Responsible Parenthood: Mobiles For Pre-teens And Teens
When guardians are parents hand cellphones and mobiles to their children, they are already giving a away a powerful communication tool and media gadget. With phones they can text, call, amuse themselves with videos and photos, etc. But not only just that, with what's happening around with technology and the rising risks of teenagers getting more tangled up with cyber mess and miscommunication, you should teach your children to be responsible when using a gadget such as the cellphone. You should tell whether giving them the phone is the right thing to do or not.
Mobiles for elementary school children:
Ask yourself as a parent: Do your kids need a phone?
If "yes"- Decide what kind of phone you want to give to them. For younger children, you should choose a phone that can enable fast dialing and that you can enter all the important numbers for them to contact. For older elementary school kids, choose a phone that would allow them to make calls but not text or do IMs, you can have at least some control over calls but not in texts.
What you should discuss: Set some rules before giving them the phone. Make sure that you have programmed the phone so that all the important numbers are there. inform them ahead that when they receive and unknown call or text not to answer or reply to it. If they were able to answer the call or text then tell them to contact you as soon as possible. Set time on the minutes spent on talking on the phone. Tell them what the phone is phone and set a time for when they should turn it on or off. You can also check the time of calls to make sure that the calls your children make are within the boundaries.
Mobile phones for pre-teend and teens:
Ask yourself: Is my child responsible enough to have a mobile phone of their own?
If "Yes", then better make sure that you choose the right phone and plan for texts or calls. Get a phone plan that will suit their needs and that it is within your range and budget. Choose a texting plan since unlimited texting is more cheaper than both calls and texts. Make them aware that cellphones are tad expensive and that the load that comes with it costs a lot, so that they will be more aware on how to consume it. Tell them that they can get charged for any downloads, like tones and games and that they could also get charged from using the net. Set rules and be firm on it on how they would use their phones: no phones during class and always turn the phone off when studying or doing homework, turn off the phone at night or during meal times, etc. They should pick up the phone when the call is from you, since most teens deem calls from parents as annoying. But as long as you are paying their phone bills, tell them that they should pick up the call or else.
Set the rules and stick the appropriate punishment to it if ever they get to violate them. Make sure that when you are making rules and setting the consequences that you are serious and mean it. Make sure that they know the limits to their phone usage, meaning they are not allowed to use dirty, provoking or sexy language when texting or snap inappropriate photos or record embarassing videos of others. It's not wrong to monitor the texts and calls that your child gets though they might consider this annoying. Explain and open up to them about cyberbullying and or sexual texts and how it can affect them or others and that it can ruin them or other people.
Cellphones are like an essential part of a teenager's life and so make sure that they abide to your rules. Make them understand the consequences when they fail to meet them. Be reasonable on the terms with the phone and help your children to be more responsible individuals, guide them on how to use it correctly and appropriately.
by: Andrea Carless