Thursday, September 16th, 2010

HELP! My Kid Wants a Cell Phone!

Mobile phones play an enormous role in society today. It’s hard to find an adult that doesn’t own a mobile phone of some sort. So as it goes, kids are wanting to get in on the action. However, once your child or teen has a phone it is important to teach them to use it responsibly. So we are sharing some of our tips for responsible child and teen mobile phone use.

mobile phone child

According to Nielson, the first age for kids to have a mobile phone is between 9 and 10. Once you’ve bought a mobile phone for your child or teen, they use it to send, on average, 2,272 text messages a month!

However, not every child, or parent, is ready to let that happen. So we’ve compiled a list of a few tips to help you promote responsible mobile phone use for your child or teen.

  • Before buying a mobile phone for your son or daughter ask yourself, “Do they really need a phone?” With young children especially, the first consideration should be safety, not socialization.
  • Discuss the cost of “extras” (excess texting, ringtones, apps, web access). Explain that cell phones are expensive, and set up consequences for running up a large bill.
  • Create guidelines for mobile phone use. No phones in school or during meals and a set “turn-off” time at night are great starters.
  • NO texting or talking while driving for teens. Car crashes are the #1 killer of teens, so keep the distraction of mobile phones out of the picture.
  • Make sure they answer when you call. You bought them the phone as a means of communication, and you’re paying the bill, so they can answer when you call.
  • Buy a ZOMM to make sure your child doesn’t lose his or her phone (even if it does seem to be permanently attached to their hand). Plus, 911 will always be one button-press away.
  • Establish consequences for breaking any of these rules – and stick to it!

Do you have rules set for your child’s mobile phone use? Share your tips in the comments section below!

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