The Techlicious blog features an information-filled post, with resources for parents who want to learn more about features and limits-setting as they go about considering whether to purchase a cell phone for a child. In her May 28, 2012 piece Suzanne Kantra describes some of the newest parental control packages on the market at large mobile phone carriers.
Kantra compares and contrasts various features that address a variety of parent concerns including:
Keeping track of kids
Text messaging limits
Below are a few past blog posts from MediaTechParenting on mobile phones and kids.
Have fun reading this Chicago Tribune article, Welcome to Camp Tur-Ni-Toff, describing the lengths that sleep-away camps are going to preserve “their bucolic bubbles.” It sounds like the luckiest camps are those that do not have cell reception in the area. NOTE: The reporter points out that parents have more difficulty with the gadget prohibitions than do the campers.
My favorite quote:
The essence of camp is to rise and fall on your own … not to call your parents because you’re homesick or having a bad day,
My second favorite quote:
Even letters home are done with actual stamps and paper … a first for many of our campers.
What is the right age for children to get personal e-mail accounts? Most of us discover, usually in hindsight, that a child’s independent e-mail account changes the context of many childhood experiences and complicates our child rearing concerns.
E-mail connects a child to the world in ways that we parents may want to postpone. Chain mail, spam, the occasional unkind note, crazy stories, and the appearance of strange links — all are experiences that cannot be avoided, even with the best parental monitoring and regular family discussions. Complicating the situation are the regular and age-appropriate conversations children have with one another, talking about odd and unusual electronic encounters. It’s wise to chat with teachers at your child’s school because they observe digital interactions that are different from what parents see.
Hundreds of digital options — e-mail is only one of them — are available and waiting for your child to discover them, so in the final analysis you cannot prevent digital access. You can, however, make decisions help you focus on educating your child about digital citizenship.
The other day I chatted with a parent about the concept of copyright. Both of us are concerned that digital kids understand very little about intellectual property. The free-for-all digital information climate ensures that children have considerable difficulty comprehending what belongs to whom.