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Cellphone Parenting

What are the basic safety rules for cellphones?

Parents: Discuss these basic safety rules before you give your kid a cellphone.


  • Be respectful, both to the people you're texting with and those around you.
  • Be careful. Assume that even private texts can become public.


  • Verify the caller or texter. Don't respond to numbers you don't know.
  • Always answer the phone when it's Mom or Dad!

Taking pictures

  • Ask permission before you snap someone's picture, take a video, or forward a photo.
  • Don't publicly embarrass people. Don't post someone's photo -- especially an unflattering one -- from your phone without their permission.

Apps and downloads

  • Manage costs. Make sure your kids understand that they're spending real money when they download apps, games, and music. Consider giving them an allowance for downloads or password-protecting the download function.
  • Use parental controls. Depending on the age of your kid, consider using the settings to filter out age-inappropriate content, restrict downloads, and prevent in-app purchases.


  • Be selective, not impulsive. Make sure kids know to be very choosy about what they post from their phones.
  • Be safe. Explain the risks involved in using location services.

What basic cellphone safety rules do you have for your kids?

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Adult written by mecrociata

Thank you. My twin 12 yr old girls are the last in their class to get phones, which is happening this weekend. Now we have a starting point for rules and wise/safe usage.
Adult written by AnYah1029

Tell your child to ask him/herself one question before posting, texting, sharing about or taking pictures of someone else. "How would I feel about this if it were me!?" The golden rule.
Parent of a 11-year-old written by lindsay l.

I don't think this is "setting rules." Setting rules should be boundaries with how much they go on their phone and taking it away when they are doing homework or something like that.