At some point your child is going to ask (or perhaps skip right to begging) for a cell phone. Parents often want to know when (if ever) is the right time to allow a child to carry a cell phone. Of course each parent must weigh the pros and cons and ultimately decide if their child is ready and if the time is right. Download the Savvy Parents Safe Kids cell phone contract to help you establish your expectations for your tweens cell phone use Savvy Parents Safe Kids cell phone contract A cell phone can be a great way to stay connected with your child and can be used as a part of your safety plan with your child. Here are some questions to think about when determining if your child should have a cell phone
Does your child:
Respect his/her belongings?
Show responsibility in keeping track of their personal items?
Walk home alone?
Plan on spending time home alone?
Babysit at other people’s homes?
Participate in after school activities where they will have to coordinate rides home?
Often end up waiting for you because you are running late?
Respect the rules at school?
If you have answered “yes” to more than 5 of these questions… it may be time to think about a cell phone. You do not have to get a phone with a full data plan! Start simple and see what works for you and your child. You may find that texting is the way to go (or not!). Remind your kids not to give out their phone number or lend their phone to others. Talk about what your expectations are in regard to your family phone rules and also what the school rules are. With proper parental guidance and clear expectations a cell phone can become a valuable safety tool for your tween. When surveyed, most tweens said that although they knew that they could call their parents if they needed help, they would be more likely to text a parent. The reason: they did not want to stand out in the situation with their peers.
About the Author: Kim Estes is the owner of Savvy Parents Safe Kids and has worked with parents for over 15 years, educating them on various parenting topics. Kim is a certified prevention educator through the National Security Alliance, the Kid Safe Network and is a Darkness 2 Light facilitator. As a Child Safety Expert, Kim has appeared on local and national TV and Radio shows, helping to raise awareness on the importance of prevention education. For more information about her work or to schedule a workshops go to: www.savvyparentsafekids.com