My 8 year old has recently started asking for a cell phone. There really is no reason that she wants one other than being like her older siblings. My son has a phone, but as a senior in high school, it’s almost a requirement to have a phone. He is always needing to coordinate with me, especially since his schedule is just so hectic.
I was compensated in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.
Now it seems like kids younger and younger have cell phones. It’s common place to see them being used by elementary school students.
Here are 5 Facts You Did not Know About Kids Cell Phone Use:
If you take a look around a group of preteens or teens, their faces are usually buried in their cell phones. That’s because 1 in every 3 teens sends more than 100 texts a day, adding up to more than 3,000 texts a month.
First Cell Phone
The debate seems to start early as kids seem to ask for a cell phone earlier and earlier. But, on average, kids are usually around 12 years old when they get their first phone. Although they may not have their own phones, over 20 percent of kids under the age of 8 know how to use their parents cell phones. I know this is true, my 5 year old can call her Dad using my phone with no issues.
Cell phones are often the only way that kids can access the internet. Kids use their phones to post on social media, watch movies, play games…basically to combat boredom. Strangely enough though, girls are the majority of mostly using their cell for the internet usage.
Safety is always the number one concern with parents. We seem to constantly hear about cyber bullying and internet predators attacking children using the internet. We want our kids to be safe, and it’s scary to think that almost 70 of youth admit to hiding their online activities. Cyberbullying impacts at least one out of every five middle and high school students, but many who experience it, don’t tell anyone, experts say.
Although cell phones were made for communication, with the invention of smart phones, cell phones can do so many amazing things. The number one thing kids use their cell phones for is taking pictures. Kids seem to document everything about their lives, and having access to a great camera…literally in their pockets. But, having these great devices at the tips of their fingers can also lead to an amazing over use of their devices. Before you know it, kids are spending more time with their screen instead of the real world. Researchers have concluded that excessive use of Cell phones can have many negative impacts on kids. One study has concluded that excessive screen time for kids results in anxiety, sleeplessness and depression. It also results in lower grades and unhappiness among kids.
But, with amazing advances in technology, parents can really keep on top of their kids and take control of both their usage and safety.
Trackidz is a great solution for parents that want to put some parental controls in place, as well as keep an eye out for potential cyberbullying incidents. Trackidz is an app you install on your child’s device, and then you would download Trackidz Dashboard on your device and login using the same credentials that you had used when you signed up for Trackidz on your child’s device.
After you are all set up to go, you can use the Trackidz Dashboard to access:
- Total time kids are spending on their apps, including messaging and calling (and ability to set limits or block app if they spend too much time on it.
- Usage on both wifi and network
- Real time update so you can see exactly when your child started playing a game
- Find out what websites your child has visited that week
- “Weekly Device Usage” shows you the total device usage in the current week and previous 5 weeks. (This feature is very helpful to know the device usage pattern of your child and if there is any sudden increase or drop in his weekly usage. This feature helps in proactively detecting if the child is showing Bullying especially Cyber-Bullying symptoms, since The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) reports about Cyber-Bullying, “The biggest red flag is a withdrawal from technology. If you notice a sudden change in computer or phone usage, talk to the child. They may be being cyber bullied.”) Even if parents fail to notice such a change, Trackidz will not as it constantly monitors weekly usage of the child and it would send an email to parents if it detects any significant change in the current week’s usage of your child.
Trackidz is really cool way to keep track of what your children are looking at. I absolutely love that you can block and limit usage to the apps your children visit. It’s great to have some control over how long they are spending on certains apps and sites. The apps are incredibly user friendly, so even if you aren’t techno-savy, you won’t have any trouble navigating what you need on Trackidz. Having the ability to create Block Schedules for times when they don’t want their kids to use their devices, for example for Bed Time, Dinner Time, School Time is absolutely cool. The Block Schedules can be created for all activities or selectively for Apps, Messaging or Browsing. Trackidz Dashboard also displays all new Apps that the child downloaded in any week, so the parents can always be on top of which App the child is downloading and using. I can’t wait until the apps are available across all devices!
Trackidz and the Trackidz Dashboard are available to download for free on Google Play. Keep an eye out for the iOS version in the future!