The holidays are just around the corner, and there’s no doubt that new technology and mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and more – are going to be on wish lists for kids far and wide. For some, it might be their first phone or tablet, while others might be begging for an upgrade to the latest and greatest model.
Whatever the circumstance, establishing parameters early is key to ensuring parents and children agree on how devices will be used. That’s also important considering how big of a role technology has come to play in daily life. 66% of parents in the United States, including those who have at least one child under the age of 18, but who may also have adult children – say that parenting is harder today than it was 20 years ago, with many in this group citing technology as a reason why.1
“Parents want their children to enjoy the benefits of technology while also establishing its proper and appropriate use,” said Tabatha McKay, area vice president/general manager for UScellular in New England. “Setting up a parent-child agreement gives families an opportunity to talk about a variety of topics around technology, social media and interacting online.”
UScellular has an easy-to-use, printable and customizable parent-child agreement form available on its Digital Family Matters website. It includes contracts children and parents can agree to, such as “never read messages or text while driving” and “only engage in social media activity approved by my parent(s).” Other options cover online purchases, unknown calls or messages, bullying and appropriate websites.
The agreement can be customized to include family-specific guidelines. There’s also a “Parent Promises” component, where parents agree to silence their phones when appropriate and to not text and drive.
In addition to the parent-child agreement, the Digital Family Matters site includes resources for parents and children to help them navigate how they use social media, websites and connected devices. They include:
• Social media tips for parents. A list of basic guidelines for parents to help their kids navigate social media safely.
• Keeping your connected home secure. A guide for adding parental controls and other security measures as homes become more connected with Wi-Fi networks and virtual assistants like Google Home and Alexa.
• Social media tips for kids. Tips to consider when kids engage with social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.
UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier is building a stronger network with the latest 5G technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or http://www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with UScellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.