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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

April 16, 2012
Are Your Kids Ready for Cell Phones?

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Are your kids begging for a cell phone? Consider these costs and benefits before you make the decision to get them one.


Many parents wrestle with whether or not to give their children cell phones. Being able to reach kids in an emergency is a compelling reason to say yes. But you also should weigh the high cost of calling plans and the possibility that your kids might be able to access inappropriate content.

Review your mobile carrier's parental controls plan for features like: being able to cap phone minutes and text messages; block mature content; and restrict time-of-day usage. And, since no filtering tool is completely foolproof, discuss safety issues with your kids and make sure they're comfortable coming to you with issues.

Bottom line: If your child is ready for a cell phone, don't be afraid to set ground rules and monitor their activity carefully.

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