Dear Smartphone: Phones + School + Bus?

Phones + School + Bus?
What are kids doing on their phones on the school bus?

DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE:  MY TWO CHILDREN TAKE THE SCHOOL BUS EVERY MORNING AND AFTERNOON. I HAVE HEARD FROM ANOTHER PARENT THAT THE KIDS ARE USING THEIR PHONES ON THE BUS TO WATCH VIDEOS OR GOSSIP. DO YOU THINK THAT THIS SHOULD BE ALLOWED?  Kira, Cambridge

Dear Kira: School bus travel has always seemed like the “Wild Wild West” but smartphones on kids’ buses present yet another contemporary issue. Some school districts, and even an entire country (France) ban phones during  school hours, but what should be done after-hours? Perhaps bus drivers like this because the kids are less rambunctious and loud. I would try to find out if the information from your friend is true. Then, limiting your kids’ phones to only Wifi (assuming  the bus is not Wifi enabled) and using a tracking app, similar to the one on iOS12 might be first steps. Other parents? Join in!

Dear Smartphone: Teen Phone Costs Mom

DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: MY EX IN-LAWS DECIDED TO GET MY 13 YEARS OLD DAUGHTER THE NEWEST PHONE FOR HER BIRTHDAY. MY IN-LAWS ARE WELL OFF AND DID NOT CONSULT ME. MY PROBLEM IS THE COST OF THE MONTHLY PLAN. I AM A DIVORCED MOM AND I STRUGGLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET. I DON’T WANT TO DISAPPOINT MY DAUGHTER OR MY IN-LAWS. Cindy, LaBrea

teen phone bill
Paying for a Teen’s Phonebill

Dear Cindy: It’s too late, but your in-laws should have consulted you since as a parent, you are the grown-up when it comes to both money and  screen time. But, back to the finances: you could  ask  your 13 year-old help out financially Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Teen Phone Costs Mom”

Dear Smartphone: Online Parenting Advice

DEAR MS SMARTPHONE: I HAVE A SON AND DAUGHTER-IN-LAW WITH TWO YOUNG CHILDREN. THE CHILDREN ARE AGES 3 AND 7. THEY GAVE EACH CHILD THEIR OWN iPAD OVER THE SUMMER BREAK. MY SON SAYS THIS IS BETTER FOR THEM THAN WATCHING T.V. BECAUSE THEY CAN FOLLOW CARTOONS AND PLAY GAMES THAT ARE PERSONALIZED AND INTERACTIVE. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Susan, La Jolla

Dear Susan: This is a super interesting issue. There might be some advantage to the tablet or iPad because they are interactive and can be used for instructional purposes, say learning the alphabet or how to add numbers.
Unfortunately, many parents do not choose and monitor the content this carefully. Instead, they use the technology to keep a child entertained and quiet, whether that be in the car, a restaurant or elsewhere. Continue reading “Dear Smartphone: Online Parenting Advice”