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Kids Using Landlines

Before the Birds and Bees Talk, Have the Telephone Talk

The number of kids with cell phones is on the rise; earlier this year a study said that 20 percent of kids aged 6 to 11 have one. That may have some consequences, including the inability to operate a landline! In yesterday's Ask Amy advice column, a middle school secretary wrote in to remind parents to teach their kids how to use that more old-school way of placing a call. The problem? If there's an emergency where cell phone networks are down, or cell phones have no reception, children may not be able to get the help they need. The secretary noted that her school's kids didn't know to pick up the phone receiver, dial one before a long-distance area code, or even to listen for a dial tone. Perhaps most importantly, the children also had not remembered their parents' digits, since they are programmed into their cell phones.

The columnist advised parents to add the "Landline Talk" to the list of chats they need to have with their kids, like the traditional sex, drugs, and predator lessons. Do your kids remember your home or cell phone numbers, and do you teach them how to use a landline?


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