The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

How to prepare as a family to give a minor their first mobile


Assessing the child's level of maturity and talking to him about the responsibility and risks involved in being connected to the Internet are some of the keys to a safe coexistence with technology



It is probably one of the most desired gifts among children aged 10 and over.

Even before.

The reasons they use for having it vary from being able to interact with their classmates to having them located or doing virtual classroom tasks.

But, on many occasions, parents agree to give this first mobile phone under pressure from other families who have already done it before, a reason that experts advise against taking into account when making that decision because it implies an internet connection and some risks. .

"The approach to give or not a mobile is not to focus on age but on the purpose of giving them this technology and the level of maturity that we see in our son," explains Cristina Gutiérrez, Cybersecurity technician for Citizens and Minors of the National Institute of Cybersecurity (INCIBE).

Before deciding to give that first phone to a minor, family work must be done: a


to assess what the mobile is going to be used for, for how long, what applications are going to be downloaded and what social networks are going to be used.

And, once delivered, parents need to follow up to avoid danger.

"A learning process that takes time and involvement on the part of the parents because the adolescent brain is not yet ready to understand certain risks," says Sara Desirée Ruiz, a social educator specializing in adolescence and author of the book

The Day My Daughter Called Me. fox

(Almuzara editorial).

According to a study by the National Observatory for Technology and Society, dependent on the Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence, seven out of ten minors between the ages of 10 and 15 had a mobile phone in 2021. And, of these, 98% use the internet .

From that moment on, they are exposed to the risks that the connection generates.

Gutierrez knows it well.

They have direct contact with pre-adolescents who call INCIBE through 017, the free telephone number to report dangerous information on the Internet, and he affirms that more and more young people, eight years old, receive their first cell phone.

More information

"I hate my mother's mobile because she is always using it"

Gutiérrez explains some of those dangers.

First, the exposure of his personal information and that of his colleagues.

It is not until the age of 14 when minors acquire consent for their own data, according to the Spanish Agency for Data Protection.

Until then, they should not be allowed to open an account on a social network.

"It is important that we can convey the need to respect that age," warns Ruiz.

"But we all know that this is not true," he adds.

Therefore, Gutiérrez advises accompanying them so that they understand the risks of this exposure.

Something in which Ruiz also agrees, although she emphasizes that the responsibility should not fall only on families,

Another of the risks of owning a mobile from such a young age is the inappropriate content that can be consumed: pornography, hate crimes, violent material,

fake news

... A study prepared by Save the Children in 2020 assured that the average age at which minors access pornographic material on the Internet is 12 years.

All this information should be captured through parental control applications.

“I prefer to call them security, because if we call them parental control they back down.

But it is advisable to have a security application linked to the use that is made of the mobile and gradually remove restrictions as they demonstrate that they know how to use the device”, points out Ruiz.

Pishing or




is another of the big problems that minors encounter.

Especially the one related to the topics that interest them.

“Just as adults receive messages saying 'You have a package to pick up', children and adolescents have hooks oriented towards video games and they fall a lot”, confirms Gutiérrez.

Added to this is the theft of accounts on video game platforms and social networks, another of the risks of being an Internet user.

the first mobile

Ana María Fernández is the mother of Patricia (fictitious name), 12 years old.

They live in Madrid and they have given her daughter the first cell phone when she went to high school.

“We have been under pressure.

We didn't want to give it to him so soon, but his classmates had it almost since he was 10 years old, ”she says.

They have decided to wait as long as possible until they have seen that they couldn't take it anymore.

"She has no social network except WhatsApp, because even the teachers at the institute use it," she confesses.

A practice that is corroborated by Nerea Marcos, a professor of Language and Literature at IES Rodanas, in Épila (Zaragoza).

“From the first to the fourth year of ESO, the norm is not to use it in class, but it is true that it is used for some exercises, but we notify parents through the


to bring it that day,” adds Marcos.

He explains that many students in the first year of Secondary already have their own


, although not all of them and that, for example, she studies the syntax and computational linguistics of Artificial Intelligence, through virtual assistants.

"You shouldn't absolutely forbid them in class, but having them without doing a logical activity is negative," she says.

As recommended by the experts, before giving the first cell phone to their daughter Fernández and her husband, they talked to her about the responsibility of having it and the use she should make of it.

Patricia has limited time to surf the internet, although she “doesn't usually use it up”, her mother assures, that she also prefers that she participate in the groups with her classmates as much as is fair and necessary.

“We see terrible conflicts and disrespect,” she confesses.

Regarding the issue of checking minors' mobiles and seeing what they write and publish on their social networks, the experts consulted ask not to do so because it involves an intrusion into their privacy that can alienate them from their parents.

Although they do recommend monitoring and an important exercise of dialogue and agreeing on what can be done.

Gutiérrez also suggests signing a contract like the one that can be downloaded on the

Internet Segura for Kids website,

a portal of the National Institute of Cybersecurity.

But Ruiz warns that this contract, without previous learning work on the use of the device by the parents and the minor, is useless.

Fernández confesses that they have not signed that contract with their daughter, but that they have talked a lot about the dangers.

A previous work that they continue to carry out day by day so that coexistence with technology is the most appropriate for everyone.

“The experience has to be positive, accompanied, oriented and, then, to let go of the rope”, summarizes Gutiérrez.

You can follow Mamas & Papas on




or sign up here to receive

our biweekly newsletter


Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-02-04

You may like

Trends 24h

News/Politics 2023-05-30T04:13:12.229Z


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.