NewsWatercooler

Actions

How to give your child a cellphone

Posted at 8:19 PM, Nov 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-22 20:23:52-05

Cellphones, they're not just an accessory for kids these days, they're practically a necessity.  But there have to be ground rules.
 
"I think as parents we have the responsibility to not just give your child a cellphone, but also to let them understand just because you have access to the world doesn't mean you understand the world you have access to."
 
Mia Redrick says that's when communication with your kids becomes critical.  The Mom Strategist says since you’re putting a computer in their hands, it's your job as a parent to monitor how they're using it.  Are they watching videos, or using data for texting?
 
"For a child that's watching a lot of YouTube videos you need to go back and have a conversation with your child about their usage or you might even need to reduce their data usage because they're not able to handle that level of data."
 
"One of the things I like to do is do random checks, say let me see your phone and that's the only way I can see what they're putting on Snapchat or other social media profiles are they posting  pictures in a way that I think is inappropriate."
 
Since they're kids,  they may not know.  That's when we're supposed to step in.
 
"Part of our job as parents is to support them in understanding what is appropriate and what is not appropriate for example, them showcasing where they go to school, maybe details that they wouldn't think that would be personal but should not be public information."
 
The cell phone can also be used as a reward, or when it's taken away as a punishment. 
Redrick says set limits.
 
"When your child has something important to do which we know homework is so important having that basket in your house that says cellphones off-limits during homework hours is really a great way to ensure that someone is not going to be texting them."
 
"One of my favorite words in my  household is, 'give me your phone' and I found it's one of the best ways to teach responsibility and great phone etiquette."