I consider it crucially important to quickly and unceremoniously get kids OVER the feeling of awe that tends to overtake many of them in our part of the world, when they gain initial access to what are now increasingly affordable and often fancy mobile devices and gadgets (e.g. smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers) abundant in marketplaces today.
I recommend (based on best practice parenting ideas I advocate and use) the following lines of action:
Make them understand that owning such tools should always be a means to an end for them, and never the end in itself.
Ask them: What can you do, or learn toi do with it, to better pursue/acheueve goals that matter to your personal/career advancement?
Ask them: What can you do with it to make money or more money?
Ask them what they can do with it to solve problems for others e.g do they know how to build apps others need.
Or do they just download apps created by others?
Point out the fact to them that many apps they see on their devices actually make money for their creators.
Let them know PC and Internet Technology makes it possible for them to also create their own original money making apps for download by other users!
Most importantly challenge them to do some kind of REAL “work” or chore(s) to earn money to buy such devices if they want to own them.
Avoid buying such things for them using your own funds, without meaningful exertion on their part
Make them sweat to acquire it e.g by way of household chores completed and/or make them learn to do stuff to earn income to keep using it.
They might complain or even protest that you’re asking too much. They could even compare you to other parents who don’t demand such.
My advice is that you remember that parenting is not a democracy.
The long term benefits of empowerment will often not be immediately obvious. That will not mean it’s not there.
So stay firm and stay strong and they will be better off for it in the long run – by which time they will thank you for it!
That’s a fact.
Below is a photo of Itel phone in my 11 year old daughter’s hand on the day of her “graduation” (along with her younger sister), from a 2 week Facial Makeup and Gele Tying workshop they attended.
Most photos and videos of the various skills they were taught were recorded using this phone of hers.
Sadly, about a week later, she dropped this device into the bowl of soap water in which she was washing clothes, and the touch screen stopped working. We never got it fixed.
Today, I got her a Lenovo smartphone as replacement, mainly because they will need it to record what they are taught in the new hairdressing training they are to start.
However, I’ve made it clear she must resume her daily online business tasks execution, and ensure she hits the required DAILY points, if she wants to keep the phone and have the Internet browsing data subscription renewed.
If she does this for long enough, she will earn commissions from the online business, effectively paying for herself to continue using it. That’s the same approach I use with the 2 older brothers who have been told similar thing. So they know there is no free ride in a fancy car for them!