The cellphone generation

Why do parents complain when it’s too late? The recent stats from our Parent24 2009 survey about kids and unsupervised cellphone access were shocking!

Apparently parents allow 24% of children to have unsupervised cellphone access. This percentage raises to 37% of pre-teens and then jumps to a staggering 75% of teens who are allowed to do and go where they please with their cellphones.

It doesn't take a child psychologist or a mind reader to guess just what teenagers are getting up. It's all over the news and every second parent is complaining about their teenager's plummeting school marks because their thumbs are always working overtime.

Why then, I wonder, is it the “problematic teenagers” who are just bound to get up to something that are allowed the most freedom?

Something I have never understood is that parents allow their teens this freedom, knowing what they might get up to. Only once their own teen has gotten into some sort of trouble, do they then want to get involved though.

I'm not saying never give your children a cellphone, they have their pros as well as their cons. According to the survey, parents who give their children cellphone access are happier parents and deem their children happier too!

Parental safety systems and website blockers are available before your teen posts nude pictures of themselves in a public chatroom or “happens to come across” porn sites!

So basically what I'm saying is this, the stats are real and come straight from you, so why not get involved in your teen’s life BEFORE they make the mistake rather than after. Do the homework, contact the service providers and talk to your teen about cellphone (and internet) safety.

Have you and your teen discussed cellphone saftey? If so, what has been the outcome?

The Parent24 2009 survey had more than 8000 responses. The survey, weighted by gender, race and education, represents approximately 7 million metropolitan adults educated to the level of at least matric, across South Africa. For more about the methodology and for results analysis by Jean Redpath and Michael O’Donovan of Hlakanaphila Analytics, download the Parent24 2009 survey PDF. Or see full results.

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