AT&T Mobile Safety School

As I mentioned earlier, Kate is growing up. Despite the fact that I’m not a fan of this, it’s a reality. However, for this generation, there’s a new layer in the coming-of-age drama – cell phones.

Quick, someone tell Judy Blume to write a book about this!

But fortunately, until “R U There (OM)G, itz me Madison” comes out, AT&T has launched a mobile safety campaign to help us navigate these new waters and keep our families connected and our kids safe.

AT&T surveyed 1000 parents and 500 kids ages 8-17 about their families’ use of mobile phones. Here are some of the results.

The average age of kids getting a smartphone (smartphone!) is 13.8. (I was 31.8, but you know, whatever.)
– 89% of parents are worried about their kids being in a vehicle with someone who is texting and driving, and 53% of kids have actually been in that situation. (I am thoroughly ashamed to admit that my 8 year old tells me to put the phone down when we are in the car.)
More than 1 in 5 kids have received a mean or bullying text message from another kid on their mobile phone.
– Almost half (46%) have a friend who has received a message or picture that their parents would not have liked because it was too sexual.
– Only 66% of kids say they have rules on their phone usage, but 90% of them say it’s ok for parents to set rules on their phone usage.

AT&T has a website ( where you can find all the resources you need for dealing with kids and mobile devices – all sorted by age group. One of the best ones I found is a sheet on raising responsible digital citizens. Among other things, it suggests that we:
Model good behavior. Turn off your mobile phones and electronic devices during dinner or while participating in family activities.
Pay attention. Know where your kids go online and what they’re doing there.
Impart your values. Cheating, lying and being cruel online are not acceptable.
Establish limits. Set clear time or texting limits and time of day restrictions so children know when it’s appropriate to use mobile phones or technology.
Encourage balance. Support their interest in offline activities that don’t require a gadget or mobile device.
Make kids accountable. Using digital media is a privilege.

The ball is in our court, people. We’ve got to step up to the plate!

How’s that for a mixed-sports metaphor?

Disclosure: I’m working with AT&T and The Motherhood to discuss mobile safety issues and have been compensated for my time, in case you were wondering.

Post to Twitter


  1. Texting is right UP there with math and neckties!


Speak Your Mind