"The parent(s) should have some good conversations with the child prior to securing the phone so the standards they are setting are fully understood by the child. These include their expectation that the child is RESPONSIBLE and TRUSTWORTHY enough to use the cell phone wisely."
If parents do decide to get a cell phone for their child, Dr. Clarke-Pearson recommends that "every night, the phone should be "parked" in a designated central room in the home so that the child can get appropriate sleep without the temptation to continue texting." While parents will certainly desire the ability to get in touch with their kids at all time, Dr. Clarke-Pearson "strongly suggests that the child's initial phone is NOT a smart phone but a regular cell phone whose major purpose is communication with family and friends."
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.