How-to Teach Children to Use a Cell Phone Responsibly
August 29, 2018
Children are technology savvy even at a tender age. It’s not surprising to see a small kid navigating through a gadget with ease. Children have been exposed to tech through computerized toys and tablets from their early years. Therefore, it is almost evident that your child will require a smartphone of their own at some point. Parents ought to guide their kids on how to use devices responsibly and here’s how to do that.
1. Create a cell phone contract
Talk to your little ones and let them know your expectations with regards to how they use their phones. Stipulate the penalty for breaking the rules. Ensure that the contract is realistic and practical. Set a regulation on data usage and limits for gadget use. Enforce the agreement at all times, such that your children realize its importance.
2. Set boundaries about where phones can be used in the house
Do not let your kids use their phones in hidden places. For instance, you can ban phone usage in the basement and bedrooms. That way, you will prevent them from hiding in places they shouldn’t. Instruct them not to use phones during meal times, so that you can spend quality family time.
3. Privacy shouldn’t be a thing
There are many aspects of life where children deserve privacy, but not when using cell phones. Let it be known to your child that you will be checking their phones at will. Look out for the newly installed apps, emails, and text messages. If you notice anything worthy of concern, it’s probably time to deny them cell phone privileges or refresh the phone contract.
4. Warn about inappropriate pictures and texts
Once your little one is mature enough to have the “sex talk,” you should hold a conversation on sexually appropriate behaviors. Sexting is a reality, and the last thing any parent would want is to find out that their child is doing it. Before handing over a smartphone to your kid, find out if he or she is aware of what a sexually appropriate picture is. Ask your kid to alert you when a friend sends an inappropriate picture. Let them know the legal implications of sending a sexually suggestive photo to other people.
5. Teach etiquette by example
Failing to follow mobile phone manners can result in huge implications. For instance, using your phone in a theater is not only rude, but you might be ejected too. Also, most schools have mobile phone policies, and they punish those who don’t abide by the rules. Using a mobile phone should be respectful and appropriate. A simple habit of texting while having dinner might result in a lost job opportunity, a canceled date, and other severe social consequences. As parents, you should be aware of these guidelines and model them.