Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

5 Tips for Cellphone Use

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Tetra Images/Superstock
Creating boundaries in your home for cellphone use.

Do your kids use their cellphones too much? Many parents believe their children are addicted to their smartphones and other mobile devices, and at least half of those same kids agree. But when it comes to learning about tips for cellphone use, parents aren’t doing such a great job.

According to a recent report from Common Sense Media, 78 percent of teens check their devices at least once an hour, while 69 percent of parents do the same. Parents aren’t quite as preoccupied with replying to text messages and other digital communication though. More than 70 percent of teens feel the need to respond immediately, contrasted with less than 50 percent of parents.

The good news is that many device users are concerned about these habits. About half the parents surveyed, as well as one-third of the teens, report making a regular effort to reduce the amount of time they spend on their mobile devices.

So how can you be smart about establishing tips for cellphone use when it comes to your kids? Here are tips and advice from parents who have been in your shoes and have found what works for them:

Cellphone Parking Lot

Our tweens recently complained about how their friends were on their cellphones during the whole movie night at our home. So I created a “cellphone parking lot” that kids have to pass on their way downstairs. I made parking spaces out of colorful tape. They had to “park” their phones, which they thought was a cool idea. I monitored the phones in case parents called, and the kids enjoyed some phone-free fun together.

—Karen Lunt

Cellphone Responsibility

If you plan to buy your child a cellphone, consider implementing these tips for cellphone use before you activate it:

Usage. A young child should only be allowed to use a cellphone for emergencies. For a 9- to 12- year-old, increase minutes for each year of age and set nighttime boundaries by placing the phone in a desk drawer or charging it in a central location in your house. This keeps your child from staying up late because he or she is talking to friends.

Texting. The anonymity of texting often encourages inappropriate communication — text and photo. Either monitor text messaging with your carrier’s online software or wait until your child has shown responsibility before you add texting to the phone.

Quiet zones. Create quiet zones by putting phones away during meals, family games and time with friends.

Responsibility. Most plans allow subscribers to check on a specific phone number in the plan. Set limits on minutes and the number of text messages, and routinely review your child’s usage. Reward your child for responsibly managing minutes and texts by gradually increasing his or her usage.

—Elsa Kok Colopy

Cellphone Ground Rules

While many of my son’s friends got phones at age 8 or 9, I decided to wait a little longer before launching my son into the world of cellphones. The few extra years of waiting provided two advantages. First, it allowed us to watch and learn from his friends’ choices — successes and mistakes. Second, it cemented the reality that, in our family, privilege comes with responsibility. Having a cellphone requires a demonstration of maturity and responsibility. I also set up some ground rules so that expectations were clear from the start:

  • Only non-smartphones are allowed. This enables my son to take pictures, call and text, but not access the Internet via his phone.
  • Mom and Dad always have the right to monitor and limit usage. My husband and I check messages regularly and spontaneously, both on the phone and through online account access (where we can see deleted messages and what time messages were sent). This helps us keep tabs on his use of the phone and ensures nothing inappropriate is being sent or received.
  • Cellphones are never allowed at the table during meals.
  • The phone is turned off and charged every night in the family room to make sure texting and calling do not happen during homework or after bedtime.

—Krista Frohling

Sunday on the Phone

Sundays should have a different rhythm than other days, so my husband and I explored ideas to promote family-centered activities. We chose to limit our children’s phone calls on Sundays to relatives.

Unwilling to discontinue all phone use, our daughter reluctantly began short chats with her great-grandmother, grandparents and even great aunts and uncles. Slowly, we noticed her attitude and the length of her conversations change. She seemed to look forward to Sunday afternoons. Her dinner conversation also changed to include family news, information from her elders’ latest doctor visits and “real” stories and details of the Depression, World War II and the thrill someone had at buying a color television set or seeing a man walk on the moon.

Although we were trying to honor a day of rest by changing the pace of our Sundays, God changed our family and made our lives richer because of our daughter’s phone calls.

—Bridgette Booth

Cellphone Use Etiquette

Years ago, when Emily Post wrote her rules for manners, there was no need for a chapter on cell phone etiquette. Times and technology have changed, and we are in desperate need of guidelines for those pesky little communication devices. The constant singing of cellphones at inappropriate times and in unprecedented locations is now the norm. Many adults are as guilty of cellphone rudeness as their teens, so perhaps we all need a crash course in communication manners.

Respect. The most inappropriate cellphone interruption I’ve ever witnessed occurred at the graveside funeral service of a 40-year-old cancer victim. A man’s phone blared the 1812 Overture, not once, but three times during the 20-minute service. There are places where cellphones need to be absent or silent. Church is another example. Cellphone conversations and text messaging are inappropriate and disrespectful.

Responsibility. When in a car, drivers should place priority on safety, navigation and following traffic rules. When at a wedding or outdoor concert, participants are responsible for letting the crowd’s attention remain focused on things other than chirping cellphones. Kids need to know they have social responsibilities at public functions that outweigh their need to receive news tidbits from friends.

Reconnection. I tried to have lunch with my daughter a few weeks ago but quickly realized I was eating alone when she fielded calls from friends and business associates. Face-to-face meetings suffer when electronic interaction happens simultaneously. Kids should be aware that when they are with someone, they should not be taking calls from others.

Many things in life seem urgent that really aren’t. Encourage your children to turn off their cellphone occasionally, in order to be considerate to others.

—Candy Arrington

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Read More About:

You May Also Like

Boundaries

Do Your Kids Have Healthy Phone Habits?

Our kids’ mental health has nearly been narrowed down to two words: Likes and Followers. Learn how to approach habits for your kids and phones.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!