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Super Cool

#FirstPhoneEtiquette from Microsoft

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With the holiday season upon us, we know lots of kids are asking for their own phone. And many parents are having that hushed conversation. Is Owen old enough? Is Ella responsible enough? Is it good parenting to give our kids a device that opens up the whole world to them?

Microsoft Devices conducted a nation-wide survey on the perceptions Canadians have on kids and smartphones. Did you know that most Canadians don’t think kids under 15 should have a smartphone? Or that if you’ve got kids, you’re more likely (61% versus 50%) to say kids can use smartphones responsibly if given enough instruction and guidelines for use?

Here are some tips for parents from Maureen Dennis and Kathy Buckworth.

 Tips for Parents Considering a Phone For a Child 

1. Don’t over-buy. Pick a phone with functions for your child’s needs and not more. 

2. Putt limits on data, voice and text so surprise bills don’t happen. 

3. Consider a pre-paid phone for budgeting purposes. 

4. Set and enforce family expectations on appropriate use – i.e. not at meal times, not when it is disrespectful, never when driving, or when your attention should be elsewhere. Lead by example. 

5. Consider a “no-phones- in-bedrooms” rule so kids don’t lose sleep texting all night. 

6. Know your school’s phone policies. 

7. Teach your kids to protect their smartphone from theft; install a password to prevent others from getting access to their information. 

8. Explain what will happen if the phone is lost or broken through misuse; the repercussions of running up huge bills (if no limits are installed). 

9. Talk openly about sharing on social media and good boundaries, such as limiting photo-sharing and being smart about personal information. 

10. Let them know the phone is a privilege; abuse the privilege and it can go away at any time. 

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