You make them wear a helmet when they ride their bike.
You make them wear their seat belt when they ride in the car.
You talk to them about strangers, drugs and sex.
You spend much of your adult, parenting life, keeping your kids safe. When you tether them to the world with a cell phone. . .how do you continue to keep them safe?
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend one of AT&T's Mobile Safety Webinars. Their Mobile Safety program has been established to educate parents on what safety means when it comes to mobile devices, and to provide resources that help parents navigate this daily in their homes.
According to research conducted by AT&T, the average age that a kid gets their first cell phone is 12.1 years. By the way, I was right around 30, when I got mine, which I am happy to share with my boys when they ask. Boy have times changed!
And it's not just bullying or inappropriate pictures we have to worry about. What about texting and driving (for our older teens)?
Here are some startling statistics AT&T found in their research. . .according to kids,
- Over HALF have been in a car with someone who was texting and driving
- Over 1 in 5 have received a mean text message
- Almost half have a friend who has received a sexual picture or message
- 69% have received a call from an unknown number
Here at our house, we do have rules. Mostly, they are very simple.
- You MUST ask before downloading anything - even if it's free. No ask, it gets removed and/or you lose use of the phone for a number of days.
- The phone stays downstairs at night.
- No texting or calling after 8pm.
In my opinion, this is much easier than talking to my kids about sex, or drugs . . .but it's just as important. Of kids ages 12-14, 35% have smartphones. That's basically having the entire world in the palm of their hand. It's a wonderful and useful tool. . .but it's important we teach our kids to handle it safely AND smartly. We wouldn't give them access to the kitchen without telling them about hot stoves and sharp knives - right?
Do you have a child with a cell phone? Have you talked with them about Mobile Safety? I'd love if you'd share how you planned your talk and what were some key discussion points!
catch you soon -
note - This post is part of a compensated cell phone safety campaign for ATT through The Motherhood. As always, all opinions expressed here are my very own.