Smartphone yes or smartphone no? This is the question that many mothers daily face before the increasingly insistent demands of their children, actually children well below the age of 14. Let's put it all out there. On the one hand, the cell phone gives a mother a sense of security and peace of mind. It is useful, for example, to contact and track down your child at any time of the day, to know how he is or where he is. A smartphone in a child's pocket significantly lowers the parents’ natural anxiety threshold.
On the other hand, however, it is also true that many mothers are worried and even scared. The risks are many: being contacted and enticed by strangers and malicious people on social media or viewing violent, inappropriate, or otherwise extreme content. In short, the pros and cons are numerous. But let us not be paralyzed by doubts. It is advisable to start to educate one’s children about the correct use of technology, without alarmism, but with common sense and practical wisdom.
We offer you 10 rules — the best practical advice we have gathered for you on the web — to explain to your children how to use technology correctly and stay away from the dangers, even physical, for the reassurance and peace of mind of all mothers.
1. If the phone rings, always answer. You never ignore a call if "mom" or "dad" appears on the screen.
2. Never forget propriety and good manners. Always reply kindly on the phone and limit the impulse to continually check the phone while at the table, when you are studying, or while speaking to someone. The first to set a good example, in this case, we should be our parents.
3. What password do you use? Make sure that your children always leave you with all the passwords of the various websites they access. This rule should not be imposed, but shared as to build a relationship of trust and mutual respect. If you subscribe to various social media and forums, it would be better to do it together to avoid the unwary release of sensitive personal data.
4. Never send or receive photos that portray intimate parts. It is called sexting and is one of the most widespread practices among adolescents and, no doubt, among the most feared by parents. This rule must be explained well and openly: an improper image shared on WhatsApp or on social networks immediately becomes public domain. It will become very difficult to erase it from the Web, risking ruining a child's reputation forever.
5. Do not use a mobile phone to lie, make fun of someone, deceive, or talk badly about others. Basically, don’t do or say to others what you wouldn’t want done to or said about you. Do not take part in conversations that could harm other people. Be a good friend, before all else. If you do not know what to do, avoid participating in malicious conversation and stay away from trouble. In this way you will help your children to recognize cases of cyber bullying and to find the courage to talk about it if they become victims.
6. No cell phone after 9 p.m. Unfortunately, keeping the cell phone on your bedside table is a widespread and harmful practice because in addition to depriving us of precious hours of sleep, it can cause insomnia, concentration disorders, and loss of memory.
7. On the Internet, look up only that which you could then tell me about. And if you have questions about any topic, ask it directly to your parents. They have been there before, and they will surely know how to understand you and find the right words to explain themselves.
8. Change ear often. When you talk on the phone, alternate the phone call with both ears. You will reduce the effects of overheating caused by electromagnetic waves that could damage your eardrums and be an early cause of deafness. If possible, make short calls.
9. Do not keep the phone in the chest pocket. In general, it is always good to avoid keeping your smartphone in direct contact with your body to avoid electromagnetic waves. Finally remember: keep the phone away from the head while dialing the number. It is the moment when it works at maximum power and emits more waves.
10. Turn off the Wi-Fi at night or when you are not using it.
You will avoid useless radiation.
Finally, a last rule, not written, but perhaps the most important of all: "we could take away your phone one day. Then we'll sit and talk. We will reach an agreement and start from the beginning. Dad and I are learning every day, just like you.”