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Kids Safety and Your Cell Phone Policy for Sleepovers?

June 18, 2012 at 10:01 AM

sleepover friends dare sextingWhen your children are old enough to carry their own cell phones, you can't help but breathe a sigh of relief. Now you have a way to get in touch with them wherever they are. They can call or text you if they need you. But sometimes, sexting and texting can make the cell phone a double-edged sword.

Do you let your kids take their phone to a party, especially sleepovers?

Ironically, the tool that allows kids and parents to keep in touch with each other at all times could become a device for cyberbullying or sexting, especially in a group of teens late at night when the parents are soundly sleeping upstairs.

To put it in the form of a simple equation:

Smartphones + Teens up late at night + Peer pressure = Probably nothing good 

At the very least, parents have to admit that they've seen how things can quickly get out of hand when a crowd of teens are left mostly to their own devices. Poor choices and peer pressure, combined with kids who are impulsive and a little sleep-deprived at 2AM, can lead to taking pictures, making videos, or texting things they'll regret later on.

Some parents ask kids to check their phones at the door when they come over for a sleepover. That policy might not go over so well with the invited kids (or with their parents) but it's probably an attempt to prevent the types of crazy, embarrassing, or inappropriate sleepover videos kids sometimes shoot with their phones and post to YouTube.

-Article Contributed by Jenny Evans

Tim Woda

Written by Tim Woda

Tim Woda is an Internet safety expert, and a passionate advocate for empowering families and protecting children from today’s scariest digital dangers. Woda was on the founding team of buySAFE, an Internet trust and safety company, and he started working on child safety issues after his son was targeted by a child predator online. While his son was unharmed, the incident led Woda to kick-start You can follow Tim on Twitter or on his blog.

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