Apple watches are a trending wearable technology for adults who love that they can monitor their health and enhance fitness goals. Some are so crazy about the advantages of the watch that they want to buy one for their kids. It's turning into a new movement for some, but others are hesitant and wonder if you should buy the Apple watch for your kids.
It's an ongoing debate. There are pros and cons of kids wearing Apple watches and if you're thinking about whether or not to get an Apple watch for your kids, here are both sides of the issue to help you make up your mind.
Benefits of Apple watches
Apple watches perform a lot of useful functions from telling the time to displaying information about your health and fitness. It can connect with your iPhone to let you know when you receive messages on social media.
It's a smart device that provides you with a step tracker while reading your heart rate, playing your favorite music, reminding you of appointments, and letting you send and receive calls and text messages. It does a great deal in one small device you wear on your wrist.
Pros and cons of an Apple watch for kids
Most of us can agree that Apple watches are great devices for adults, but are they as healthy for kids? To get a better sense of whether they're a help or a detriment, it's essential to compare the pros and cons. Smartify Life points out the high and low points of giving your kids Apple watches.
Advantages of Apple watches for kids
Parents can encourage their kids to develop healthy habits with fitness goals in mind. The Apple watch can teach kids how to track their fitness and help familiarize them with tracking steps taken and heart rates. It may inspire the kids to ask questions about heart health and why their parents track fitness activities.
The Apple watch can open up new ways of thinking about health and fitness and instill mindfulness in kids from an early age. It can encourage them to be more mindful of the need to live a healthy lifestyle as adults. The device can also help kids to see how much activity they participate in daily.
Some children are more active, running, playing physical games, and doing things that help them to get healthy exercise, while others are sedentary, preferring to spend time in front of a screen. Apple watches can be eye-openers for people of all ages.
Apple watches can enhance communication between kids and parents
The Apple smartwatch gives you the ability to talk with your child through the device wherever they are. It's smaller and more convenient than carrying a smartphone, and it's something that your child can wear on the arm.
There is less chance of your child losing an Apple watch, and you can check in with them as needed and vice versa. Your child can contact you when the need arises. These watches can run through either wi-fi or LTE.
Apple watches increase child safety
The Apple Watch has a built-in GPS tracker to let you know your child's location. It's a feature that is available through Apple's Family Sharing account. The device also comes with an SOS Alert that allows your child to push a button to send an alert to emergency services in their locale. They can call for help if an emergency arises. The watch comes with parental controls you can set to prevent your child from accessing inappropriate content or coming into contact with strangers in the digital world.
Disadvantages of the Apple watch for kids
Apple Watches are not as dependable as they could be, because the batteries drain quickly. They may not last all day if your child does not have access to a charging station. Contact can be suddenly broken when the battery dies, so it's not something you can count on for long durations apart from the kids.
Apple watches are expensive. The price is around $500, and it's a lot of responsibility for a child to take on. The expensive gadget on their arms may make them the target of a thief or bully. Wearing an Apple watch when not under the watchful eye of an adult could invite trouble for your child.
If something happens to the watch under your child's care it may create feelings of guilt and sadness. You may want to think twice about loading that much stress on a child as it could be a distraction that causes them to focus on protecting the watch instead of enjoying their day.
Are there potential consequences for kids with an Apple watch?
Thread Curve points out that your child may be thrilled to receive an Apple watch, but the fun may wear off quickly as ownership can lead to consequences for younger kids.
Kids may be distracted by their Apple Watch in the classroom. It may pull them away from their studies because the watches allow them to access chats with their friends and other social media apps. Most schools do not allow smartphones in the classroom for this reason, but if it's worn on the wrist, the school may not have a policy in place yet.
Your child could get in trouble for spending time on the Apple watch because of the notifications and messages they may receive. Your child could develop self-esteem issues from the biometric feedback the watches provide. Adults possess higher cognitive functioning skills that help them put health and fitness feedback in perspective.
Your child could feel like the constant feedback supports poor body-image issues already in place. The fitness functions could have unintended consequences for your child's self-esteem. It could also cause more anxiety than joy.
Apple watch educational value
When weighing the pros and cons and various aspects of Apple watches for kids, we can't forget about their potential as educational tools in the school environment. Fitness trackers can be useful in education classes.
They may serve as a means of communication between teachers and students and among classmates conducting virtual discussion sessions, and they would also make exceptional time management tools.
If school officials reach the point of recognizing the value of Apple watches in an educational setting, they could be used for some activities to inspire students in developing certain skills. It's a subject that may or may not receive attention as schools would take on additional responsibility for kids wearing expensive devices and not every child's family would be able to afford an Apple watch.
The odds of Apple watches gaining sanction from schools is slim to none. The potential for the devices to become a distraction or liability would likely outweigh the potential benefits.
What about Apple watches made for kids?
Apple announced in 2020 their plan to make Apple watches more kid-friendly. They developed the Family Setup that optimizes the features that kids and older adults would find more useful or entertaining.
Apple kicked the program off in its watch OS7 model. The version is set up through the iPhone of a parent to allow kids to connect with friends and family via messages and phone calls. The watches can be personalized with pre-approved activity goals and an app called Memoji for expressing their creativity.
Is this an Apple watch for kids?
The Family setup is a feature used with the Apple watch that allows for customizing and personalizing the access on the phone. The Family aspect gives parents control over usage and sends them notifications when their child purchases Apple Cash Family. Parents can send money to their kids to spend through the Apple Pay app.
Kids also have access to music and can ask Siri questions. Parents can set restrictions on content and manage what their children can access and what they can download. The Family Setup helps to make the Apple Watch more suitable for kids, but the watches are still expensive and made for adults.
Parents against giving kids Apple watches
Gizmodo shares the views of some parents against giving their kids Apple watches. Some of them already tried it with unsatisfactory results. They share concerns that kids in the pre-teen stage of life are not ready to take on the responsibility of an expensive piece of wearable technology.
They're firm in their belief that the watches are not designed for the average child. They're not durable enough to hold up under the rough and tumble play that comes naturally for kids. This is a common sentiment among parents who made the investments and felt remorse at the waste of money when their kids damaged the devices within a week of wearing them.
Parents for giving kids Apple watches
Everyone needs to have their say on the Apple watch for kids debate. Some parents polled defend the decision to give their kids Apple watches. Not all kids are rough on their devices. Some are proud of them and are happy to take extra care to protect them.
Parents enjoy the added peace of mind they get from knowing where their child is, at all times. Others are happy with the added communication options. Some parents state that their kids wear Apple watches and they have zero regrets. Parents have mixed feelings about whether Apple watches are a good option for kids. Is there a right or wrong when it comes to Apple watches and kids? Perhaps it depends on the child, the parent's financial and employment situation, and the need to feel connected.
It may be helpful to consider the reason for buying your kid an Apple watch. If it's an expensive gift to buy their love, it's probably a bad idea, but if there are solid reasons for placing wearable technology on your kid's arm, it might not be negative. Parents who work or must be away from their kids can benefit from the additional contact option.
Apple watches can help close the gap and give everyone an enhanced feeling of confidence that their child is safe and reachable. Sometimes it's nice to have the extra assurance of knowing your child's location and hearing them say that they're alright. Some kids do very well with added responsibility.
It teaches them the value of things that are useful in their lives. Some kids are happy to accept an Apple watch with all its parental restrictions. They do this for mere privilege of ownership. Others don't care enough to bother and are likely to break or lose their watches shortly after receiving them. Weighing all these points helps us to come to one conclusion.
The debate about Apple watches and kids will likely continue. It's not necessarily a matter of right or wrong, or if it's appropriate to let kids wear expensive watches. There are pros and cons when it comes to giving your kid an expensive wearable technology device.
The best answer might be that it depends on the parents, the individual child, and the needs of the family. Apple watches can help to enhance the safety and security of a child and put a parent's mind at ease. Perhaps some kids would benefit from owning an Apple watch and others would not.
Much depends on the situation, the family's ability to afford the device. Also, the maturity level of the child. In addition, the reasons for giving them an Apple watch. Parents unable or unwilling to purchase an Apple watch for their child are more likely to look at all the negatives. Some parents prefer not to encourage more use of electronics with screens. It's a matter of personal preference, and not a moral dilemma as some may have you believe.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith