Setting boundaries for kids and their cell phones

Theresa Payton, National Cyber Security Expert, shares advice for parents on the most important boundaries and rules to set for your child and their cellphone
Boundaries and Ground Rules for Your Child's Phone
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Setting boundaries for kids and their cell phones

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Absolutely parents are asking all the time, what can I do when I hand my kid the phone to sort of set some boundaries and some ground rules, so that they can be social on the phone both texting and talking and surfing and e-mails, but also I want to make sure they have good social interactions skills from the physical world too. So how do I set up some boundaries? They are some age appropriate things that you can do. But for starters, one of the things that you can say is here are the times of day I don't want you to be using this device. So when you are suppose to be sleeping, it's not going to be in your room and I am going to be blocking text messages from coming in. So you can actually get phone plans and you can actually queue up texting messages and phone calls and e-mails so that they come in during proper times that you think are appropriate. You can also do thinks like talk to them about setting some limits. You are going to create sort of an allowance if you will. How much text would be reasonable per month? How many phone calls are reasonable per month as well as e-mails, because you need to do your studies and I want you to interact with your friends? And sort of setup that allowance if you will on how much you are going to have and then once in awhile check that just to make sure that you are staying within those limits and guidelines and then the last piece is put some boundaries around meal times, or car times, or other times you are suppose to be together as a family. If you are going to be sitting there and watching a movie and the movie theatre, I want the phones tucked away and I want to enjoy the movie together. We are going to be having a family dinner at a restaurant or at home we are all not going to be checking our devices and guess what mom and dad that includes you too because your kids emulate what you do. I understand if you are on call, but if you are not on call put the phones away during the dinner time and the same thing in the car. Talk to each other in the car. Use that time to catch up and again kids emulate you. You want to make sure you are not texting while driving and you are keeping that phone talking to a minimum while you are driving.

Theresa Payton, National Cyber Security Expert, shares advice for parents on the most important boundaries and rules to set for your child and their cellphone

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Theresa M. Payton

National Cyber Security Expert

Theresa Payton is a well-known and highly respected national authority on cybersecurity, e-crime and fraud mitigation, and technology implementation. She has over twenty years of advanced business and security technology expertise and leadership at the highest levels of government and in the financial services industry, including being the first woman to serve as Chief Information Officer at the White House.  She is a wife and mother to three fabulous and fun kids.  She is also the co-author of the newly released book Protecting Your Internet Identity: Are You Naked Online? and the founder of the S.A.F.E. Kids initiative - a classroom-based, digital safety program.

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