U.S.Cellular’s Parent/Child Agreement & A Child’s First Cell Phone

A Child’s First Cell Phone

A few years ago when my husband and I considered getting Nick his first mobile phone there were several things that we considered. First and foremost was whether or not he really needed a cell phone or if it was more of a want. Quite honestly, I’m a little surprised when I see or hear of young children with cell phones because I honestly don’t see the point other than to look cool with their friends. When we first broached the topic of Nick having his own phone it was when he entered middle school and we knew there would be days after school that he would be spending time with friends at the YMCA or doing school-related activities and not necessarily as easy to reach as I would like. I mean, I realize I survived just fine at that age as long as I had a quarter in my pocket for a payphone, but I wanted to be able to reach Nick at my convenience and not based on his proximity to an available phone, so we decided to add him to our U.S. Cellular plan with the most basic phone with the most basic allowances. We talked in-depth about responsibility and a discussed a few rules he needed to follow because having his own cell phone is a privilege, not a right. He was agreeable and played by the rules just like we asked, but with so many children getting their first mobile phones at younger ages I have often wondered if their parents are having the same type of important discussion that we did with Nick.

U.S. Cellular’s Parent/Child Agreement

To help families through the challenging milestone of a child getting their first mobile phone U.S. Cellular has created a parent/child agreement to hopefully make the transition a little easier on everyone involved, especially parents, but they have a few other tips to help ensure your child’s first mobile experience is both safe and respectful.

  1. Establish guidelines: 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 and to show how technology can enhance time spent together as a family.
  2. Set up your child’s 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.
  3. 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.

If you are still a little nervous about navigating uncharted territory on your own, U.S. Cellular is offering free Device Workshops in the month of July that focus on the decision to get your child his/her first mobile phone. During the workshops U.S. Cellular associates will provide families with advice on creating phone guidelines and share tips to help with the decision of getting a child their first cell phone. For a list of Device Workshops where you live, check out U.S. Cellular’s Events Page. In the meantime, I highly recommend you check out and download the parent/child agreement because whether your child is getting their first cell phone or if they had one for a few years it is a great tool for getting the entire family on the same page about safe and responsible mobile phone usage.

Disclosure: I’m a compensated member of the U.S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade, but as always, thoughts and opinions are my own.


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