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Back to School

Should I let my child bring an iPod (or other music device) to school?

Students with earbuds stuck in their ears are a common sight in the hallways, study halls, lunchrooms, and even libraries of many middle and high schools. Today's teachers are pretty tolerant of kids listening to music at times during the day when they don't need to be listening to a teacher. If you decide to let your kid bring an iPod to school, discuss some limits together. Make sure your kid follows the school's rules and that music isn't interfering with his or her ability to concentrate (if grades start slipping, that's a red flag). Remind them to take the headphones off when they're talking to people -- especially teachers.

Hiding behind a wall of sound may not be a great way to make friends, so make sure the music is for entertainment -- not a way to avoid people. And remember that expensive gadgets can wander off, so discuss a replacement plan for theft or loss.