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Buying a Mobile Phone for Your Child

smartphones technology and tech devices Feb 03, 2018

I won’t give you a lecture on what age is the appropriate age for purchasing a mobile phone for your child, but I will point you to a fantastic resource where you can ask yourself the following questions posed by Common Sense Media:

  • Are your kids pretty independent?
  • Do your children need to be in touch for safety reasons?
  • Would having easy access to friends benefit them for social reasons?
  • Do you think they’ll use a cell phone responsibly  – for example, not texting during class or disturbing others with their phone conversations?
  • Can they adhere to limits you set for minutes talked and apps downloaded?
  • Will they use the text, photo, and video functions responsibly and not to embarrass or harass others? (Source: Common Sense Media)

Once you decide that your child is ready for a cell phone, you need to educate yourself and your child and ensure that “protection” and “phone” go together.

Read up on mobile phone safety tips to keep your child safe and teach your child responsible phone use.  SafeKids provides a list of tips on phone safety and Common Sense Media ALWAYS has a useful tidbit or two.

  1. Activate any privacy settings and filters before you had the phone over to your child. 
  2. Google ‘activate privacy settings’ for your phone model or ask the salesperson to set you up in the store.
  3. Be sure to check that BlueTooth, Geolocation services are turned off.

And as with all safety matters, be sure to communicate on a regularly basis with your child – you may have to brush up on your texting lingo: NP (nosy parents), POS (parents over shoulder), PAL (parents are listening), P911 (parents are coming), TAW (teachers are watching), and so forth, but don’t forget that you are not the only parent dealing with these issues. Please do, write in and share  your successes and challenges.  I would love to hear from you.

Happy and Safe Holidays to All!

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