Cell phones & Tweens – A Decision Process

Let’s face it, if you’re a tween parent- you’re in the midst of cell-phone DRAMA! From deciding whether they are ready for one to whether you need your child to have one to concerns over how they are or will use the phone or who communicates with them- you’re in it. And the scariest part is while you may decide to purchase a phone for your tween to better control or manage your communication with them- that very need can lead to less control and more access to them by others.

I recently participated in an interesting survey presented by Sprint Latino that aimed to find out more of the purchase drivers that Latinas are considering when purchasing cell phones for their children. My interest was to continue better understanding the risks and solutions presented by giving my children access to a fully functional phone as until now they are using a wifi tablet or an ITouch with no phone access.

You can review the research findings below as it has good information that other mothers are considering when purchasing phones for their children. And I’ve created some tips I’m using on my own quest to purchase or not purchase a cell phone for my children.

Tips for initial Cell-phone dialog with Tweens

–       Talk about why they ‘need’ a cell phone and when/where it will be used

–       Set parameters and guidelines that work for your family- every situation is unique and only you know how you want your child to use that phone

–       Don’t be pressured! Stay on your course for cellphone access. Just because the others kids have one isn’t a reason to motivate your decision.

–       Stay on your budget! Don’t be pressured into more expensive versions for their first phone.

–       Keep dialog active regarding cellphone SAFETY- see our article regarding the dangers of Sexting!

Please share your feedback and tips- we love to hear other ideas.

DISCLAIMER: Los Tweens was compensated to participate in a Sprint Latino research study around Latina Moms and mobile security for their children. All views are certainly our own.

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Cristy Clavijo-Kish

Cristy is the founder and publisher of Los Tweens & Teens, as well as the co-CEO & partner of DiMe Media, based in Miami. Born to Cuban parents, she’s a ‘Jersey Girl’ who is the proud mom of twin teens and wife to her college sweetheart, a “gringo” with a Latino soul! Cristy is also a teen cancer survivor, lover of travel, tech, good food, all-things beauty related, family cooking and social sharing.