Posted in cell phones, digital devices and gadgets, digital parenting, iPhones and iPads, parents and technology

Kids’ Cell Phones? Who’s in Charge Here?

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Read You Make the Call on Kids’ Phones in the Sunday, November 27, 2011 Washington Post. Written by columnist Michelle Singletary and aimed at the parents of digital kids, the article examines the practice of giving children cell phones at younger and younger ages. The author believes that, in reality, cell phones are simply playful gadgets that easily confuse children about the difference between needing things and wanting things.

Most Compelling Thoughts from the Article

  • If you give your children cell phones, each one should sign a contract that specifies your expectations about appropriate use. Check out the cell phone contract posted here on the blog.
  • Many parents say they are getting phones for the safety of their children. However, Singletary points out that most children younger than high school are never in situations without adult supervision. Note: Parents should also check out this page at the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • If you have not started and regularly contribute to college funds for your children, you should not be spending money, willy-nilly, on a mobile phone.
  • If it is really necessary to get a cell phone for a younger child, make it a phone with no frills service.
The article includes much more information. Singletary’s column offers reliable advice, filled with common sense and just a bit of good-natured irritation that so many of us have such difficulty getting our financial lives in order.
Feel free to read a few other MediaTechParenting posts about kids and cell phones.

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