Nothing quite drives parents mad today as the mobile phones that their kids have! It’s a new and widespread problem but I can’t help but make links to many of the other parenting dilemma’s faced by parents over the decades.
So many parents give their children (not even just teens anymore) mobile phones “so that I can contact them when I need too” only to find that firstly they probably don’t answer it when they see the mum or dad flashing on the screen, unless of course you are late to pick them up. Parents soon find that they have a new issue to fight over, debate on, get addicted to and not listen to mum or dad on.
Well the good news is that most parents I talk to have EXACTLY the same issues, they all just think that they are the only parent who is unhappy with the rudeness, lack of participation, on it all the time issues. You are not. There is many, many parents complaining about the same issues and want to do exactly what you want to do which it to take away the privilege of the phone. Yes it is a privilege. Remember this. As a parent you paid for the phone, you pay for the bills, you gave it and yes, you can take it away. Kids often see the phone as “theirs”, and “how dare you”.
Now before you give the phone, even as a gift, you need to establish some ground rules or else you will find yourself scrambling to catch up to them and madly trying to tack on rules as things get out of control. And they do, and quickly. Where to start? Don’t ever let them have the phone in their room during the night (I know what and who they talk too during the night, you don’t want that competition in your house!) Have a time that the phone must be on the kitchen bench, on the charger. They are responsible for making sure it’s there by 8pm. Not you, you don’t want or need this responsibility. If is not there , then there is a consequence, ie. no phone for 2 days. Mean what you say.
Secondly, they must always answer when they see and hear you calling. And more…. they must not have the phone on them during school hours, they must not use it when eating with or socializing with others – this is rude and you have taught them better. In the next few days we will post more phone etiquette and rules on this site to help you with your children and mobile madness.