Wireless services and devices offer kids amazing opportunities to learn, play and engage, but there are also opportunities for inappropriate use. With such a wide variety of wireless services and devices, the wireless industry has taken steps to inform parents about the many tools and resources it offers to help and educate parents and kids to stay safe in the mobile environment.
Wireless opens the door to a new world of possibilities in education, work and social interaction. Parents should be aware of the wireless services and devices that kids are using so they know the new offerings.
The wireless industry offers a variety of tools, services and applications for parents to manage their kids’ wireless usage. To more effectively use these tools, parents should look for:
- A wireless provider’s plans, policies and service offerings for voice, data and texts. 611 may be dialed from any wireless device to reach customer service.
- A wireless provider’s parental control tools that allow parents to choose the contacts, downloads, applications, phone functions and service capabilities that are available on their kids’ wireless devices.
- A wireless device’s built-in features and tools available so parents may manage their kids’ access to the Internet, camera, music, videos, games and applications.
- The privacy settings in social networks, location based services and other emerging wireless applications.
For kids, wireless devices and services are the coolest because they can text with their friends, play games and use social networks. Before setting rules and guidelines for kids, parents should experience wireless devices in the same manner as their children.
Keeping an open dialogue is important since it encourages kids to talk to parents about how they are using wireless services and devices. Appropriate wireless use should be defined by parents and kids - together. To start the conversation, parents should start with the five W’s of wireless—who, what, when, where and why:
- Who should they contact?
- What will you allow them to do with their wireless devices?
- When is it appropriate for them to use their wireless devices?
- Where is it appropriate for them to use their wireless devices?
- Why is all of this important?
s technologies evolve and children grow, it is important to keep family guidelines and rules updated annually. To help parents set parameters, here’s a family rules template.
For more tips and info to help parents raise responsible wireless kids, please visit GrowingWireless.com.
Last Updated: September 2012