Mobile phone rules needed!
Family technology tip
Get all of the electronic “i” chargers, laptops, tablets and phone chargers from the bedrooms and sockets and create a charging area in your living room.
If the gadget needs charging so do you and/or your child’s brain!
Having a central charging place allows you to keep an eye on the amount of usage.
Establishing mobile phone rules for teenagers can be a little tricky. After all, most parents didn’t grow up owning a mobile phone so knowing what’s appropriate and what isn’t can be a challenge.
Technology also changes so quickly that it can also be hard to keep up with what teenagers are up to these days on their phones. Although it can be convenient for teenagers to have mobile phones, it can also lead to a lot of problems.
Teenagers can get themselves in trouble with smartphones in a variety of ways.
Establish clear rules for mobile phone use to discourage misbehaviour. Although the rules should be specific to your family’s values and your teen’s needs, here are some mobile phone rules you may want to consider adopting in your home:
No mobile phone use before school
Start the day off right by preventing mobile phone use in the mornings. Most teenagers don’t have enough time in the mornings to waste time texting or talking on the phone. At the very least, restrict phone privileges until your teenager is ready for school.
Follow the school rules
Make it clear that you expect your child will follow the school’s mobile phone policy. Different schools have different rules, so investigate the policy at your child’s school.
Make sure that your teenager isn’t going to be distracted from his work because he’s texting or that he won’t be using social media while he’s in class. Support the school’s discipline policy, and abide by the consequences.
No mobile phones at the dinner table
Create an atmosphere at the dinner table that invites polite and friendly conversation. Don’t allow anyone to text message or reply to e-mails while you’re eating. Help your children learn appropriate phone etiquette.
No mobile phones during family time
Stress the importance of interacting with one another in-person. Make it clear that during family activities, phone use is prohibited. Whether you’re visiting with extended family or you’re playing a game of catch, discourage bad phone habits, like ignoring friends to text someone who isn’t present.
No phone use during homework
Replying to text messages or keeping up with social media can be a huge distraction for many teenagers while they’re doing their homework. Set limits on mobile phone use during homework time, especially if your teen’s grades are suffering.
The phone must be turned in before bedtime
There really isn’t a good reason why a teenager would need his phone during the wee hours of the morning. In fact, teenagers who keep their phones in their rooms at night are likely to respond to text messages or social media updates. Sleeping with a smartphone in the bedroom interferes with sleep. Establish a rule about what time the phone must be turned in and give your teenager time to unwind before he goes to bed.
When you remove their phone privileges at night it can also help your teenager socially. A teenager who is able to say to peers that he can’t reply to messages during the middle of the night because you have his phone, is less likely to be subjected to criticism from peers about not responding to them during the middle of the night.
No phones in bedrooms
Many teenagers just aren’t ready to handle the responsibility of having a phone in their bedrooms. They may not be able to resist risky behaviour such as sexting or downloading inappropriate content.
Restricting your teenager from using his phone in his bedroom can seem extreme, but for some families, it can be a way for teenagers to learn and practice safe and appropriate phone use. Once they’ve gained the skills and trust necessary, parents can allow them to have their phones for small periods of time in their rooms. When teenagers violate trust, establish a behaviour contract that describes how they can earn their privileges back.
Cellphone Family Home Tip
Get all of the electronic “i” chargers, laptops, tablets and phone chargers from the bedrooms and sockets and create a charging area in your living room. If the gadget needs charging so do you and or your child’s brain! Having a central charging place allows you to keep an eye on the amount of usage.
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