Thursday, November 1, 2012

*AT&T Mobile Safety School Tips* For Parents

Most days, I absolutely LOVE and appreciate technology. But with the advancements of technology also comes some concerns where my children become more and more involved with these electronics. Sadly, the kids today face several issues especially when it comes to mobile phone usage such as bullying, privacy, over-usage, texting while driving and more.

AT&T has created a program called AT&T Mobile Safety School to provide education, resources and tools to help families better manage mobile safety and are committed to being a leader in this cause. 

Recently, AT&T conducted a study of 1,000 parents and 500 kids – ages 8-17 – on a variety of topics that relate to mobile phones, devices and other issues. The results of this study provided some powerful information.

Have you ever wondered what the appropriate age is to give a child a mobile phone (I know I have)? While there isn't an age that is set in stone... or what people may deem as the *right* age, based on this study, the average age of children getting their first mobile phone is 12.1.

Wondered what the average age is by age group?
  • Age 8-11 – average age 9.5 yrs
  • Age 12-14 – average age 11.3 yrs
  • Age 15-17 – average age 13.3 yrs
Parent Concerns

  • 89% are worried about texting and driving
  • 67% are concerned about bullying text messages
  • 69% are concerned about sexually suggestive messages
  • 77% are worried about their kids receiving calls from unknown numbers.
So, what are kids actually experiencing and are the above mentioned Parent Concerns warranted. Sadly, yes.
  • 53% of kids have been in a motor vehicle with someone who was texting and driving
  • Over 1 in 5 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
  • 69% have answered a call from an unknown number
Do Parents Set Cell Phone Usage Rules For Their Kids?

AT&T found that just over half (66%) of kids said that they actually have rules in place for their phone usage, however 90% would be comfortable with rules IF they were set by parents. 

Interestingly, 93% of kids have rules on their phones at school. No rules at home, this might be the perfect opportunity to transition to implement some of these rules right into your home. 

What kind of rules do you have or thinking of implementing in your home?

While each child is unique, there are safety topics and themes that resonate within specific age groups:

Are families discussing mobile safety?
  • 2 out of 5 kids with a mobile phone say their parents have not talked to them about staying safe and secure when using the mobile phone
  • Kids are more likely to have discussed every other safety issue with their parents – protecting yourself from strangers, alcohol and drugs, sex education

Get The Conversation Started!
  • AT&T found that these real families helped uncover some interesting issues. This study helped us understand that we can’t just sit back and see what happens. Families need to be provided tools and tips to address the growing list of wireless safety issues.
  • AT&T is a partner, not just a provider.
  • AT&T's goal is to empower parents to start the conversation about mobile safety, and move away from focusing on restricting their children’s connectivity. 

Interested in learning more? AT&T has put together a variety of resources to help parents. From learning what other families are doing through videos, or downloadable tip sheets, the website at to access this valuable information.

Join the TWITTER party!

AT&T will be hosting a Twitter party on Friday, Nov. 9, at 2pm ET.

[Product review & giveaway disclosure: This post was part of a compensated AT&T Mobile Safety program through The Motherhood. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." See ace and friends Disclosure Policy HERE.]

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