Let’s face it, if you’re a tween parent- you’re in the midst of cell-phone DRAMA! From deciding whether they are ready for one to whether you need your child to have one to concerns over how they are or will use the phone or who communicates with them- you’re in it. And the scariest part is while you may decide to purchase a phone for your tween to better control or manage your communication with them- that very need can lead to less control and more access to them by others.
I recently participated in an interesting survey presented by Sprint Latino that aimed to find out more of the purchase drivers that Latinas are considering when purchasing cell phones for their children. My interest was to continue better understanding the risks and solutions presented by giving my children access to a fully functional phone as until now they are using a wifi tablet or an ITouch with no phone access.
You can review the research findings below as it has good information that other mothers are considering when purchasing phones for their children. And I’ve created some tips I’m using on my own quest to purchase or not purchase a cell phone for my children.
Tips for initial Cell-phone dialog with Tweens
– Talk about why they ‘need’ a cell phone and when/where it will be used
– Set parameters and guidelines that work for your family- every situation is unique and only you know how you want your child to use that phone
– Don’t be pressured! Stay on your course for cellphone access. Just because the others kids have one isn’t a reason to motivate your decision.
– Stay on your budget! Don’t be pressured into more expensive versions for their first phone.
– Keep dialog active regarding cellphone SAFETY- see our article regarding the dangers of Sexting!
Please share your feedback and tips- we love to hear other ideas.
DISCLAIMER: Los Tweens was compensated to participate in a Sprint Latino research study around Latina Moms and mobile security for their children. All views are certainly our own.
As a mother of twin tweens in 2011 and an active Girl Scout Troop leader, Cristy realized there was a need to develop bilingual digital content and foster a community facing the challenges of raising kids after first grade. That year she founded and remains co-Publisher of Los Tweens & Teens, to support multicultural parents and mentors with content related to raising Gen Z- tweens & teens ages 7-18. Through the Los Tweens & Teens LIVE events such as Teens & Me – the growing team aims to provide our community with essential resources from chats with therapists to battle anxiety and bullying, to understanding social media and technology.
A New Jersey native of Cuban decent, Cristy is a board member of Amigos For Kids – a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse in the South Florida community. She is a teenage cancer survivor and speaks nationally at conferences and volunteers with cancer-awareness organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of South Florida.