AMES, Iowa – Getting ready for school in the fall used to mean buying new clothes, some basic school supplies and maybe a new backpack. Today a new cell phone often is at the top of the back-to-school list, but do kids really need cell phones? Family life specialists discuss the issue this month in the Science of Parenting blog from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
“Many kids want cell phones, but not all kids need them. A child should be mature enough to understand how to use the phone safely and be responsible for taking care of it,” said family life specialist Donna Donald.
“Whether your child is asking for a first phone or wants to upgrade to the newest version, talk about his or her motivation. Why exactly does he or she need this particular phone?” added family life specialist Lori Hayungs.
“Then spend time setting the ground rules for use. Help your child understand that having a phone of any kind is a privilege and subject to using the phone responsibly,” Donald said.
Learn more from tips on the blog throughout the month and in a four-minute podcast. Through the Science of Parenting, www.scienceofparenting.org, ISU Extension and Outreach specialists share and discuss research-based information and resources to help parents rear their children. Parents can join in the conversation and share thoughts and experiences, as well as how they handle parenting responsibilities.