Should You Give Your Child a Cell Phone?

Boy talking on a cellphone

Boy talking on a cellphone

At What Age Should You Give Your Child a Cell Phone?

Wіth cell phones quickly bесоmіng thе norm іn modern society, thе issue оf whаt age children ѕhоuld hаvе thеіr оwn cell phone hаѕ nеvеr bееn mоrе hotly debated. Indееd, іt hаѕ bесоmе quite common tо ѕее young toddlers, barely able tо talk, play wіth thеіr parents' cell phones wіth еаѕе.

Thе еаѕе wіth whісh children саn learn tо navigate thіѕ technology puts mаnу adults tо shame, but thаt ѕаmе accessibility іѕ аlѕо whу parents ѕhоuld bе vеrу careful аbоut giving thеіr child a cell phone аt tоо early аn age. Wіth thаt іn mind, whаt dо parents need tо consider bеfоrе giving thеіr child a cell phone?

Do Thеу Need One?

Whеn considering whеthеr іt іѕ appropriate fоr уоur child tо hаvе a cell phone, thе fіrѕt question уоu ѕhоuld аlwауѕ ask іѕ whеthеr thеу need a cell phone. Sоmе children аrе mоrе independent thаn оthеrѕ, аnd wіth parents working lоng hours, іt саn bе prudent fоr уоur child tо bе able tо contact уоu аt a moment's notice. If уоur child needs access tо a cell phone fоr safety reasons, thеn уоu ѕhоuld nоt hesitate tо рut ѕоmеthіng іn place.

Are Thеу Responsible?

It саn bе vеrу difficult tо bе objective аbоut уоur оwn children, but whеn іt соmеѕ tо owning a cell phone, parents аnd children need tо bе оn thе ѕаmе wavelength. Sоmе children аrе far mоrе responsible thаn оthеrѕ frоm a young age аnd саn bе trusted wіth a cell phone. A cell phone presents risks аnd dangers tо children including accessing inappropriate content оn line оr talking tо people thаt thеу shouldn't bе. At a basic level, cell phones аrе just huge distractions – ѕоmеthіng thаt іѕ nоt limited tо children. Yоur child muѕt bе responsible еnоugh tо uѕе thеіr cell phone оnlу whеn required.

If уоur child needs a cell phone ѕо thаt уоu саn stay іn contact wіth thеm, аnd thеу hаvе demonstrated thаt thеу саn bе responsible wіth оnе, thеn іt mау bе appropriate tо introduce a basic cell phone аt a reasonably young age (10 – 11). Hоwеvеr, fоr mоѕt children, thіѕ іѕ simply nоt necessary. Mоѕt 10-year-old children hаvе nо need fоr a cell phone, аnd just bесаuѕе thеіr friends mіght hаvе a cell phone does nоt mеаn thаt уоu ѕhоuld cave аnd buy оnе fоr thеm.

Thе teenage years аrе generally accepted аѕ аn appropriate age tо introduce cell phones, but еvеn thеn, caution ѕhоuld bе taken. If уоur child shows аnу kind оf irresponsibility оr іѕ spending tоо muсh tіmе оn thеіr cell, dо nоt bе afraid tо tаkе іt away. Ultimately, different circumstances wіll dictate аt whаt age уоur child needs a cell phone, but аlwауѕ ask уоurѕеlf thе questions; dо thеу need оnе, аnd аrе thеу responsible?

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Parent/Baby Play Time?

Spending time with baby

Spending time with baby

How Much Time Should Parents Spend Actively Playing With Their Baby?

One of the most commonly asked questions that new parents have is just how much time they should spend playing with their baby? There is no question that actively playing with babies is a vital step in helping your child develop and grow, but is there such a thing as the “right” amount of time to spend playing? And if so, what does playing with your baby actually involve?

The reality is that there is no set answer or guide that can definitively tell you how long you should spend playing with your baby. Often, it depends on the attention span of the child and their willingness to entertain themselves away from your immediate constant affection. However, the best way of judging how much time to spend actively playing can generally be deduced from following your baby's lead. They will let you know when they are ready to play.

In the first couple of months, you will find that your baby has no attention span for or interest in play. A young baby's days are generally spent eating, cuddling and sleeping. However, as they get on in months, you will find that their attention span and independence grows at an alarming rate. This is when you should introduce playtime with your child.

Initially, playing with your baby will involve nothing more than talking and interacting with them. Babies are always fascinated by their parents and will respond to any kind of conversation or interactions with them. As they become more responsive with their actions, you can introduce simple toys like stuffed toys or rattles. Different toys teach children different lessons about their own body, and it is important to introduce them to a varied selection of sensory toys for them to learn.

The important thing throughout is to pay attention to your baby. If they appear uninterested or tired, do not force play time upon them simply because you feel they haven't played enough that day. When a baby is open to play, it will be obvious. It will be equally, if not more so, obvious when they have no interest in play!

By paying attention to their moods prior to and during play, you can quickly learn the signs of whether they wish to play or not. Similarly, you should allow them to play in whatever way they want to. If they want to play with soft blocks, then play with soft blocks. If they want to have a conversation, have a conversation. Play time with parents is just as important as independent play time, so always be on the lookout for any opportunities where your baby can have your undivided attention.

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Does Having a Family Pet Benefit Children?

Surprised Puppy

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How Having a Family Pet Benefits Children

Animal lovers have long argued against dismissive spouses that having a pet would be good for the children, but they might not have truly believed it! However, recent studies have shown that a family pet can have tremendous benefits for children growing up in the home. The benefits of a family pet go far beyond an animal that children can bond with. Let's take a look at four of the most important ways in which owning a family bet can benefit your children.

Comfortable With Animals

We all know children, and even some adults, that are terrified of all kinds of animals. This could be cats, dogs or even hamsters. Unfortunately, this generally occurs in two instances. Either the child has been hurt by an animal or the child has not ever owned a family pet. Children that have an irrational fear of animals grow up in an environment surrounded by what they perceive as threats. Owning a family pet negates all this; children no longer view domestic animals as something to be unnecessarily afraid of.

Health Benefits

We live in an increasingly sterile world, and this has led to many studies that show that children are not being exposed to enough bacteria and stimulants that help shape their immune system in the formative years. Children that grow up with pets are exposed to far more allergens and bacteria, and as a result, are less likely to have allergies and will have a more robust immune system.

Teaches Responsibility

Owning a pet is not all about fun and games, although that is the most enjoyable element! Pets have requirements, including being fed, watered, cleaned and exercised. Giving children some of these tasks at a young age is a fantastic way of teaching them about their own responsibilities. Learning about responsibility is fundamental to a child's mental development, and caring for a family pet is a subtle yet incredibly effective way of doing this.

Creates a Bond and Friendship

A family pet can often start to become less of a pet and more of a member of the family. For children, this can be tremendously rewarding. Many children bond fiercely with their pets and view them as a close friend. Pets offer comfort when we are sad, a listening ear when we are angry, and companionship when we are lonely. Even in death, pets can teach a child about grief and how to deal with it. For this reason, owning a family pet can be a huge beneficial in shaping a child's development.

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Simple Toys vs. Imagination

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Image from Clker Images

Are Simple Toys Better for Your Child's Imagination?

There is a growing movement that advocates for the use of more simple, basic toys in a child's play. The argument suggests that simple toys help to stimulate a child's imagination more effectively than more modern, themed or complex toys do. An active imagination is something that every child should have and so we should always look to foster that imagination where possible. With that in mind, should we be encouraging our children to play with simpler toys?

While supporters of simple toys argue that, by definition, their simplicity demands a more imaginative style of play, it is important to note that a child's imagination is not always at the same level of capabilities. For example, a very young child can use their imagination, but to do so they will require more accurate, physical props to help stimulate their minds. In the absence of these props, they can lack the mental creativity to believe in and subsequently engage with their imagined world.

This would suggest that while simpler toys have a big role to play in stimulating our children's imaginations, it is important that very young children are provided with the tools in order to cultivate that imagination from a young age. Older children are more capable of taking a simple toy and using their imagination to create something far more exciting and engaging for play time.

However, there is one major oversight that many people tend to overlook when considering this argument, and that is the number of toys available to a child. Consider a child who has extremely modern and complex toys. These toys are expensive, and as such parents that can afford them can also afford to buy more toys than is needed. As such, children with more complex toys tend to have a greater range of toys available to play with.

This is a crucial factor. Often, the stimulus to engage in imaginative play is not the simplicity of the toy to hand, but rather the scarcity of toys that are available to a child. If a child has a toy room full of toys, it won't matter whether they are simple or complex. The child's attention will ultimately be attracted by a different toy, and the need for imaginative play is lost. This, more than any other factor, is one of the biggest hurdles that we must overcome. Our children do not need access to every single toy that they want. A smaller selection of toys, simple or complex, will encourage children to use their imagination and be more creative in their play.

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LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set Review

LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set

LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set

Company: LeapFrog
Brand: LeapFrog Enterprises

LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set was listed on Amazon for $19.99 USD brand new.

LeapFrog toys are always a huge hit with kids, but also with parents. The winning combination of engaging interactive toys that are also educational makes them the perfect gift for any holiday season.

To teach phonic skills to kids at a young age, one of the options for the perfect toy is the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set. Designed specifically for kids who are aged 2 and above, this will help in learning the alphabet in a way that is fun. The challenge in making kids learn something is to make it entertaining. This toy solves that problem as it is integrated with fun music and sounds that kids are sure to love.

Key Features of the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set

  • Magnetic bus and 26 letter tiles included
  • Bus plays three different songs
  • Teaches the alphabet, phonics and early vocabulary
  • Enhances fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
  • Requires 3 ‘AAA' batteries (Included)
  • Recommended age 24 months – 5 years

What Makes the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set a Great Purchase?

Fridge Phonics helps children learn about the alphabet, vocabulary and phonics, all while keeping kids enjoying the time spent with the interactive toy. The magnetic bus and 26 letter tiles are included. One nice bonus for this toy is that kids can either use it on their own, or with a parent. The manufacturer recommended age for this letter set is ages 24 months to 5 years. Any child in this age group will benefit from having this toy because it will assist them in developing important skills necessary for reading and writing.

Children can pick up a tile and put it in the bus. When the tile is pressed, the popular LeapFrog character, Tad, will say the letter's name and sound. If it is a vowel, Tad will say both the long and short sounds for each. By using these tiles, kids are able to build a strong connection between the letter's name, the shape and its unique sound.

A second press of the tile will make Tad say a word that starts with the letter being pressed. Tad will then use the word in a sentence. Kids will begin to easily associate the letters with words and will increase their vocabulary effortlessly! Speaking and being understood is a great confidence builder for children and the magnetic bus will assist in helping kids develop their vocabulary and phonetics.

Along with using the tiles for word recognition, kids will also get a boost with their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination when using them. The magnetic tiles can be spread out along the refrigerator or other magnetic surface and kids can move them around to make words of their own.

Batteries are used for the Fridge Phonics Set, but they are included. Keep stocked up and your child won't need to suspend his or her learning for a second. If you have rechargeable batteries, these are even better as they are a greener option and also less expensive over the long haul.

The bus plays three different songs that children can sing and dance to. The songs include the well-known “Wheels on the Bus” and the “Alphabet Song”. All will help capture the imagination of kids and assist in teaching letters and words.

Parents will surely appreciate being able to control how loud the toy is. There are two volume settings (low and high). In all, this is a toy that will appeal to the entire family!

5 stars(Read Reviews)

Battery-Operated Toy: Do not use old and new batteries together. Do not mix alkaline, carbon-zinc, nickel-cadmium (rechargeable) or LiPo Lithium Polymer (rechargeable) batteries.

Suggested Retail Price: The Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for this item is $19.99!

LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set

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