Jul 14, 2015 2:18 PM
Do you allow your kids to have cell phones?
For many parents, it’s a tough call.
Smart phones are effective tools for communicating with your children but they also pose many opportunities for kids to get themselves into trouble.
A fast-growing number of young kids have access to smartphones and tablets.
A survey taken back in 2012 by the National Consumer League shows about six out of every 10 “tweeners,” children ages 8 to 12 years old, have cell phones.
However, mobile technology comes with an enormous amount of responsibility and it introduces new risks likes cyber bullying and costly misuse, if not controlled.
The Federal Trade Commission is offering some guidance on what to consider if you decide to buy your child a cell phone.
- Start with phones designed for kids. They include limited internet access, minute management and emergency buttons. In short, it’s like a virtual fence.
- Look for a service that allows you to map their location. However, you want your kids to understand the dangers of broadcasting their locations 27/7.
- Set the rules to who they can text or talk to and what pictures they’re allowed to take and share.
- Lastly, encourage your child to ask permission before uploading pictures of others.
Finally, just for good measure - keep the face-to-face lines of communication open with your kids.
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