NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A lot of kids are asking for electronics this holiday season – from phones to computers – but parents need to stay aware of tech safety before bringing them home.
CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reports on what to look for in those powered presents.
If it’s phone time for your child, Libe Ackerman with the tech website SuperParent, says don’t break the bank.
“Go ahead and give them that hand me down, you don’t need to drop $500 or $1000 on a brand new phone for your kid,” said Ackerman.
It’s a great way to test if they’re responsible with a phone, and if they are, you can always upgrade next year.
Parenting experts say you should have access to your kids’ electronics and they should share their passwords.
There are also lots of GPS apps so you’ll know when they arrive and leave school.
And since kids will be kids, make sure you get a tough phone case.
“So I highly recommend something like this, like an Otter Box or something that will make this indestructible as possible,” said Ackerman.
When it comes to tablets, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $1,000. Ackerman says use the parental controls on all your electronics.
“Set a time that the tablet needs to go off at night,” she said. “We have it set for 11 p.m.”
You can also set time limits for different activities.
“You know apps, you ought have shorter right here,” said Ackerman. “We have reading books, that’s pretty much unlimited. He can read whenever he wants.”
Parents should also cover up the cameras before even giving a child a phone or computer.
Parenting expert Julie Ross says to write up a contract. Include everything from time limits to consequences if the rules are broken.
Parent-Child Technology Contracts
“Starting with really tight limits no matter what age your child is the best course of action,” said Julie Ross of Parenting Horizons. “It’s always easy to expand.”
If your child breaks the rules, you need to follow through with the consequences.
“Otherwise the kids will learn that the parents can be manipulated,” said Ross.