I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was in my 30s. And that was because they didn’t have cell phones back in the old days when I was growing up. Two of my three children have cell phones, and they got theirs because they were at the age when they were going to be going places without me and I needed to get in touch with them. Of course, now, they use their phones to text their friends, play games, and Facebook all of the time.
If you’re considering getting your child a cell phone, there are important safety tips to go over with them before you set them free into the world of cell phones. SafetyWeb.com shares a few here:
1. Select Appropriate Phone Features. If your child is under 10, they probably don’t need a phone with unlimited social networking or email capabilities. Likewise, the actual phone itself doesn’t need built-in features like a web browser or video messaging. For a young child, look for basic phones. Review all pre-programmed apps and phone capabilities beforehand.
2. Limit Usage. Designate time slots for talking — perhaps after homework and chores are completed, or before dinner. Don’t let constant calls interrupt family time. It’s easy for a chatty teen to cuddle up to a phone at bedtime, so check periodically.
3. Wait - Before Answering. Instruct your child not to answer calls or text messages from numbers they don’t recognize. If it is important, the caller will leave a message and then he can decide how to respond. Explain how to block calls from unwanted numbers.
Check out seven other great cell phone safety tips on SafetyWeb.com and discuss these issues with your child. Make sure your child is responsible enough to use his or her cell phone wisely.