Kids first phone

Question of the Day from a mom of a 5th grader, Chicago, IL:

Dear Bulldog,

I find myself under a lot of pressure to get my 5th grader a phone. What are some important things to know when I do give her that phone?

A mom from Chicago

Dear Mom from Chicago,

Before giving your child a phone, there are many things you’ll want to do to make sure they use the phone appropriately. It’s very important to set up ground rules for using a phone so that your child knows what is expected! With this discussion you can: Go over which apps are appropriate to download and which are not; Discuss the necessity of reporting online abuse or bullying (and teach your child how to do this); Talk about what types of pictures can be shared on social media and what shouldn’t be posted (give reasons and examples for each argument, and make sure to discuss the dangers of sending nude photos); Teach your child about privacy and how social media is rarely private, and that everything can be shared with a cut and paste.

It is a privilege for your child to receive a phone and they should understand there are expectations for using the phone. Boundaries should be made about appropriate times to use the cell phone so that they don’t become addicted or overly reliant on it. With these guidelines, your child will be much smarter and safer while using social media!

Wishing you all the best!
Bulldog Team