This past holiday season, cell phones were a sought-after gift that many children received. It’s an interesting and emotional reality for parents when their kids get a phone, as it signals a small level of independence for the child, but also a way for parents to stay connected to them throughout the day.
With this newfound independence, it’s our job as parents to ensure that our kids stay safe and smart when using their new technology which begs the question – how do they stay safe? The question is more relevant than ever, as a recent survey revealed that 45% of parents believe kids aged 12 to 14 are at an acceptable age for phone ownership.
As a mother myself, I, too, have had to make this decision based on what worked best for my children and family. If you were one of many who gifted their child a phone this holiday season, here are a few essential tips to keep your children protected on their new device.
Understand Parental Controls
As your teens are taking baby steps into adulthood with their own devices, it is imperative to know the controls and assistance available to parents to help limit apps and screen time. For example, with Xfinity Mobile, you can set limits known as “downtime,” during which your kid can’t use the device (like after bedtime). You can also put time limits on apps (no more than an hour of gaming or social media, for instance), monitor device use, and, of course, block certain apps or content types.
Emphasize Responsible Usage and Set Expectations
Beyond technological controls, sit your child down for a discussion to instill a sense of
responsibility in their technology use. Setting clear expectations is important. For instance, you might require them to send a brief text message when walking home from school or leaving a sports practice. It is best to encourage open communication about their digital experiences, fostering a healthy and balanced approach to technology.
If you’re a parent who didn’t gift their child a phone this holiday season, the discounts on new tech haven’t come to an end just because the holidays are over. Xfinity Mobile is offering belated gifts in the form of big discounts. Now through March 21, new and existing Xfinity Internet customers may qualify for one line of Unlimited Intro free for one year – up to a $360/year value – when they subscribe to one line of Unlimited on Xfinity Mobile.
By incorporating these tips, parents can be confident with their gift choice and provide a well-rounded and informed approach to its use. To learn more about Xfinity Mobile and its mobile deals, visit www.xfinity.com/mobile.
Toni Murphy, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Comcast Central Division