I mean children and mobile phones, especially smartphones. I find that quite a bit.
My children got a mobile phone at a very young age, just to call. No smartphone and that was a conscious choice.
We have no telephone connection at home for years. I have my mobile phone and that's it. That is why it was important that there was also a possibility for the children to call. In emergencies for example.
Four telephone numbers
There were four telephone numbers, from me, from dad, from grandpa and grandma, and that was it. They knew how to call them in an emergency. You can not exchange phone numbers with friends or girlfriends yet. That was, for example, to prevent them from chasing their prepaid credit and the costs would become too high.
A bridge too far
I thought that a smartphone was a bridge too far. Free internet access is not something that is suitable for young children. When they were allowed to access the internet at home on the internet, there was a parent control, to prevent them from surfing on pages where they had nothing to look for, and I sat next to them and regularly watched.
With growing up you slowly give them some more space to use the computer more independently, but the parent control still does its job and you sometimes take a look. News reports are also discussed at home that relate to Internet crime. Just as a warning. They seem to understand that, but in practice they seem to understand very little about it.
No good parent control
There is no good parent control for a smartphone. There are a number of apps in circulation, but easy to get around. The children are not stupid either, they grew up with those things and sometimes they see it even better than mothers how you can circumvent something.
That's why I did not want to give them a smartphone at a young age. I had the appointment here for 13 years and even that I think is still quite young. However, when the eldest went to secondary school for 12 years, a smartphone proved to be necessary. They had to have a smartphone to join the group app for the class and even more of that kind of thing. Actually ridiculous that school can force things like that. It is not safe!
The youngest was meanwhile bullied, because she did not have a smartphone yet. The social pressure to have a smartphone is great. I think parents do not realize this when they give their children a smartphone at a young age. It becomes standard and something that becomes a norm becomes difficult for other people not to participate.
Socially you are out, but not alone. Companies are also increasingly adjusting their products to those standards. Very quickly that kind of luxury products are no longer luxury, but necessity.
Even the ANWB removes the emergency telephones along the motorways, the telephone booths disappear, parking machines are being placed further apart, ATM machines are disappearing, letters are almost no longer sent by post, TNT mailboxes are being placed further apart. The banks want you to use their app to make transfers. In itself it is very nice that it is possible, but it is therefore no longer a luxury product. It is necessary, even for people with little money. Also for people with children with little money, because the schools force the use of a smartphone. Not only the schools, but also children among themselves. On pain of bullying and exclusion. These are not very severe punishments? For not having a smartphone?
In the meantime, it is not the case that these children can deal very well with the internet freedoms. From the children I hear that classmates are looking for porn on the phone. We are talking about children aged 12 to 13 years! I'm not against porn, but those kids are too young for that. Besides porn, they also look for other fierce matters that are not meant for their eyes. They also do cyber bullying, gossip about classmates in group apps and send videos and photos to bully other children. Sometimes there are even nude photos on the internet of underage children. Adults who pretend to be a child behind the keys and seduce your child. In some cases this makes the news and children are driven to suicide. It runs out of the spools. It literally costs lives.
So it's not all that good with the free access to the internet with our children. Reason enough to keep your children away from it until they are big enough.
Dangers of the internet
They do not understand much of the dangers of the Internet yet and I see that in my own children too. They are very well informed and warned here. Not 1x, not 2x, but so often they say: "Yes, mom, now we know, we're not stupid though!"
And then still encounter things that can not go through the braces. Giving personal information in a chat with someone they have not yet met, for example. Yes, I still watch now and then and that is necessary at this age. Privacy is also important, but their safety is a bit more important and I let the reins get a little more and if I have to, I get them back on.
Making movies on music.ly where you can put very big question marks. In other words, do not understand what it actually means on the Word Wide Web, despite all warnings. Despite all the attention that is here at home for how to use the internet safely.
Despite all the news that you let them read over and over again of what can go wrong and how much can go wrong. It does not get through to them.
Idle and impulsive things
And that is not surprising, because they are still young. Their brains are not yet fully grown. Adolescents do ill-considered and impulsive things, which they seem very nice at that moment. What they think it is possible that it can not do any harm, because they simply can not properly understand what the consequences may be. They simply do not put the link to your warnings. When I ask them about the how and why and the link to my warnings, they are very scared. They do not understand it either. The eldest even pushed the mobile phone in my hands a number of times. "Here you keep it with your mom." Then, when the freedom was given, the mistake was to go wrong again in the same way.
Then they are still open to me here and I hear what happens to other children on the mobile phones that the parents do not know about and then I really wonder what we are doing? What exactly are we stimulating? Without a good parent control it is not convenient that these young children go to the internet.
Last but not least, they are very passive. Time goes quickly behind such a thing and you are no longer bored. You are therefore not encouraged to start doing things. Boredom encourages you to do something. They no longer play outside, but hang in behind the mobile. At that age I was outside as much as possible! Nowadays the mobile phone is returned at home here. He can only be used when they are at school and when they have to leave. Strict? Maybe, but let me be even strict. If they are ready, they will get the freedom.