Kids and Mobile Phones

By: Ian Ball

Today over fifty percent of teenagers have mobile phones. They are a lifesaver for busy parents who worry about getting in touch with their children or who enjoy constant contact with their family.

For these parents, mobile phones represent a tremendous improvement over the loose change they forced on their children in case of emergencies. Parents were able to stress less about their children's safety and have peace of mind that their young ones could call anytime they needed a ride or advice.

Too Much Mobile Phone
As mobile phones have advanced, however, many parents have not kept up with the changing times, especially in regard to their children. Young people speak on cell phones occasionally, but are far more likely to use features such as downloadable programs, internet, videos and texting.

Mobile phones are no longer simply a phone to be thrown in a backpack in case of emergencies. They are quickly becoming an entire mobile computer.

Teenagers have become adapt at hiding mobile phone use in the classroom as well as home. Riding the school bus is no longer a time for homework or visiting with friends, but a time to play games or chat on a mobile phone.

Mobile phones have turned many teenagers into cyber bullies. Students bring mobile phones into locker rooms and take pictures or videos to use as blackmail. Cyber stalking using text messages and calls is becoming more common. And the worst part of all is that parents have no idea this is occurring.

Parental Control
Parents have learned great control tactics over the home computer. However, many teens now bypass the computer in the family room and take their mobile phone into the quiet of their bedroom. Parents who are not aware of their child's mobile phone capabilities may have no clue how much texting and photo sharing is going on behind closed doors.

Fortunately parents are in more control than they realize. You must be eighteen to sign a contract for mobile phone service, and presumably most parents are purchasing mobile phones for their children in the first place.

Buy a mobile phone for your child without too many bells and whistles. Be sure to arrange detailed billing so that you can monitor how your child is using her minutes. Take up the mobile phone after a certain time every night to avoid late night calls or hidden texting. Parents should know what their child is doing on their mobile phone and help teach their children responsible mobile phone use.

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