Curbing Cell Phone Use in Teens
You can see teens with their cell phones at home, in classrooms, in malls, movie theaters, and alarmingly even behind the wheel of a car.
Teenagers are now using cell phones anywhere and everywhere they can. This can sometimes come at the expense of education, a good night's sleep, and even safety.
It's even a problem in schools. Schools often ban cell phones from classrooms, and some ban the devices from school grounds entirely. Still, more than half of teens who own mobile phones say they still send a text message during class, even though their school bans mobile phones.
How to curb your teen's cell phone use?
Try these stress-free strategies with your teen to reduce their time in front of the TV, on the computer, or phone:
Watch your own phone habits. As your child's role model, you can set an example so limit your phone use around your kids. It's difficult to tell them to cut back on TV time if you're spending endless hours texting while eating dinner with your Blackberry on the table. If you set rules, you have to follow them.
Remind teens to limit cell usage. Banning phones completely isn't realistic but you can remind your teen that you are paying attention to how much time they spend on their phones. Reinforce that once in awhile that there's an "unplugged world."
Stress the dangers of texting and drivng. It is againt the law, so re-inforce the penalties and consequences.
Motivate your teen to exercise. Many kids drop out of sports programs when they reach the teen years. Let them choose the type of activities they want to participate in wheter it be swimming or gymnastics. Encourage them to join at sports team at school.
Encourage activities that involve socializing. Look for activities and clubs that engage your teen socially, so he will get out and be with other people such as school or church groups or volunteer work. Make sure they get their school volunteer hours done.
Create phone rules together. Kids will likely buy in rules if they were created as a family. Write up a contract that outlines clear house rules with rewards and agreed upon punishments, as a family.
- No texting during meals, either at home or a restaurant;
- No texting during meals;
- No texting until after homework and chores are done;
- The phone gets turned off at a set time at night;
- And no phones in bedrooms.
Talk about it when appropriate and show that you've got their best interests, health, and safety at heart.
As a parent, what do you do to ensure your teen is using their cell phone appropriately? Do you make any attempt at limiting their use?