A cell phone is an effective and efficient communication tool. Letting people know where you are or sending reminders about important events are made much easier by mobile communication devices. And they aren't just for adults--children can also benefit from having their own cell phones. Giving your child one can be an opportunity to develop a sense of discipline and responsibility. It can also help sharpen his decision-making skills.

Depending on the needs of your family, even a child as young as nine may be given a phone. However, you must insist that it is used properly. Just as you monitor your child's time in front of the TV or computer, so should you check on your child's use of his cell phone.

But how can you do this? Click through the gallery below for suggestions.

For more advice on guiding your kids on their use of technology, read these FN articles:

(First published in
Good Housekeeping Magazine, Raising Kids section as "Gv Me Fone" on March 2004; adapted for use in Female Network)
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