Disclosure: Thank you LifeLock for sponsoring this post. Please visit The Smart Talk for more tips on how to prepare your kids to develop healthy online habits.
Enter The Smart Talk Giveaway for a
chance to win a trip for four to Disney World.
(Learn how to enter below.)
This week my daughter turned fourteen and we gave her a smart phone for her birthday. It was a decision that my husband and I discussed to great length before doing so. Online safety is getting so much harder than it used to be, and it seemed like the cons to giving her a phone were a never ending list.
Some of the biggest cons to allowing our child to have a smart phone was that they are a great distraction, the radiation is physically dangerous, use is difficult to monitor, and we’ve had online issues with our teens before.
The pros to allowing her to have a phone is that they are traceable by law enforcement (in an emergency), she can text her friends without an app, and we can stay in contact with her when she is away.
For us, while the cons list is signifiantly longer than the pro list, we agreed that there were two very important aspects of her having a phone that we couldn’t overlook —
Cell phones are traceable by law enforcement in an emergency, and
She doesn’t need an app to talk to her friends.
Our daughter was texting her friends anyway, but because they had cell phones and she didn’t, she had to download an app onto her tablet that would allow her to text them. These apps are known to be a doorway to greater problems and dangers. We believe these two benefits to having a smartphone are too important to overlook.
Having the Smart Talk
The Smart Talk is an online tool designed to help parents empower their children to become smart digital citizens in an increasingly connected world. It’s the result of a collaboration between LifeLock and National PTA.
Creating a contract with our daughter regarding our expectations from her in order to have a smartphone was really easy. The Smart Talk allowed us to go step by step through the online checklist to set our own ground rules — it even allowed us to add our own rules if we wanted to.
The Smart Talk contract topics include: safety and privacy, screen times, social media, apps and downloads, texting and calling, reputation and respect, online videos, and cameras.
After agreeing on healthy limits together, a personalized, official family agreement was printed and stored on my computer in case I need it again. The printed copy of our agreement is now posted on the back of her bedroom door as a reminder.
As an incentive for all families to have The Smart Talk with their child/teen. The Smart Talk is offering a sweepstakes where families can enter for a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to Disney World.
Any eligible person can enter The Smart Talk Giveaway by visiting TheSmartTalk.org Giveaway between now and Feb. 16. You can re-visit the page each day to put in an additional entry for yourself. One lucky winner will be selected for a trip for four to Walt Disney World in July 2016. (The Giveaway winner will be announced in early March.)
Visit The Smart Talk Giveaway site HERE to enter for a chance to win this amazing prize and create your own personalized family contract to encourage healthy digital habits.
Disclosure: I was selected for this opportunity as a member of KidzVuz blogger network and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.