Do you need a smartphone from elementary school?

“MineAll my friends have one! A The argument that the schoolboy made to get his dream phone is not necessarily objectionable, since he was about 10 years old when he first got his first smartphone in France. If counter-argument forces well-practiced parents (“If all your friends ate dog feces, what would you do?” A), It does not cut into the inevitable question, one time or another: your child should be given a mobile phone and if so, when?

What to do?

Thomas Rohma, founder of the Observatory of Parenthood and Digital Education (OPEN), declined to recommend a specific age for parents: “It depends a lot on the structure of the family, the maturity of the child …” “When?” The question is, “What does this digital education expert like?” “If it’s just a question of being able to reach the child, for example because he’s going to karate alone, or his parents are separated, a simple mobile phone strategy can do that. Because the smartphone, Thomas Rohmer reminds us, a. “Powerful instrument” Which provides internet access, where“We can do great things, but also big stupid things.”.

→ Investigation. How young people find their impact in “information chaos”

A recent survey, conducted for the Open and the National Union of Family Associations (1), indicates that parents and children recognize the dilemma of this tool. For those surveyed, digital technology entertains, exposes knowledge, arouses curiosity, maintains family and friendly bonds … but it also exposes people to addiction, cyber bullying, pornography … Thus, 40% of the children in question say That they have faced traumatic content, when 31% of parents believe that their children have been exposed.

“We must rely on dialogue and trust.”

The law that now requires pre-installation of a parental control device on the connected device will undoubtedly help young Internet users to benefit more from the good aspects of digital technology. “But children quickly learn how to overcome such obstacles. The father of two college students observed Julian. It is better to rely on dialogue and trust. A

→ Testimonials. Parental control: “One day he will realize that this is for his own good.”

And that’s where, sometimes, the shoe pinches … The study underlines a significant discrepancy between parental representation and children’s practice. For 7-10 year olds, parents underestimate the amount of time they spend on smartphones (37 minutes according to them, 1 hour 26 according to kids) as well as the activities they practice. For example, 74% of 7-10 year olds say they watch movies on the Internet, while 37% of parents think so.

Adults also reduce the use of online series watching, social networks, video games, but at the same time parents usually have more valuable occupations such as reading books on the Internet or listening to podcasts. Lack of knowledge is especially associated with the fact that many children are left alone in front of the screen, while 83% of parents think that digital makes it easier for them to grab. At the beginning of 2020 this number was 72% (2). It reflects the effects of a health crisis that has seen all digital use explode, forcing many adults to work while caring for their children …

Moment to share

Still. The founder of Open Note a “Children lack interest in digital practice. Kiljay without the game! “ Thomas Rohmar encourages parents to take an interest in their children’s favorite YouTube channel, video games … “The other day, a father told me that his son did not have twenty minutes to sit next to him to watch the game. Fortnite. In that case it would be better to take a goldfish! He shouted. Yes, these are limitations, yes, it takes time, but we owe it to our children! A

Maintenance. “Adolescents first use the screen to decompress”

Sharing the entry moments of a smartphone into a child’s daily life can also provide an opportunity for education. Julian takes time with his daughter to prepare for the arrival of the famous telephone. “When we use together, we discuss the rules for defining, but also the protection of personal data or the environmental impact of digital technology”, He lists.

Giving a screen to one’s child ultimately calls parents into question about their educational practice, when it comes to dialogue, control, possibly denial or prohibition. Even in their digital use, when 77% of parents (and 62% of children!) Believe they spend too much time on screen. Decorated from CE1, Andréa watches cartoons on YouTube and choreography on TikTok. But sometimes I get annoyed on the phone, Small brunette note. So I stop, and I draw. A In fact, for children and parents, there is a whole life outside the screen: drawing, reading, walking, playing, changing the water of the golden fish …

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