Middle Schoolers and Cell Phones

Sponsored blog post. I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Zact. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating. These opinions and thoughts are my own.    

     Do your kids constantly want to use your phone? Mine do all the time and when they do, they navigate it without any help. Even my two year old can grab my phone and navigate straight to Netflix or Candy Crush. I know my older two kids will soon be at the age where they’ll be asking for their own smartphone! We don't have a home phone (who has that anymore?)  and I've definitely considered getting my soon to be 12 year old middle schooler a cell phone. It can come in handy and give me peace of mind when he is home alone. Yes! I leave him home alone on occasion while I run to the store or drop his sister off at ballet. With easy access to the world wide web and social media, I absolutely have worries about my kids and young youth group teens having access to too much too soon. 

     Many parents have concerns about their kids’ mobile device usage and the team at Zact conducted a survey to find out what’s behind parents concerns. Did you know 73% of U.S. parents are concerned about the lack of parental control of a child’s activities on mobile devices? What are your biggest concerns for your kids when they have a smartphone? How do you talk to them about it? See the Zact infographic below for other great statistics on kids and mobile usage! Zact is an affordable option for parents who want to get their kids a cell phone (without a contract) and comes with awesome parental controls. You can even get a text only plan with zero voice and zero data for around $5 a month...kinda cool. I can text my 12 year old and not have a huge cell phone bill.

     With cell phones in the hands of kids...comes early access to social media. My oldest child has a Twitter, Instagram (and a blog). No Facebook yet! Often times, even as a youth pastor, I wonder about the best way to help him navigate and use social media. If you need more education, training, and ideas for helping your kids with social media or are simply wondering what the heck you need to know about social media. I HIGHLY recommend the book A Parent's Guide to Understanding Social Media (for parents, youth leaders, AND teachers!) 


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