We all need some advice from time to time.  Here are some simple parenting tips for cell phones:

  1. Turn their phones off at the dinner table or during a conversation
  2. Check their activity, texting, and the pictures they are taking or storing on their phones
  3. Limit their minutes and number of texts…this is a good opportunity to teach them budgeting
  4. Set boundaries by controlling the apps they can download or the explicit music they can listen to or the type of movies they can download
  5. Recognize that video to video talking can be used for other purposes than just seeing ones face
  6. Expect that cell phones will continue to support the same functions as computers in their access to the Internet so apply some of the same tips for computers as you would a phone
  7. If your child has violated your trust with the phone take the phone away
  8. Pew Research indicated that most people say that the cell phone would be the most difficult piece of technology to give up so pay attention to the habits your child is forming.

We certainly have come a long way from having to use the phone in the kitchen and stretching the cord as far away from our parents as possible.  Remember to be wise about what they may think constitutes “their privacy” and your responsibility as a parent to protect, nurture, admonish, and guide them.  You don’t protect them by not checking up on them. Every parent believes that their child won’t do these things.  So whose child is it?  Are the issues youth facing always someone else’s child?  Is that reasonable to even say?  Be engaged!  The vast percentage of adolescents are interacting socially and virtually in ways that their parents are unaware.

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