Texting on mobile phones is now a national pastime for kids. But the child safety organisation Child Alert warns it’s becoming an addiction that can lead children into stealing.
Sandra, a 34-year-old mum, contacted Child Alert after she gave her daughter, 14, a contract phone. ‘We thought this was the best way to control bills, but during the 12-month contract period, the bills rose to £145 a month, mainly through texting. She was also using it at night when she should have been asleep.’
Sandra changed the phone to a pay-as-you- go system, only to find her daughter ‘borrowed’ her credit card to top it up. ‘Since my bill was paid by direct debit, it took me a month or so to realise what had happened. We’ve talked about it and our daughter promised to stop. But she hasn’t. We realise she’s addicted but don’t know what to do.’
Child Alert says: ‘Telltale signs of over-texting include children constantly checking their phones for messages. Set times when they’re allowed to use their mobile, and be firm about taking it away if you think it necessary.’
Visit www.childalert.co.uk to get more advice and information.