Join other Illinois teachers, parents and students who are making a difference.


Be a Techno Savvy Parent

Technology is a big part of growing up these days so it is only natural that parents have questions about it. Is technology making kids’ lives better or worse? Which technology should you embrace or ban? How do you control what activities your kids indulge in? And what age is the right age to say yes?

Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. The answers depend on your values, your kids’ desires and abilities, and your budget.

Cell Phones
Cell phones are convenient for parents and can be a great safety tool. If you give your kid a cell phone be sure to set ground rules and explain the hazards of inappropriate use, all-access bullying and sexting. You can also take advantage of your cell carrier’s parental controls to limit hours of use and block inappropriate content.

Some features include:
• Family Locator—used to locate the child’s phone from the parent’s cell phone or computer.
• Child Zone—allows parents to construct zones or vicinities that the child is allowed to be within. If the child leaves the allowed zone the parent’s phone will be notified by a text message.

Thanks to limitless cable channels, a lot of questionable content is being delivered right into your own living room. Be sure to look up the parental controls your cable provider offers and password-protect certain channels, programs, ratings, or times of the day.

The Internet
The Internet fills our children’s lives with powerful technology. Help them make great decisions and use digital media responsibly. All Internet providers offer various levels of parental controls. Most are free of charge and just take a few minutes of your time to set up the levels of usage and filters for each of your children. Everything can be password protected so the kids cannot change your settings. And, if each child is using their own password, you can change the level of parental control for each of the children.

Social Networks

Considering allowing your child to create a Facebook or other social networking profile? Check out Common Sense’s tips for social media “friending”, video chatting and general digital literacy.

Back to Articles & Tools >>


Illinois Kids First Press Center