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When should you give your child a cell phone?

This has been the talk among parents recently and I am in the same situation. With a 13 year old that's been begging me to get him a phone, I'm faced with the question, "When is it OK to give your child a cell phone?"
I think it depends on each individual child. A cell phone is a big responsibility and even an adult can find themselves getting in trouble with going over minutes and racking up a big bill. If you feel that your child is showing responsibility with chores and being wise about different tasks like how they spend their allowance, then maybe they can handle the responsibility of having a phone.
But no matter how responsible, they still need rules set for them:
1. Draw up a contract- List what you expect from them and the limits of their cell phone. Include them if you'd like, but don't put anything that you are not comfortable with.
2.Set a limit on how many text messages during the week- Most phones keep a record of how many texts have been used. Set up a punishment if they go over like they have to pay for any text over the agreed amount.
3. Limit talk time-limiting their talk time to one hour per night is a reasonable amount of time. This also saves you money if your plan has free nights.
4.Homework must be done before any talking or texting- Most schools do not allow the use of phones during school, so you shouldn't have a problem with them using their phone during school time.
5. No browsing the Internet- a definite rule for every child!

Having a cell phone can teach your child to be responsible and something that they will use in other aspects in life. Don't forget to praise them for following the rules and help them to continue succeeding!
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1 Shout outs!:

Palymama said...

If you don't want your child to surf the internet - just don't buy a data package. I'm surprised your 13 year old is texting. Both of my teenagers mostly text with their phones instead of using voice. Most teens do it that way these days. That's why the Kajeet phone doesn't work well for teens. There are no plans with text free - I would hate to have to pay for each of my kids text!