Tuesday, June 24, 2014

U.S. Cellular Better Moments Parent Child Agreement

Last July, I shared U.S. Cellular's Customizable Parent-Child Agreement.  This agreement focuses on safety and etiquette and summer is once again the perfect time to consider if your child is old enough for a cell phone and perhaps implement you own customizable Better Moments Parent-Child Agreement to be set in place for you and your kids. Now that my own child has a smartphone, having an agreement between us helps set boundaries for safe usage. No one else is allowed to use his phone, except in case of emergency to phone their parents.

 In a recent U.S. Cellular survey, respondents indicated that 13 was an appropriate age for a child to receive their first mobile phone, whereas five years ago this age was 15.[Disclaimer: Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2013, 500 nationally representative online interviews were conducted among smartphone users in partnership with Maritz Research.]

For parents who have just purchased a new mobile device for their child, U.S. Cellular recommends the following tips to help ensure their children’s usage is both safe and courteous:

Establish guidelines: According to the U.S. Cellular Better Moments survey, 72% of families have rules regarding child’s cell phone use.  [Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2013, 500 nationally representative online interviews were conducted among smartphone users in partnership with Maritz Research.] To help make this conversation as easy as possible for all parents, U.S. Cellular’s Parent-Child Agreement provides customizable suggestions on safety and etiquette that focus on creating better moments within families. The intention is to make this work for each individual family, and to show how technology can enhance time spent together as a family.  We also keep in touch via phone or text if the family is away from home.

Set up their phone: Take the time to set up your child’s phone to ensure they only have access to phone features and apps that are appropriate for their age. The U.S. Cellular Family Protector App provides safety and security by allowing parents to block websites, restrict the downloading of applications, and more.  My son asks me if it's ok to put certain apps on his phone.

Monitor usage: Regularly checking in on your child’s mobile phone usage can ensure they are using their phone safely and responsibly. The Family Protector app allows parents to monitor call content including text messages, contacts and call history. It can also set schedules for usage to ensure children are not using their device at school and can also set time limits for using the internet once home.  Many schools limit cell phone usage so this can come in very handy.

Have you ever checked out U.S. Cellular Device Workshops?  You can learn more about cutting-edge devices like the iPhone 5s or Samsung Galaxy S5 and the reliability of U.S. Cellulars's 4G LTE network.

And, as far as the Parent Child Agreement, U.S. Cellular will offer free Device Workshops in July that focus on this very topic. At the workshops, U.S. Cellular associates will offer families tips on setting phone guidelines and share suggestions to help with the decision of getting their child their first cell phone. 

For a list of Device Workshops in your area, visit www.uscellular.com/events.

Please let me know if the comments if you plan on using this handy Better Moments Parent Child Agreement in your family.

Disclosure:  I have been provided this information by U.S.Cellular and have been compensated for my posts.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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