Do Kids Really Need Cell Phone Safety Classes?
When I first heard someone was proposing cellphone safety classes I thought "why do kids need classes"? My first thought was "tell them to stop texting while walking and they should be ok". I then found out this started because one mother picked up her child's cellphone and realized he or she had accidentally or purposely googled a porn site.
There are a couple of things to consider here. If the child purposely googled a porn site the parent needs to have a stern talk with the child. If it was an accidental thing the talk need not be as stern. However this google thing brings up something more. Why is any child given or allowed to buy a phone that can access Google? If you feel your child needs a cell phone for a safety issue or even a social imperative buy him or her a basic phone with no ability to surf the web. It's just that simple. Why do we need classes to warn or dissuade children from visiting porn sites. Just don't give them the opportunity or means to visit harmful sites. Whatever happened to parents having a home computer in an easy to monitor location? Why should children be given phones that five years ago most adults would not have bought for themselves due to the cost?
Is this a learning experience for the children or the parents? We can teach children to avoid things but they still have free will. Even if they don't have the means to view objectionable material on their phones I bet they have a friend who can provide it. Can we teach parents to be parents and not to be friends? That is another question. How many times have we as parents given things to our children that our parents would never have considered? How many times as parents have we given things to our children because of their persistence and insistence?
Parenting. Some say it doesn't come with a manual. Some say many manuals have been written but are meaningless. Parenting is a tough job and one that each parent or family has to learn.
All we as parents can do is teach and warn our kids. Of course we can also make sure not to give them a loaded gun. If you have to buy them a phone just buy a basic phone for calls and texts and monitor what they access.