I grew up with a Speak and Spell. That was amazing technology at the time. I never dreamed that 25 years later I would be able to work from my cell phone. Technology has allowed us to simplify our lives. With a push of the send button, we can send information without busy signals and answering machines.
The downside is that kids are very vulnerable with this fast-paced technology and don’t understand yet that the outside world is full of criminals waiting to take advantage of any opportunity.
So, when I had kids, I swore I would not let them use my cell phone, for this reason. But things quickly changed and situations came up where I decided to hand it over to them.
Here are five reasons why I let them use my cell phone.
It Keeps Them Occupied
Sometimes I just need to get the grocery shopping done. It sounds simple but while I’m going up and down the aisles, those little hands reach out to grab stuff. No matter how many times I say no, they don’t listen. And in their defense, if I was their age, I’d be curious too. So many bright colors, boxes and cans. So, I give them the phone to occupy them if I need to shop.
We Have Rules
They must ask first if they can use it. There is a time limit. No phones in the car. They can only use the educational apps already on the phone or watch YouTube Kids. No internet otherwise. I also have security passwords to keep them out of the internet. They might call someone by mistake, lol, but they won’t go on a website that’s not YouTubeKids.
I Need a Break Sometimes
I work from home and I take care of the kids. Sometimes I need a break. The kids show on T.V. needs to be turned off. The painting is done. The coloring is done. Puzzles and homework are done. They’ve been outside. They’ve eaten every snack in the house. Their bored and I’m exhausted. I set the timer and take ten minutes to myself and let them use my phone.
They Enjoy It
Most of all, they enjoy it. There are so many fun apps and YouTube videos to watch. From the time they were six months-old, my sons were watching education and nursery rhyme videos, such as this one by The Kids Club. Not only are they visually stimulating, the music is soothing and kids love nursery rhymes.
It’s All About Balance
Recently we built our own phone coop. I am on the Chick fil A mom panel 2016-17 and they challenged us to spend more time interacting as a family when eating dinner and put down the cell phones. So, we made our own coop. I used my kid’s hand prints to make superhero fish. Now we put our phones in there, even when it’s not dinnertime. There is a time and place for cell phones but there is nothing more important than spending time with your family. The kids do it all. They have school, play outside, read books, play with puzzles, spend time with their friends, but once in a while they use my phone. So I set the timer and let them at it!