Earlier this year I was robbed in Miami to take my brand new smartphone that was a gift from my husband.
That horrible experience left me with a severely broken finger that required three surgeries and physical therapy to heel but the emotional scar was much deeper.
As an online influencer, I’m pretty much tied to my phone and social media constantly. The experience left me basically not wanting to look or carry a nice smartphone for weeks.
When my amigos at Sprint heard about my horrible experience via Facebook, they jumped in with a new phone and plan.
I used a Sprint-enabled Samsung Galaxy Edge for about a month and enjoyed the phone and its amazing camera and ease for fast social media posting. Once I got to know the Sprint plans I realized how much easier a flat-rate plan is for families with tweens and teens trying to manage phone usage and their family budget.
I know how much competing plans cost since I’ve been paying over $200 per month for four phones and 10 gigs of service. The usage can quickly add up and run out to cost you more money each month with added data costs.
And you really do have to be careful about the plans you select. Between needing unlimited texting options to managing how much your tweens and teens are allowed to post on social media – you could easily surpass a family plan limit within the first two weeks of your service period.
Check out these tips as you learn to manage cell phone use for a growing family of mobile users.
TIPS FOR MANAGING CELL PHONE USE WITH TWEENS & TEENS AT HOME
- Limit hours of usage and social platforms: I highly limit the amount of time and social media platforms I allow my teen girls to use. Instagram is their platform of preference and they’re limited to one or two photo posts per day.
- No phones near the dinner table
- No phones available after 10 pm.
- For the tween years between ages 9-12 the hours could be much less depending on your individual family circumstances and need for connectivity.
- Be sure to remind your kids that the phone is a priveledge and can be removed as a consequence for many issues.
The reality is that cell phone usage grows as kids get older so managing your monthly costs becomes even more important.
Please let us know if you have any questions about when to allow phone usage for the first time or tips on how your family can create boundaries surrounding cell phones. We KNOW it’s not easy and welcome the ongoing dialog.
Cristy is the founder and publisher of Los Tweens & Teens, as well as the co-CEO & partner of DiMe Media, based in Miami. Born to Cuban parents, she’s a ‘Jersey Girl’ who is the proud mom of twin teens and wife to her college sweetheart, a “gringo” with a Latino soul! Cristy is also a teen cancer survivor, lover of travel, tech, good food, all-things beauty related, family cooking and social sharing.