Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

How old were your kids when they first started asking for a cell phone? Mine hadn’t even hit double digits.

If you’re wrestling with the decision – and worried about how to keep them safe – here is something to consider: whether or not your children have phones of their own, they are going to be exposed to the technology by friends. You may be better off giving them the technology and teaching them to use it responsibly than being the ostrich parent.

Monitor Usage

You can monitor your teen’s cell activity without overbearing invasion using a service like mSpy, which will allow you to not only see who they talk to but which apps they are downloading.

Talk, Talk, Talk

Not on the phone, but to your kids. Talk to them about sexting, about cyberbullying, about the risks of engaging online with people they don’t know, about sharing their pictures or location with people.

When your kids come to you trying to convince you that 10 is the perfect age for a cell phone, like my son tried to do, then it’s possible it’s time to start at least having the conversations with them that you need to have about cell phone and internet safety. Companies like UKnowKids can help you have the discussions you need to have as well as provide the monitoring you need online to keep them safe.

What age did you let your kids have a cell phone? How do you keep them safe? Do you monitor their usage? What services do you use? Share your advice with us!