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How can I control my child's cell phone and Internet use?

Shawn Edgington
Pediatrics
If there's one thing children are completely attached to and in their minds "can't live without," it's their cell phones. Parents everywhere have testified that restricting their teen's cell phone and Internet access works well as a consequence for inappropriate use.

Typically, parents don't take the phone away, as they still want to have the ability to contact their child. A great tool for limiting the bells and whistles that come with almost every cell phone is the parental controls feature that is available for a low monthly fee from your wireless provider. This allows you to choose what feature(s) you are going to restrict or take away, while still leaving the ability to make and receive calls intact.

The most important thing is to discuss the consequences for inappropriate or abusive cell phone or Internet use before you agree to purchase or upgrade their cell phone, pay for their monthly service, or allow access to the Internet. Be sure to set the usage rules, and then follow through with the consequences. One without the other is useless.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.