NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A lot of kids have phones, tablets, and other tech devices on their holiday wish list.

As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reports, there are things every parent should do before handing those gifts over.

“Make it clear that it is still your property,” child behavior specialist Dr. Marcie Beigel said. “It is a gift for them that they can use but make sure that they know it is yours.”

Beigel says it’s important to set rules before you even give the gift. These could include setting a limit on tech-time, a cut-off time for when devices need to be shut down, and even safety checks.

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No matter what, she says it’s important to be open about what you’re doing.

“I’m a big fan of parents checking their kiddo’s phone, making sure they’re doing what they said they were doing,” she said. “Be transparent about that, let them know that’s going to happen.”

If the plan is to take the device away whenever rules are broken, make sure to follow through with what you say.

It’s also important to talk openly with your children about social media and how your child is allowed to use it.

Dan Ackerman from CNET says kids can rack up thousands of dollars in purchases without even realizing it, so make sure to block in-app purchases.

More importantly, says Ackerman, don’t forget a strong case for all your devices.

“I think the case around the device for kids is sometimes more important than the device itself,” he said. “You can get a big Otter Box that’s very protective. Mophie makes a very similar version.”

Experts say it’s a good idea to start small — give your child a used phone or tablet. If they’re responsible with those, you can upgrade when you think they’re ready.


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