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Why You Should Not Give Your Child a Smart Device

Updated on June 18, 2019
Jackie Zelko profile image

I am a high school English teacher that sees the effects that smartphones have on children each day.


Lack of Communication Skills

When children spend their adolescence texting and instant messaging, that is all they will ever want to do. They will not feel comfortable speaking to people in person, in front of people, or on the phone. This will affect them drastically in life outside of high school when they are interviewing for a job. I remind my students constantly that effective communication is a valuable quality, and will be a rare quality, that employers will look for in the years to come.

Allowing your child a smart device at a young age will also hinder them from effectively communicating how they feel or communicating the things that they want in life. They will most likely learn to send angry and immature texts to you, or their peers, as their own way of expressing their needs. This is not how you want them to learn how to resolve their problems in life.

Low Reading and Writing Level

As an English teacher, I struggle tremendously with this issue. A part of this comes from the parents, and another part comes from their exposure to smart devices at a young age. Children and teenagers today believe that it is okay to send professional letters to people in the form of texting. Others know that it is not okay, but they physically cannot write appropriately because they do not know how. They must break this habit, and they must stop relying on autocorrect. It is hurting their writing skills, as well as my own I have sadly noticed.

Instead of giving them a smart device to keep them busy for your own sake, give your child something that they would be interested in reading. Promote literacy in your household by exposing them to different genres that they can select from. Having options for your child can help them find their own love in reading. There are also educational devices and resources out there that turn learning into a game for your child.


Most children today are helpless because of how much they have relied on their smart devices. They have learned that Google will have all of the answers for them. As a result, they never want to think for themselves. They think that the most simplest tasks are the biggest ones, and I know smart devices are mostly to blame for this. Do not let this be your child. Show them and teach them how to help themselves. They will grow up with this mindset, and it will reflect in their work ethic inside and outside of school.

Low Self Esteem

Being a teenager is hard enough and is a confusing time. A lot of them are trying to find out who they want to be and are learning from their mistakes. Others do not like how they look or who they are. I cannot imagine what my life would have been like if I had all of these forms of social media when I was a teenager. I see what it does to my students though. It saddens me to see all of the girls killing themselves with the Keto Diet just so they can look like the people they envy on their social media. They feel the need to wear a full face of makeup and heels every day in the hallway just to get noticed by a guy. Boys will post pictures of them doing things that others would be envious of, while other boys make fun of them behind their back. Social media is a cruel enough world for adults. Why have your child exposed to it too?

Negative Behavior

Too much exposure to smart devices can lead to negative behavior in and outside of school. They can become distracted and not focused in the classroom. At home, they can be sitting next to you, but their presence is not truly there. They can learn that instead of telling their crush how they feel, that it is okay to say their feelings over a Snapchat picture. Teach them and have them learn basic manners first before they become old enough for that smart device. In doing so, they may not reflect the terrible habits of our society today that have their heads down in their phones when out with friends and family.

Limit the Screen Time

Be aware of the effects that too much screen time can have on your child. It is okay for children to watch YouTube videos and play games on your smart device every now and then. However, do not let this become a habit that can potentially effect them for the rest of their lives.


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    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      15 months ago from UK

      One of my friends hates to see parents of young children using their smart phones while out for a walk with young children. She thinks the children should get the attention rather than the screen. I think for children moderation is the key. Like it or not they are growing up in the age of screens, but that's not to say that their lives should be dominated by them.

    • AudreyLancho profile image

      Audrey Lancho 

      15 months ago from North Carolina and Spain

      I agree with all these things.


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