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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013

Control your child's cell phone use

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By Clark Howard


In the United States, it's common for kids to have cell phones by age 11, 12, or 13. Though in many families, that may happen when a kid is still in the single digits.

To my mind, there's no exact right time to give a kid your cell phone. You have to decide what's right in your own household.

Whenever you decide, the most important thing is to have rules. As an example, our 13-year-old daughter who has a cell phone can't use it after 9 p.m. We believe in my house that it's important to disengage from the digital world before bedtime.

Jannell Burley Hoffman is a mom with a blog that recently made headlines when she posted an iPhone contract for her 13-year-old son.

Among the provisions in the contract:

  • I will always know the password.
  • Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30pm every school night & every weekend night at 9:00pm.
  • It does not go to school with you.
  • Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else's private parts.

The more you set up the rules up front, the less headache you'll have down the road.

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