000-017   000-080   000-089   000-104   000-105   000-106   070-461   100-101   100-105  , 100-105  , 101   101-400   102-400   1V0-601   1Y0-201   1Z0-051   1Z0-060   1Z0-061   1Z0-144   1z0-434   1Z0-803   1Z0-804   1z0-808   200-101   200-120   200-125  , 200-125  , 200-310   200-355   210-060   210-065   210-260   220-801   220-802   220-901   220-902   2V0-620   2V0-621   2V0-621D   300-070   300-075   300-101   300-115   300-135   3002   300-206   300-208   300-209   300-320   350-001   350-018   350-029   350-030   350-050   350-060   350-080   352-001   400-051   400-101   400-201   500-260   640-692   640-911   640-916   642-732   642-999   700-501   70-177   70-178   70-243   70-246   70-270   70-346   70-347   70-410   70-411   70-412   70-413   70-417   70-461   70-462   70-463   70-480   70-483   70-486   70-487   70-488   70-532   70-533   70-534   70-980   74-678   810-403   9A0-385   9L0-012   9L0-066   ADM-201   AWS-SYSOPS   C_TFIN52_66   c2010-652   c2010-657   CAP   CAS-002   CCA-500   CISM   CISSP   CRISC   EX200   EX300   HP0-S42   ICBB   ICGB   ITILFND   JK0-022   JN0-102   JN0-360   LX0-103   LX0-104   M70-101   MB2-704   MB2-707   MB5-705   MB6-703   N10-006   NS0-157   NSE4   OG0-091   OG0-093   PEGACPBA71V1   PMP   PR000041   SSCP   SY0-401   VCP550   000-080   1Z0-051   300-208   350-029   102-400   1z0-434   220-801   70-347   1Z0-804   210-260   640-911   300-135   NSE4   EX200   070-461   70-534   700-501   9L0-012   MB6-703   400-101   70-480   M70-101   SY0-401   PMP   1Z0-061   9A0-385   642-732   000-017   9L0-066   JN0-102   1Z0-061   70-411   1V0-601   300-206   400-051   MB2-707   640-692   101   70-346   CISSP   HP0-S42   PR000041   PMP   300-075   200-125  , 300-135   CCA-500   2V0-620   CISM   OG0-093  

Training Wheels for New Cell Phone Users – Greater Pensacola Parents

Training Wheels for New Cell Phone Users

If your child is one of the lucky kids getting a new cellphone during the holidays, now is the time to think about the rules that should go along with it.  Kids need to understand from the get go that having a phone is a privilege and, like all privileges, comes with responsibilities.

Being clear about expectations is step one, but many children also benefit from a little extra structure.  Fortunately, parents have access to a wide range of technical tools that will help children remember and respect their rules.  The checklist that follows provides an overview of protections that are available for cellphones.

It’s unlikely that most parents will want or need all of these tools.  The features that make sense for your family depend partly on your parenting style and partly on your child’s temperament.  In addition to age and maturity, you’ll want to think about the following questions:  Is your child able to keep track of belongings?  Does he or she generally follow household rules?  How easily is your child distracted?  How susceptible is she to pressure from peers or strangers?  Most important, how will this tool help you reach your ultimate goal–having a child who makes good, independent decisions about how and when to use a cellphone.

Once you’ve decided which protections you want, find out whether they are available from your phone carrier.  All major companies offer some of these services free and others for a monthly fee.  To figure out what’s available on your plan, search for parental controls on their website.  Better yet, visit one of their outlets and have someone describe and demonstrate the relevant features so you’ll actually be able to use them.

Curb Phone Calls.  For very young children, it’s often a good idea to establish an approved list of phone numbers so your child can make and receive calls only from those people.  For older kids, you may still want software that shows traffic on the phone. Remember that specific numbers can always be blocked if your child is being harassed or unduly influenced by peers or strangers.

Control texts.  Depending on your family’s plan and your child’s self control, you may want controls that limit the number of texts your child can send and/or receive.  Some controls also allow parents to monitor texts for content that seems risky.

Monitor web sites.  A smart phone allows a child unrestricted access to the Internet, so you may want filters that block access to pornography, gambling, hate speech and other content.

Supervise social media.  A cellphone makes it all too easy to share impulsive messages, photos and videos.  Parents can arrange to be notified whenever a child posts or is tagged on social media.  Or you can set up controls that alert you only if your child uses unacceptable language, is involved in bullying or exchanges inappropriate photos.

Manage time.  If the phone seems to be taking over a child’s life, most carriers offer a timer that will allow you to establish intervals when the phone simply doesn’t work because your child should be sleeping or paying attention in class.

Track location.  If your child struggles to keep track of personal items, you may want an app that will locate the phone if its lost.  Some parents also use GPS to confirm that kids are where they are supposed to be—home after school, on the soccer field, at a sleepover.


Limit downloads.  Kids with smartphones will want to explore the wonderful world of apps. Some apps simply aren’t suitable for children.  Some cost money that will show up on your phone bill.  Some introduce malware onto the phone.  If you have any doubts about your child’s judgment, look for software that will alert you when your child tries to download a ringtone, game or social media app.


Disable while driving.  If your child is old enough to drive, consider using a feature that disables the phone whenever it’s moving at the speed of a car.

Most families find they can protect their children adequately with services provided by cellphone companies, supplemented perhaps by free apps like MamaBear.  If you decide to invest in more comprehensive software, detailed reviews of ten options are available at cell-phone-parental-control-software-review.toptenreviews.com.

Some of these programs brag about how they can be used in “stealth” mode so kids will never even know their parents are watching them.  In many ways, that kind of spyware subverts the goals of good parenting. If you do find something worrisome, you won’t be able to discuss it without admitting that you’ve had your child’s phone under surveillance. Better to talk openly about what cellphone safeguards you plan to use and why you think they are important. Being upfront about your concerns actually makes it more likely that your kids will become so savvy, skilled and responsible that they won’t need training wheels anymore.

Carolyn Jabs, M.A., has been writing the Growing Up Online column for ten year. She is also the author of Cooperative Wisdom: Bringing People Together When Things Fall Apart.  Available at Amazon and Cooperative Wisdom.org.  @ Copyright, 2016, Carolyn Jabs.  All rights reserved.

Carolyn Jabs

Carolyn Jabs, M.A., raised three computer savvy kids including one with special needs. She has been writing Growing Up Online for ten years and is working on a book about constructive responses to conflict. Visit www.growing-up-online.com to read other columns. @ Copyright, 2016, Carolyn Jabs. All rights reserved.

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