Considering a Phone For Your Child

Oct 16, 2014

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There will come a time when your child asks “Can I have a cell phone?” About 1/3 of teens and pre-teens have a cell phone. If your child has friends with cell phones, it’s almost inevitable that your child will want a cell phone as well.

Is a cell phone right for your child? There are a lot of factors to think about when considering buying your child a cell phone. For example, what kind of plan should I be looking for, such as a prepaid plan, an unlimited plan, etc.? What type of phone should I get my child? Should my teen help cover the cost?

Another thing to consider is what kind of phone to get your child. Should you get your child a smartphone or stick with a phone that is only able to call and text?

Always set ground rules with phones. Talk to your kids about cyberbullying. Let them know the consequences if they cheat at school or use the camera on the phone for inappropriate purposes. Make sure they respect privacy, including their own privacy. Never let them use the phone while driving. Consider making a contract for them to follow all these rules.

If you decide to get a smartphone for your child, there are other guidelines you should follow since smartphones have access to internet and many apps. This extra access also means extra access to potential threats, such as cyberbullies, sexual predators, and online thieves.

The rules for smartphones and online activity are similar to the rules for any other phone. Tell them to never post anything on the Internet that could harm their reputation. Anything that goes on the Internet is permanent.

Consider installing a filter or a monitor on your child’s smartphone to keep your child from accessing inappropriate websites. Installing a filter will protect your child from things like pornography and will inform you if your child has accessed any unwanted sites. Net Nanny offers web filtering and monitoring for your child’s smartphone. Net Nanny also has its own web browser for mobile devices that will filter out any inappropriate content.

Ultimately it’s up to parents to decide what is best for their children. These are just a few things to think about when making a decision about whether to buy your child a phone.