Seven simple rules for kids' smartphones
Does your child have a mobile phone?
Mobile phones for my kids have been great, but we have family rules. These rules were discussed prior to the phone being given. It's pretty harsh to put limits in after the freedom has been enjoyed.
You break the rules - you lose the phone (for an agreed-on period of time).
The main purpose of the phone is keeping in contact, safety and security.
They can get a phone when they turn 13.
1. The phone is a prepaid - which limits internet surfing and app purchases.
2. In the first year of owning a phone there will be random spot checks of text message content and if you have nothing to hide, you should be OK with this.
3. Do not say on text what you would not say to someone's face.
4. Phones are not bought to the dinner table.
5. Phones are turned off by 8:30pm and left on the kitchen bench.
6. You will not give your number to everyone nor will you share friends' numbers without their permission.
7. You will not reply to numbers you don't know.
This is a tool, not a toy. Many parents are completely unaware that they are handing their child a key to the adult cyber world when they hand them a smartphone.
I have three kids - now 18, 16 and 10. The elder two have coped with these rules and as they have showed their trustworthiness, the boundaries have been extended to wifi not being turned off until after 10pm. Facebook status updates can wait till morning - we all need sleep.
The 10-year-old? She is still hoping I will change my rules - yeah right!!
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