Boys Town Tips to Help Parents Manage Children and Cell Phones

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Boys Town releases advice for parents on how to decide the right time for a child to have a cell phone and how to manage the technology.

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Boys Town Tips to Help Parents Manage Children and Cell Phones

Boys Town releases advice for parents on how to decide the right time for a child to have a cell phone and how to manage the technology. The national child care organization, started over 90 years ago, offers these tips to help parents make the right choice for their family.

1.    Children under the age of 12 should be under some sort of adult supervision at all times, therefore an adult will be with them and likely have access to a phone. In this case there is less need for a child’s own phone.

2.    If the child is beyond the need for constant adult supervision, consider the child’s maturity level. If they are known for losing things, now may not be the best time. However, if they are responsible with “lesser things”, it might be time to let him or her extend that responsible behavior to a phone.

3.    A family policy should be established for phone usage. The policy should address who the child is permitted to call and what the child can do with the phone (text, talk, surf the internet, download music or other content). Parameters should also be set for where and when he/she can use it and how the parent will monitor the usage.

“Smartphone usage isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition,” says Laura Buddenberg, parent trainer at Boys Town. “Allow your child to have the phone for short periods of time and see how it goes.” Boys Town counsels families and schools across the country on the best parenting and discipline practices. These strategies incorporate those teachings and can be used for effective parenting in the home.

You can find more information about cell phones and children at http://www.parenting.org/article/top-10-parenting-tips-for-family-use-of-technology-and-media.

About Boys Town
Nationally, Boys Town has been a beacon of hope for America’s children and families through its life-changing youth care and health care programs for more than 90 years. In 2011, Boys Town’s Integrated Continuum of youth care and health care programs impacted more than 500,000 children and families across America. This includes those who received services from Boys Town’s residential programs as well as those served by the many varied programs that comprise the Boys Town Integrated Continuum of Child and Family Services, including In-Home Family Services, health care services provided by Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Boys Town National Hotline.

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Media Contact:
Lauren Laferla
402.498.1273
lauren.laferla(at)boystown(dot)org

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Boys Town
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