Is Your Child Ready For a Cell Phone?
When your young kids begin to get more active, you will probably be thinking about whether it might be the right time for your kid to carry a cell phone. You know how indispensable a cellphone has become in your own life, whether for work or keeping connected to your family.
And as our lives all become increasingly fast-paced, a cell phone can be a helpful tool that facilitates both convenience and most importantly our kids’ safety. When it comes to your children carrying one, age is a major consideration, and though many parents are choosing to equip younger and younger children with phones, it’s ultimately up to you to decide what age is appropriate.
Additionally, there are plenty of other considerations to keep in mind before you make the purchase for your child, which you should discuss with them once you do decide to move forward. When is it appropriate for them to use it? How much use is appropriate? What should they do if they get a call or message from someone they don’t know? How can you protect personal information from being shared with inappropriate people?
- Know who is texting or calling and only use your phone to communicate with people you know.
- Know what not to send. Inappropriate messages or pictures can be easily shared with mobile phones and can have far-reaching consequences.
- Talk to your kids about cyberbullying, and what to do if they receive calls or messages that make them feel uncomfortable.
- It’s important to consider phone etiquette, such as when to keep your phone on silent, and what is courteous behavior to others while using your phone.
- Always stay aware of your surroundings while speaking or texting on your phone. Distracted phone use can put you at risk of injury, theft or worse.
Beyond just being convenient, a phone in the hands of a child is a big responsibility, and it’s important to make sure your kids understand the rules to ensure their own as well as your family’s personal safety. Read the USDOJ’s checklist to get the conversation started in your household.
Don't miss the newest season of America's Most Wanted. Premiering on Lifetime Friday, December 2 at 9 pm/8c. Watch a preview.