Parents usually work hard to raise good, polite children who are eager to help those who need it, and look to the future, but what if a smartphone turns them into a different person?

An anxious and sad person who treats others harshly or others treat him with meanness, not to mention of course his transformation into a "zombie" wandering with his mobile phone not seen, heard or spoken.

Parenting in the age of smartphones is terrifying;

So the ugly side of the digital world may delay you from giving your son his first phone, until you hear phrases like “This is the way children communicate now” and “Your daughter should be no different and the mobile phone is her way of integrating.”

And before you take the step that worries you, how do you protect your son from this dark side? 

Children's ability to communicate online instantly and continuously with little parental supervision allows the still-formed child's psyche to take off in a largely unsupervised arena.

3rd and 4th graders with phones are more likely to report cyberbullying (Getty Images)

According to research from Bridgewater State University in the United States, third and fourth graders who have phones are significantly more likely to report being cyberbullied, and the study shows that younger phone owners are more likely to admit to cyberbullying other children as well.

“Children between the ages of 7 and 10 are still learning the skill of understanding another point of view and beginning to understand empathy,” Ann-Louise Lockhart, PhD, in psychology, tells Parents. They jump right into, “I should hate my boyfriend.” They are not good at thinking about possibilities like, “Maybe the friend turned off his phone to do his homework or went to dinner."

How do you prepare them?

There are many things you can do to help prepare your children for the emotional and social challenges that owning a phone can bring, long before you even give them the desired device, and they can be encouraged to remain kind and friendly in the online world, such as offering support to each other and sending a text message. supportive to a friend.

Parents’ relationship with their phones also sends important messages to children and imitates them, and if you ignore those around you while reading messages on your phone, this will give a wrong impression to children that ignoring people is a good thing.

training them

You can work on your children's digital social skills when their tablets and computers are in the living room, not in their bedrooms.

And you can see how they behave, if your son sends a message to his teacher or to his friend several times because he did not get a quick response from him, tell him about the importance of being patient while waiting for others to respond, and also explain to him how to end an electronic conversation with a grandmother or a friend and the need to thank them for Nice conversation.

Communication, not monitoring

Constant monitoring is not necessarily the answer;

Children can hide information anyway, so keeping the lines of communication open is the best way to go.

Encourage your child to come to you directly if he sees something controversial, and assure him that you will remain calm if he asks for advice, and that you should be friendly even if you do not like what your children are saying.

Constant monitoring is not necessarily the answer (Getty Images)

Wait until they are ready

There's no ideal age to give kids their first phone, says Kelly Mendoza, vice president of educational programs at Common Sense Education. Instead, consider if your child is mature enough to handle the leap, and does he follow screen time limits?

Does he have good social skills?

Does he explode with anger from his comrades online?

Dr. Lockhart says there are good reasons for parents to hold off as long as possible, as having a phone can cause young children to progress quickly through social development stages.

Children up to 11 or 12 years old have the strongest relationships, and the ones they value most are those with their parents.

But when they get a phone, their standing among friends becomes the most important, and this creates pressure and exposes them early on to rejection.

modal book

In another article on the Parents website, Michelle Marchetti says, "Consider drafting a contract that you sign with the child, highlighting that the phone is a privilege, not a right, and that it can be withdrawn at any time and for any reason."

Common elements of this contract include questions such as: When can the phone be used?

and how?

Who is responsible for the financial responsibility in case the device is lost or broken?

And do not download any apps without permission.

The contract may also include digital etiquette;

Like "I will treat others the way I want to be treated, and I will not bully, embarrass, or send inappropriate pictures or messages."

person behind the screen

Kids don't always think about how their comments will affect the person on the other end of the screen, and there can be a lack of empathy and compassion;

This is because they don't see the other person's face and watch their reaction.

To protect the feelings of others, remind your child that someone else will be hurt by the way he writes letters.

Dealing with painful rejection

Your child is likely to go through painful situations;

Like excluding him from a party, and when this happens parents tend to get into problem-solving mode and try to make them happy, but instead help them process their feelings.

Rejection is painful but they should know how to deal with these feelings, and you can also suggest taking a break from social media and talking to a real friend.

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