6 Questions to Ask Before Getting Your Child a Cell Phone - FamilyEducation

6 Questions to Ask Before Getting Your Child a Cell Phone

At what age should you get your child a cell phone? According to PewResearch Center, the average age is between 12 and 13, but when to get your child a cell phone is a personal decision and can vary from kid to kid based on maturity and need. Before you decide to add your child to your family plan, ask yourself these questions.

Transcript:
Your 10-year-old child is bugging you to buy him a cell phone. He keeps saying, “But all my friends have one!” and “I promise I won’t lose it!” You are running out of excuses to say, “No.”

At what age is it appropriate to give your child a cell phone?

Ask yourself the following six questions about your child to help you make the right decision:

Why does your little one need a cell phone?
Does he have extracurricular activities, go over to friend’s house after school, or walk home alone? You want to be able to contact him, and he might need to inform you.

Getting your child a phone is a necessity for their safety. However, make sure buying a phone is based on a genuine need for your kid and not just a way for them to text their buddies instead of doing homework!

Is your child responsible enough to handle having a cell phone?
Will she be able to keep track of it or just leave it somewhere while playing? Will she follow school rules and not use it during school hours? Is she mature enough to understand when, how, and why to use it?
If you have any doubts, talk to your child about responsible usage of such technology.

Does your kid understand your concerns about his safety?
Does he know not to text while in class, not post inappropriate content to social media sites and apps, or share their personal information with strangers?

A lot of safety issues arise when a child is given a cell phone. Discuss the ill-effects of the Internet usage candidly.

Does your child understand how much it costs to let him have a phone?
As a parent, you typically foot the bill for mobile service. Make sure your child knows about any minute and data limits, text messaging costs, and app charges.
Set some rules about usage and consequences for excessive costs.

Which phone functions should you let your child use?
There are so many apps and other features on cell phones. But does your kid actually need all the bells and whistles? Figure out exactly what he should have access to and monitor usage. You can set passwords and track text messages and calls.

How much do you want to control your child’s cell phone?
Set up some rules about usage and consequences if he messes up. Rules could focus on when and where the phone can be used, the number of hours it is available, and punishments for excessive use.
Monitor your child’s phone and track usage by using MobSafety Ranger, Famigo, and other apps.

Hopefully, these questions helped you to answer the ultimate question – Do I give my child a cell phone or not? Share your experiences and comments!

For more parenting tips, visit http://www.familyeducation.com/.