When your teen asks for a cellphone, here’s how to decide if it’s a priority or simply an indulgence.

By Stefanie Phillips

IS YOUR TEEN ASKING FOR A CELLPHONE FOR BACK TO SCHOOL?
Common Sense Media, a source dedicated to helping parents use the powers of technology positively with their kids,
has the answer. It has released seven questions you need to ask yourself before buying your teen a cellphone.
1. Do your kids show a sense of responsibility; such as letting you know when they leave the house? Do they show up when they say they will?
2. Do your kids tend to lose things, such as backpacks or homework folders? If so, expect they might lose a (expensive!) phone, too.
3. Do your kids need to be in touch for safety reasons?
4. Would having easy access to friends benefit them for social reasons?
5. Do you think they’ll use cellphones responsibly—for example, not texting during class or disturbing others with their phone conversations?
6. Can they adhere to limits you set for minutes talked and apps downloaded?
7. Will they use text, photo, and video functions responsibly and not to embarrass or harass others?

WHAT WILL YOUR ANSWER BE?
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