Texting And Talking: Monitoring A Child's Cell Phone Usage
I can remember how cool I thought I was when I got my 1st cellular phone. It was the mid-to-late-90's and I was part of a small minority of high school kids with a cell phone. There were no texting functions. And I couldn't call many of my friends on it, because they didn't have one. But I was definitely cool.Now, it has become standard for even middle school kids to carry smartphones with messaging and internet functionality. This is great for parents to keep up with children and their after-school/weekend whereabouts. It gives parents more confidence that the children have a way to reach them in case of an emergency. However, parents must proceed with some degree of caution as well. The degree of privacy and autonomy granted by cell phones may allow for some pitfalls for young users. Here are some indicators that a child may need more governance in regards to cell phone usage:
- Excessive minutes used or text messaging may be evidenced as poor time management when it comes to completing tasks such as homework or chores.
- Inappropriate messaging or internet usage is increasingly common. This is of course more common with teenagers. You may notice your child becoming overly concerned with privacy.
- Lots of routine overage charges are a clear indicator of a lack of responsibility and management.