A photo from the river at Graignamanagh that I took during our trip to Ireland years ago.
Here’s an interesting bit of news:
Parents in a town in Ireland came together to voluntarily ban smartphones for kids as old as 13 by Zoe Rosenberg in a publication called Insider.
I think this is an excellent idea and if I could go back in time, I’d have waited to give our daughter an iphone. We did wait with our son because he was three years older — and smart phones weren’t a thing yet.
But by the time my daughter was in third or fourth grade, a few of her friends were using smartphones. I remember changes at swim meets — before and after smartphones. When the kids were young and nobody had phones, the high school kids played card games with the little ones. They also played “Catch Phrase” and made up word games.
When my daughter was in high school, the middle school and high school kids were no longer talking or laughing. They sat, staring at their screens. I found out later that a lot bullying was going on between the girls — sitting a few feet apart — on their phones.
Here’s an excerpt from the story:
Parents in Greystones, Ireland, have implemented a smartphone ban for primary school-aged kids.
The ban is voluntary, but parents said it reached a critical mass that makes enacting it easier.
The pact seeks to curb anxiety and exposure to unsuitable material, and has won support nationally.
Some kids in Greystones, Ireland, may have to wait until their teen years to partake in the latest viral dance craze, thanks to a voluntary ban on smartphones that has won the support of many area parents.
The Guardian reported that parents in the coastal town, about a 45-minute drive south of Dublin, have joined together to implement the ban that seeks to bar smartphone usage until kids reach secondary school, typically at the age of 12 or 13.
The hope is that the ban will help prolong childhood by lessening the anxiety and exposure to adult materials that smartphone usage often eggs on.
Not only has smartphone use in toddlers and children been linked to slower brain development, it also has increased anxiety and depression in teens. Not all parents are for the ban, and they aren’t required to follow it. But a large enough population of parents support it to make it effective. I guess parents don’t like to be the “odd one out.”
I think my kids would tell you that I had no problem being strict and saying no. But when it came to the iphone, I had no idea that it was harmful. It was fairly new for kids to have, and it seemed perfect to communicate with them. We started off with Tracphones with no smart features and prepaid minutes when they went to swim camp at USC. Eventually, they got their iphones.
I wrote about families in the Silicon Valley who ban screens for their kids. They are working for the tech companies, and I felt they must know something that we weren’t aware of. You can read that story HERE.
What are your thoughts about bans on smartphones for children?