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When the Sweetwater Children were in elementary and middle school….it was long before the advent of Smartphones.  We never had to decide when they were old enough to have one.  
But, in my role as a Media Specialist, I am responsible for teaching kids about responsible use of all kinds of media….including Smartphones!  
I see more and more kids who have phones at school….and I worry about whether they know how to use them responsibly!
That is why this synopsis of the Zact U.S. Mobile Families Survey was so interesting to me!
The concern is there…..
The reasons for the concern are legitimate.

What age do YOU think is the right age for a child to have a Smartphone?

Smartphone usage is on the rise…
Dramatically so!

I love the idea of this survey because it gets the dialogue going.

As adults it is vital that we provide our children with guidance and support as they learn to use any form of electronic communication.
   It was interesting to read the way the ZACT Parental controls work.  The idea of setting detailed schedules for contacts and usage seems to be a great way to give you child “training wheels”!

Sweetwater Style is notgenerally a place where I give my opinions…(I generally save those for Mr. S)!  But I do have an opinion about teaching children how to manage themselves in a safe environment!

Today…I was visiting my nephew in the hospital as he recovers from MAJOR surgery! When his mom, dad and I went to get something to eat….he was able to keep up a texting conversation with us from his bed!  NICE!!!!

But….This Spring I had to have a “serious” discussion with a 3rd grader about some inappropriate language he used online….I will always remember his dismayed comment to me!  “Senora, I just don’t know what I was thinking!”
I also love the idea of Smartphone technology bringing learning opportunities into schools.  (But that is a post for another day!)

So you see….

  • as adults, we have a responsibility to teach children how to manage their behavior in a safe environment
  • as adults, we need to face our own fears as we give our children tools for effective communication
  • as adults, we need to model appropriate use of media and have open discussion about the issues
 I found the information on the Zact website interesting and informative.  It might guide you as struggle with this dilemma.
You can click here for more information on Zact mobile
services.  They are running a contest with a chance to win 3 smartphones in 3 days, Link to the Contest

I would love to hear your thoughts about Smartphones and kids!
 Have A Great Day!

One comment on “The Dilemma of Kids and Cellphones!

  1. NanaDiana

    I think there is a time and place for everything. What really bothers me is when kids are sitting with other kids and they are all texting SOMEONE rather than interacting with each other. I do feel that it isolated/insulated them on some level. It will be interesting to see the other opinions- xo Diana

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