Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kids and Cell Phones -- Taking the Plunge

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and get your child a cell phone. Studies show the average age for a child to get their first phone is around 12 but there is  a good amount of variability in that number. Regardless of the age of your child, the success of this venture depends largely on you, as a parent. You need to set your child up for success. Here is how:

Establish Rules of Use
The first thing you need to do is define a Rules of Use Agreement with your child. This Agreement is the set of rules that governs what your child is and is not allowed to do with their phone. The rules should be specific and actionable. Avoid anything subjective or open to interpretation. I recommend a written document so that there is no confusion. A good activity might be to sit down with your child and come up with the agreement together. Capturing their attention for that long might seem impossible but if they know that getting a phone is contingent upon it, you’ll get some of their time and attention. Your agreement should include: