guest Post

teens and cell phonesImage Source

There is no doubt that technology dictates our lives these days. Kids are leading the way.

Consumers Ofcom continue to assess how we use technology and their report last year will fuel criticism. It seems young children are introduced to technology at a very early age and some are concerned about how this affects the ability to interact socially.

Pre-schoolers

It’s no wonder adults often refer to their kids for technology help. Our youngsters start their technology education at a very early age. A third of 4 – 5 year olds are already familiar with the internet before they get to school. They access it via PCs, laptops and tablets.

Most are familiar with Smartphones often pacified in adult surroundings by access to a parent’s phone to play games.

Over fives

Scarily almost 50% of children aged between 5 – 15 had a social networking profile. Even though many sites don’t allow access until kids are 13 or more i.e. Facebook.

It increases to 80% in 12 to 15 category with profiles. They have an average of 280 ‘friends’, 25% of whom they’ve never met! Much of their social networking is connected via their Smartphones of course.

Teenagers

In the 12 – 15 age bracket, about 66% have their own Smartphones. This allows them to access the Internet at all times and is reflected in access rising by 40% (2011 – 2012).

Note: Kids under the age of 18 cannot take out a mobile phone contract or phone insurance but their parents can do it on their behalf.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that teenagers send the most texts – they’re always on their phones right? Girls in this age group send an amazing 32 a day on average. Boys are a little more constrained sending an average of 23 texts every day. About 40% of kids in this age group already claim that their mobile phone is the thing they’d miss most if they had to give up any technological device.

Parents

Without going into parental control issues, we wanted to make sure that everything is in place to keep costs for parents down! Once your youngsters have got used to having a Smartphone you will never hear the last of it if it gets damaged or lost. They won’t be able to function without it! Accidents can and do happen so you need to make sure you have insurance in place.

Mum or Dad can take out insurance on their kids’ phones as an additional phone on their policy. The same terms and conditions apply to your kids’ phones as to yours. You might need to impress upon them – especially the younger ones – the simple ‘rules’.

  • Treat it with care – its an expensive piece of equipment
  • Don’t leave it lying around
  • Or lend it to your friends
  • Keep it safe and always know where it is

These are good for starters and with your phone insurance in place, all should be well.

By Rob Rudd

Rob Rudd is well aware if the risks of children and social media. His 11 year old daughter has a smart phone, a table, and 2 social media accounts and it is a constant struggle to police them all.

9 Responses to Kids Lead The Way

  1. Jai says:

    I knew that kids were immersed in technology but had been wondering the extent of it. All in all I’d say this is about what I’d guessed.

  2. As I’m reading this, my 1 year old is playing with my iphone and my 4 year old is playing with her ipod touch..

  3. Jenn says:

    It’s unbelievable how our two year old can navigate our smartphones.

  4. Robin Gagnon says:

    I just switched phones and within minutes my daughter was all over the not-so-old one… She loves playing with the Windows tiles.

  5. Personally, I text quite a bit, but even moreso when I first got the capability to text.

  6. My little ones are such little techies!

  7. stefanie says:

    It is amazing what the kids know. If you can’t figure something out, ask a kid, they can show you.

  8. 50% of 5-15 year olds have a SN account? What the heck? I just don’t understand how these kids think it’s ok to friend people who don’t know them. It’s just scary.

  9. HilLesha says:

    I’m not so much of a techie anymore, but my son sure is! He sure knows how to navigate my smartphone without any help.

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